A Collier County judge has ruled against a husband and wife in Naples who had sued to block the construction of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.
The judge, in a 22-page filing, found that Gregory Myers and Barbara Ann Kelly had failed to prove the development interfered with their rights. The suit, which was filed May 27, 2020, by Myers, claimed the revamped resort would interfere with his “reasonable use and enjoyment of the land” — specifically an easement for streets, avenues and driveways they claimed to share with the resort.
The couple argued that, based on property records, they were entitled to benefit from the land the club sat on and to have a say in what happened.
The suit led to a monthslong delay of the closing.
In his original lawsuit, Myers argued that he has a “vested right” to an “unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico” and that he “never agreed to change or abrogate any of his rights in the easement property.”
But Circuit Court Judge Lauren L. Brodie disagreed, ruling that this wasn’t the case and granted a summary judgement against the couple.
“Plaintiffs have failed to produce any evidence in the record to demonstrate entitlement to private implied rights of any nature or kind over or across the (Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club) property.”
Brodie, who also dissolved a lis pendis the couple had filed, did not assess any monetary penalty on the couple in her order but did permanently block them “from access or use of any portion of ” the property.
An attorney for Myers did not immediately respond to request for comment on what Myers and Kelly intended to do next. A spokesperson for the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s owner also did not respond.
The sale of the property finally closed in October with Phoenix-based The Athens Group and New York-based MSD Partners paying $362.3 million for the site.
Athens is the developer and MSD — a private investment firm established in 1998 exclusively to manage assets of computer and tech titan Michael Dell and his family — provided the capital.
The redevelopment at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, meanwhile, calls for the property to be transformed into a 125-acre resort and residential beachfront development.
When complete, it will include a 216-room hotel operated by the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and up to 185 luxury condominiums. The plan also calls for a shopping district with retail and restaurants. The Four Seasons hotel, shopping district and first phase of residences — beach side and in a mixed used building — are expected to open in 2024.