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2015 Top Deals: Charlotte-Lee-Collier

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  • | 11:00 a.m. December 25, 2015
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1. Mercato: $239.6 million

The Mercato retail and office complex has come to be synonymous with Naples luxury, with its bevy of upscale restaurants, European design flare and high-end merchants. But even market watchers were amazed when Prudential Real Estate Investors in May spent nearly $240 million to buy the coveted project. That price equated to $526 per square foot, or nearly five times larger than the average price for upscale shopping centers from Tampa down to Naples. The 456,340-square-foot Mercato, which boasts a 12-screen movie theater, Whole Foods Market and some 17 restaurants, was completed in 2008 by a joint venture between local developers Barron Collier Co. and the Lutgert Cos. Mercato also contains roughly 135,000 square feet of office space. Prudential was apparently drawn to the project in part because of Naples' vibrant tourism industry.

2. LaPlaya Beach Resort & Club: $185.5 million
In acquiring the 189-room LaPlaya in Naples in May, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust became part of a select group of buyers willing to devote nine figures to buying a hospitality project. But Pebblebrook justified its purchase by noting that LaPlaya is an “irreplaceable asset” and that while U.S. gross domestic product is expected to increase by around 2% in the next few years, hotel revenue per room should go up by 7%. At the same time, Pebblebrook and other high-end hotel buyers are banking that Florida's scorching tourism trade continues unabated. Although official statistics won't be released for some weeks, 2015 is expected to be the year in which the state surpasses 100 million visitors for the first time.

3. Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh: $85.5 million
Like its purchase in Venice, Discovery Senior Living consolidated ownership of the Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh as part of a portfolio deal. The community, at 4800 Aston Gardens Way, in Naples, is located on the Tiburon Golf Course, which was designed by professional golfer Greg Norman. Like many Aston Gardens communities, Pelican Marsh offers independent and assisted living, as well as memory care facilities. It features a 20,375-square-foot clubhouse and 24-hour staffing, according to its website.

4. 4.3 acres of land in Pelican Bay, Naples: $80 million
Few areas of luxurious Naples can rival Waterpark Place Pelican Bay, a community of opulent condominium towers. The area has become even more coveted in recent years because new development hasn't occurred there in more than a decade. But a joint venture between developer Gulf Bay Group of Cos., which had owned the tract, and investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., plan to change that with Mystique, a 21-story luxury high-rise. Planning for the 6873 Grenadier Blvd. site is ongoing, according to Gulf Bay Group press releases.

5. 5th Avenue Collection: $74.3 million
In addition to Mercato, Naples is home to some of the most high-end retail in all of Florida, centered along its tony Fifth Avenue. That's what drew St. Louis-based Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate to acquire the 5th Avenue Collection in October. Principal Greg Hoffmann said he doesn't see Naples “ever slowing down.” As part of its purchase, Hoffmann acquired seven buildings totaling 122,275 square feet.

— K.L. McQuaid


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