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Olde Naples History:
Olde Naples is undoubtetly the heart of Naples Florida, home of the coveted 5th Ave S and 3rd St, fine dining, exquisite shopping and some of the finest real estate in the US. Inhabited by the Calusa Indians 4000 years ago, Naples FL stayed hidden from the world for a long time, until the 1860's, when two gentlemen, Joe Wiggins and Roger Gordon became the first recorded settlers in the area.
The first people to see the potential of this Gulf coast didn't arrive until 1885, when General John S. Williams (a senator from Louisville Kentucky) recruits Walter Haldeman, an adventurous and wealthy publishing magnate. They contract a boat and travel to confirm the detailed reports of U.S. survey teams about this slice of heaven with white sandy beaches and mild climate. Once they arrive in Naples, they immediately recognize the huge potential and they start building beach homes, the pier and a 16 room hotel. The Naples pier, a popular location for a romantic walk, fishing or witnessing one of the famous Naples sunsets goes out 600 feet in the Gulf of Mexico and it was initially built to facilitate docking for large ships.
Eventually, Haldeman buys out Williams for $50,000 and becomes the sole proprietor of Naples Development Company and 8600 acres of prime real estate.
In 1912, a land developer from St. Petersburg, FL named Ed Crayton, purchases most of Haldeman's property and continues to expand and improve it throughout his entire life.
Another name that left a fingerprint on Naples' history is Barron G. Collier. Orriginally from Memphis, Tennessee, he droppes out of school at 16 to become a succesful business owner by 20 and a millionaire by the age of 26. Running out of New York City, his company leads the market in mass transit advertising with affiliations in more than 70 American cities, Cuba and Canada.
On a trip to Useppa Island on the Fort Myers gulf coast in 1911, he immediately sees the real estate potential and the opportunity to create the same level of success characteristic to the East Coast. Over the following 10 years, he purchases over a million acres in Southwest FL, from the coast lines of Ten Thousand Islands and Usepa Island to the Eastearn Everglades and Big Cypress areas. Part of his property included 90% of Marco Island.
A visionary of his time, Collier wants to create a perfect balance between vacation, environment and agriculture. To achieve that, he understands that Naples has to be more accessible and can't rely only on the pier to bring modernism and technology. Collier invests millions in transforming and developing huge areas of untouched wilderness and plays an important role in draining the wetlands of the Everglades and the built of Tamiami Trail, the only cement road to link Tampa to Miami. When the road construction hits financial troubles, he agrees to help finishing the project and contributes with more than a million dollars. The display of commitment and dedication earns him the honor of having the County named after him in 1923.
The 1920's bring a lot of developments to Naples FL. Electricity becomes available in 1926, rail service debutes in 1927 and 1929 introduces the first telephone lines.
However, due to the market crash and WWII, Naples stays as a small, quiet and hidden oasis until the 1950's, when it begins its transformation into the active, vibrant Gulf Coast beach resort it is today.
Olde Naples Real Estate:
Olde Naples has a large variety of homes and an array of condos available. From the 16 million sale of a two story Florida style home that came with 1.91 acres of beach front, to the $130,000, 700 square feet condos, Olde Naples real estate offers the opportunity to cut your slice of paradise any size you want.
The Olde Naples area is mainly sliced in Streets from N to S and Avenues, E to W. All Avenues end on the beach, most of them offerring meter parking at the W end. There are many things to consider when looking for homes for sale in Olde Naples, like proximity to the beach, rear exposure and lot size. More and more buyers seem to focus on the lot size and location due to the increasing number of new builds each year.
The Gulf Shore Blvd S is the last street before you reach the beach and it runs paralel to it. Going N, once you pass Central Ave it becomes Gulf Shore Blvd N and once it turns E, it becomes Moorings Line Dr, which ends in 41 (or Tamiami Trail N).
Gulf Shore Blvd N appears on the map again in Park Shore, just N of Olde Naples but it is discontinued from it's original source. To reach Gulf Shore Blvd N in Park Shore you have to turn left on Crayton and then head W on either Harbour Dr or Park Shore Dr.
Proximity to 5th Ave S and 3rd St can be an incentive, or not, depending on preference. I have met buyers who were very interested in being as close to the action as possible, and I also met buyers who valued their privacy and wanted to be away from the heavely tourist populated areas. Whatever your preferrence is, an investment in Olde Naples Real Estate is always a smart choice.
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