Naples goes to bat to attract the Chicago Cubs Spring Training camp

Major League Baseball, MLB.com, is reporting the Naples area has a good shot at getting the Chicago Cubs to move their Spring Training facility to Collier County.

NAPLES, Fla. — Two Florida businessmen didn’t think it was possible that the Cubs might relocate their Spring Training site from Arizona to here until they looked the team’s new owners, the Ricketts family, in the eyes.

Now, Craig Bouchard and Gary Price have partnered with others in this southwest Florida coastal city in an effort to convince the Cubs to make Collier County their new home.

The idea that the Cubs would leave Arizona, where they’ve trained since the 1950s, was initially considered a negotiating tactic. The Cubs’ contract with Mesa, Ariz., and HoHoKam Stadium allows the team to buy out of its deal after 2012.

“I’m a numbers guy,” Price said Tuesday. “If 16 out of 19 are World Series winners that train in Florida, that’s a compelling argument.

The list of possible sites for the Cubs in Florida has been trimmed to three locations in Collier County. All are near Interstate 75. None are in Naples proper; the city is only 12 square miles. The proposal requires about 120 contiguous acres to build a 15,000-seat stadium, six practice fields, an upgraded training facility and parking. There would be room for hotels and restaurants. It would be a Wrigley Village with beach access close by.

The Naples group has created a website www.floridacubs.com. Stay tuned. This may get interesting.

Quail West club members to take over facility

Gulfshore Business Daily reported today on a new agreement at Quail West Country Club.

Quail West Country Golf & Country Club (www.QuailWest.com) members have agreed to take over the club from Quail West Development Co., a partnership that acquired community assets earlier this year that were involved in bankruptcy. More than $20 million in club assets will be transferred to the member-run Quail West Foundation. As part of the agreement, Quail West Development Co. will provide ongoing financial support to the foundation as they develop Quail West in the future. A $15 million renovation to the clubhouse was recently completed. Amenities also include two 18-hole Arthur Hills golf courses, a 70,000-square-foot clubhouse featuring dining facilities, full-service spa and beauty salon, pro shops, fitness center, clay tennis courts and a pool.

Sterling Oaks Villa for sale at $350,000

Check out our new listing Sterling Oaks on the north side of Naples.

Holiday living is yours in this exquisite Sterling Oaks home in Naples. Sunshine, soaring ceilings & sensational sunsets epitomize the lifestyle you’ll enjoy when you “come home” to this well-placed single family just minutes to everything in Naples & Bonita Springs & less than 10 minutes to the white sandy beaches. Today’s standards of hard surface countertops, maple cabinets, tile & pergo with a great floor plan that provides privacy when needed yet meshes many conversation areas for entire family enjoyment adds to the ease of living. The deck accesible owner’s suite includes a garden tub for soaking after invigorating matches on the tennis court. Spa parties on your deck overlooking a preserve filled with tropical wildlife & a 2-car garage completes this southern exposure home. Community amenities include seperate tennis program w/12 Har-tru courts, pro shop, jr olympic resort style pool & spa with tiki hut, sauna, fitness center, dining, 24 hr manned security in a gated community.

More photos…go here…Sterling Oaks Villa for sale.

If this looks like the place for you…call Ruth Bethem, Downing-Frye Realty, toll-free at 877-777-7545 or visit her website at www.RuthBethem.com.




New Naples single family home for sale in Riviera for $195,000

We have a new listing of a single family home that is located in the Riviera Golf community here in Naples. Check it out.

Nestled within the 55+ community of Riviera Golf Estates is this little gem you should hurry to view and even quicker to own. A well maintained and ideally located golf course view home reflects the pride of ownership in this tiptop condition home. Hurricane shutters protect every exterior window, a well for irrigation was installed in 2000 to help reduce the water bill, brand new carpeting in Nov ’09, the lanai was enclosed for additional living space but has windows to enjoy the beautiful cross breeze. Other upgrades include a newer kitchen sink, refinished & sealed roof in ’06, exterior painting in ’08, garage floor painted in ’08 and a new water heater in ’08. The floor plan makes this easy for living and entertaining and certainly lives larger than the stated square feet. Amenities include a clubhouse with pool, tennis courts, card room, billiard room & fitness center. Riviera Golf Club, a public course, is a pay as you play course and winds thru the community.

Click here to see many more photos in the virtual slideshow.

If this looks like the place for you…call Ruth Bethem, Downing-Frye Realty, toll-free at 877-777-7545 or visit her website at www.RuthBethem.com.

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Summer real estate sales were up 96 per cent in Naples

Our broker and Vice-President, Mike Hughes, at Downing-Frye Realty has released the November issue of our company newsletter. There is some very positive information that should be encouraging to everyone. This is a great snapshot of the current market.

Collier County property inventory has declined by 14 percent

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA –

November 2009 – The Summer was an unusually strong selling period, according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

The Naples area housing market continues to show steady increases in both pending and closed sales in the third quarter of 2009. Pending sales increased to 2,570 contracts in the third quarter of 2009 compared to 1,314 contracts in the third quarter of 2008. “In the third quarter of 2009, the Naples area is seeing an overall increase of pending sales in all geographic areas. Showings continue to remain strong, as buyers take advantage of the unique opportunities in today’s market,” acknowledged Mike Hughes, Vice-President of Downing-Frye Realty.

The available inventory decreased 14 percent in the third quarter of 2009 to 9,209 compared to 10,658 in the third quarter of 2008.

The third quarter report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

Overall pending sales under $300,000 saw a 126 percent increase with 1,917 contracts in the third quarter of 2009 compared to 849 contracts in the third quarter of 2008.

Single-family homes sales increased 87 percent with 1,488 sales in the third quarter of 2009 compared to 795 sales in the third quarter of 2008.

The overall median closed price decreased 30 percent to $176,000 in the third quarter of 2009 from $250,000 in the third quarter of 2008.

The median refers to the middle value in a set of statistical values that are arranged in ascending or descending order, in this case prices at which homes were actually sold. It should be noted that in any given period the median could vary greatly if there is an anomaly, a single sale that is significantly higher or lower than other properties in the area.

In the September report, compiled by NABOR, overall condo pending and closed sales increased in all geographic areas.

The median closed price for properties excluding the under $300,000 section of the market decreased only 6 percent to $525,000

in September 2009 from $557,000 in September 2008.

The September report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

Overall pending home sales saw a 107 percent increase with 848 contracts in September 2009 compared to 410 contracts in September 2008. Properties under $300,000 saw a 142 percent increase in pending sales with 645 contracts in September 2009 compared to 266 contracts in September 2008.

Members of the REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. sold 1,185 single family homes in September, which is 56.7 percent more homes than were sold in September of the prior year – contributing to the area’s year-to-date sales increase of 118.7 percent.

Of these September single family home sales, 48.7 percent of the properties were bank-owned, 20.6 percent were short sales and the remaining “conventional” sales made up 30.6 percent.

Pending home sales are still above last year by 23.2 percent, with 1,779 sales pending in September of this year versus 1,444 last September. The median sales price of all existing homes sold in September rose modestly to $85,500, an increase of 3.9% above the prior month. The median price is still 32.3 percent below September 2008; when the median price was $126,250, as foreclosures and short sales continue to put downward pressure on prices.

There are currently 6,809 single-family homes listed in the MLS. This number has decreased by 5,805 homes from September 2008, resulting in an inventory supply of less than 4 months (3.8) for single-family properties in our area.

“They’re back! Well at least some of our seasonal friends from up North are returning early to Southwest Florida,” says Jerry Bodart, Manager of the Downing-Frye Realty Bonita Springs Office. “The increase in road traffic, the longer lines in the grocery stores, and the number of car carriers unloading vehicles in parking lots are all signs that many visitors have begun their journey south. We have noticed a significant increase in buyers scheduling showings to look at properties, and open house activity is also much more active. These are all good signs pointing to a busy season.”

Source: Naples Area Board of REALTORS© and the REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc.

If you need more information on the Naples real estate market, don’t hestitate to call Ruth Bethem toll-free at 877-777-7545 or email her at ruth@ruthbethem.com