Naples has certainly become a world-class destination for the rich and famous and in the 15 years that I have been here, I’ve witnessed tremendous changes. Some of those changes haven’t necessarily been for the better either. The growth of the area has been absolutely staggering and I can only imagine how people feel that have been here most of their lives. We all sound like our parents when we say “it just isn’t like it used to be” or “in my day…”
One of the most bothersome things to me has been loss of the ambiance of Olde Naples, where it all began, with the advent of the building of the mega-mansions everywhere you turn. It seems as though it has become one huge game of one-upmanship. If you build a 20,000 square foot home, I’ll build a 30,000 square foot home and so on. The largest home in Collier County currently resides in Port Royal, a massive 70,000 square feet under air edificice that took 7 full years to complete, at a cost of over $100,000,000. I’m positive that that record won’t last long, because someone else with too much money will come along and build a bigger one. It’s all about human nature and ego.
For years Pat and I lived on the northern edge of Olde Naples, near the beach and across from a picturesque lake in a small Michigan home that was originally built in the 1960s. At that time, there were many small cottages that dotted the landscape of Olde Naples and gave it the character and quaintness that it was famous for. As property values soared, these cottages began to disappear, to the point where today, they are almost a thing of the past, much like the Florida panthers have become. The home that we lived in is no more, and in its place is a new home worth almost three million dollars. Most all the small homes and Florida cottages that were a part of the ambiance are gone as well.
I guess that you basically have to chock it all up to progress, for it really isn’t what it used to be. To me, it is kind of sad!
V.K. [Mel] Melhado PA
Fine Home Specialist
Preview Naples Group
Premiere Plus Realty Co.