Phil McCabe’s exit means modifications for the Southwest Florida lodge scene –

Marco Poneto

Important gross sales and modifications for inns in Southwest Florida had historic magnitude through the first quarter of 2022, and proceed to have an effect on the remainder of the 12 months. Naples entrepreneur Phil McCabe was within the middle of it, his private story tied to lots of the native properties making headlines, together with the sale of three inns in Naples.

Inn on Fifth

The times instantly earlier than and after the actual property transaction closed for the sale of his longtime lodge on Fifth Avenue South, McCabe fell right into a deep funk. He had constructed and owned the enduring Inn on Fifth for greater than 25 years, so his resolution to promote wasn’t simple and weighed closely on him. The usually upbeat and in-command McCabe was depressed and appeared damaged.

As of 10 a.m. Could 11, he was now not the proprietor of the Inn on Fifth. “Seventy-two hours earlier than the closing,” McCabe says, “it began sinking in. ‘What have I completed? What am I going to do?’

“I’m clearly on the finish of my recreation,” says McCabe, who turned 75 on Could 1 and estimates that the Inn on Fifth represented 50% or 60% of his skilled life. “Out of the blue, it’s gone.”

McCabe bought the 699 Fifth Ave. S. property, a former financial institution workplace, in August 1996 for $2.65 million and redeveloped industrial property throughout the road in 2010 to create the Membership Stage Suites at Inn on Fifth.

Not solely has the lodge been a serious a part of McCabe’s life, it was a centerpiece for change on Fifth Avenue South for many years. “It turned Fifth Avenue round,” McCabe says.

“There isn’t anybody in our group that has had extra of an impression on shaping Fifth Avenue South than Phil McCabe,” says Bruce Barone Jr., government director of the Fifth Avenue South Enterprise Enchancment District. “His imaginative and prescient, dedication and stewardship of the Inn on Fifth is unparalleled. His work during the last 20 years has put us within the place we get pleasure from each day with company from everywhere in the world.”

The Inn on Fifth was a spot the place McCabe had been at 2 within the morning, 4 within the morning, regardless of the purpose crucial, to deal with something the job demanded. “Once you personal a lodge, you’re in it full-time. It’s open 24/7. You’re accountable for that,” McCabe says. “Once you personal an asset like I owned, you’ve received to ensure it’s working appropriately.”

However McCabe knew this hands-on interval of his profession had culminated. “For certain, my working days are over,” he says. “I’ve constructed 4 inns and 6 eating places in my profession. That chapter of my life is closed.”

His resolution to promote the lodge initially shocked his sons, Philip and Joseph. “They thought their dad was content material for the remainder of his life to function the lodge,” McCabe says. “However they had been 100% behind it. They didn’t need to function the lodge. They every have their very own careers, their very own passions and pursuits.”

Pebblebrook Lodge Belief, a publicly traded actual property funding belief, acquired the 119-room lodge for $156 million. The boutique lodging, which lately underwent a $5 million renovation, embrace two fine-dining eating places, Truluck’s and Ocean Prime.

Pebblebrook tapped Noble Home Resorts & Resorts to handle the four-star, four-diamond landmark lodge, which can be a part of the Curator Lodge & Resort Assortment. Pebblebrook additionally owns LaPlaya Seashore & Golf Resort, whereas Noble Home manages that North Naples property, too.

In making the announcement in late April of the then-pending sale, Jon E. Bortz, chairman, president and CEO of Pebblebrook Lodge Belief, lauded the lodge and McCabe. “The Inn on Fifth exemplifies South Florida’s easy mix of upscale, laid-back luxurious and was developed flawlessly and cared for meticulously by the present proprietor,” Bortz stated.

It took just a few days after the lodge’s sale earlier than McCabe was prepared to speak concerning the transition. “The closing course of was extremely sophisticated,” he says, mentioning that he had Washington, D.C., attorneys to deal with the heavy lifting. “We had superb professionals working via the method.”

Nonetheless, the sale took a private toll on McCabe, at the very least quickly. “I’m previous it now. It was troublesome, so troublesome,” he says. One of many hardest components was notifying his 99 staff, a few of whom labored for him greater than 20 years. “It was like household,” he says.

The excellent news, McCabe informed his employees, is that he was going to nonetheless be working of their Inn on Fifth workplace for one more 4 months, via the summer time, so he wasn’t going anyplace instantly. This allowed him to maneuver into the following part of his life, what he refers to as beginning a brand new guide, affording extra time to are likely to his private portfolio.

“I spend a variety of time on my different belongings,” he says. “I received very enthusiastic about this different stuff.”

That stuff received’t embrace golf, which McCabe stated is the right preoccupation for a lot of retirees, however it’s personally not for him. In addition to, he’s not precisely retiring anyway.

Inn of Naples

Denver-based Mission Hill Hospitality acquired the 99-room Inn of Naples from Dallas-based MCR for greater than $15.3 million in mid-March. The lodge at 4055 Tamiami Path is present process a model changeover to the Tapestry Assortment by Hilton, so all visitor rooms and suites, the foyer, public and assembly areas and its restaurant are being fully renovated.

The Inn of Naples was McCabe’s first Naples lodge, launching greater than 35 years in the past. “My Inn of Naples was below building after they opened the Ritz-Carlton [Beach Resort],” he says. The Registry Resort, now the Naples Grande, opened just a few months earlier than McCabe opened Inn of Naples. The overflow from the Ritz and Registry resorts made the Inn of Naples an immediate success with company, McCabe stated. “They had been lined up out the door.”

Naples Grande

The Naples Grande Seashore Resort additionally modified fingers this spring. London-based Henderson Park purchased the lodge on the finish of March from Denver-based Northwood Hospitality for $218.4 million, plus $24.8 million for its 18-hole golf course and $4.8 million for the 15-court tennis middle, in line with Collier County property deeds. 

The resort at 475 Seagate Drive in Naples has 395 commonplace rooms and 29 tower suites with 50 villas. It contains seven eating places/bars, 12 spa rooms and three swimming pools unfold throughout 23 acres. 

The upscale resort opened as The Registry Resort within the late ’80s and has modified fingers just a few occasions over time. It was renamed Naples Grande Seashore Resort earlier than being rebranded as Waldorf Astoria Naples for a quick time. Its title reverted again to Naples Grande Seashore Resort in late 2014.

Earlier than the Naples Grande’s earlier sale, McCabe tried to purchase the resort years in the past. “I believe they wished $195 million at the moment, however I simply couldn’t make the numbers work. I made a suggestion near asking on it. They declined my supply and offered it for asking,” he says. “I had a plan and a imaginative and prescient for that. I used to be going to drastically change it.”

McCabe wished to transform it right into a boutique lodge with some residential residences. He was going to show its tennis cabanas into condos, gate the property and alter the look, colour and every thing. “I’m form of glad they didn’t settle for my supply,” he says.

Naples Seashore Membership

Demolition of the previous Naples Seashore Lodge & Golf Membership commenced this spring on the Gulf shore and is predicted to be accomplished this summer time to make approach for redevelopment of the Naples Seashore Membership, a mixed-use resort that may convey a 216-room 4 Seasons lodge to Naples. After working the historic resort for 75 years, the Watkins household offered the 125-acre property to The Athens Group and Michael Dell’s MSD Companions final 12 months for greater than $362 million. 

“The 4 Seasons may have a profound impression on the town of Naples,” says McCabe, noting that the high-profile venture denotes the beginning of main redevelopment, not the density growth that preceded it. “Older buildings being torn down and structure coming in at the next price. That’s what you’re going to see right here due to the 4 Seasons. The 4 Seasons is a game-changer simply because the Ritz-Carlton was a game-changer.”

Due to the 4 Seasons, McCabe stated Rosewood Resorts & Resorts is right here right this moment with the Ronto Group’s proposal to redevelop the Mansion Home cooperative subsequent to Lowdermilk Park for luxurious condominiums. “These are the elemental modifications you’re going to see right here,” he says.

Extra lodging

Different lodge properties are also making information this 12 months in Southwest Florida, together with the addition of a 14-story tower and extra on the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Additionally notable and extremely seen are huge building initiatives on the Gulfshore for the sprawling 254-room Margaritaville Seashore Resort on Fort Myers Seashore and Allegiant’s huge 785-room Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte Harbor. After experiencing prolonged delays, vertical building is underway for each initiatives, that are anticipated to be accomplished in 2023. 

A four-story, 118-room Hampton Inn is below building on the nook of Cleveland Avenue and McGregor Boulevard in downtown Fort Myers and anticipated to be accomplished this fall. The Ellington, a mixed-use venture with a 10-story, 125-room lodge, broke floor this 12 months on the intersection of U.S. 41 East and Davis Boulevard in East Naples. 

The eight-story Lodge Indigo, which has been renamed Banyan Lodge and rebranded as a Tapestry Assortment by Hilton, has been present process a floor-by-floor renovation of its 67 rooms on Broadway Avenue in downtown Fort Myers. The newly renovated Wiggins Go Chalet boutique lodge in North Naples relaunched its 14 suites this spring after being shuttered for greater than 5 years. Pink Shell Seashore Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Seashore is about to endure a $7 million renovation venture beginning in August to improve its 195 visitor rooms.

Different space lodge initiatives are within the works, together with a brand new six-story Hampton Inn & Suites deliberate for Bell Tower close to U.S. 41 and Daniels Parkway in south Fort Myers, and a three-story AC Marriott abutting Naples Sq. on the nook of U.S. 41 East and Goodlette-Frank Highway in Naples.

Phil’s future

McCabe doesn’t plan to reinvest his fortune from promoting the Inn on Fifth. At his age, he stated, he’s targeted on preservation of wealth, structuring it in such a approach that it’s going to have a multigenerational impression.

“All of my future has modified with my perspective,” he says. “I’m by no means going to leverage or step on the market into the event world, risking all of my wealth. I nonetheless personal nice belongings and land.”

The product of a blue-collar group in Boston, McCabe at age 27 invested his life financial savings of $25,000 to purchase a bankrupt lodge in Maine, making a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Right this moment, he’s the biggest property proprietor in Kennebunkport, Maine, the place he owns a house and 62 acres. “I’ve owned it for years and years, some for 40 or 50 years,” he says. “I’m quick neighbors to the Bushes.”

McCabe nonetheless has property in Naples, too. He has the ground-floor retail areas beneath the Residences at fifth & fifth and almost the complete block behind the parking storage on Fourth Avenue South. He doesn’t have plans there for the second after lately fully renovating an 11-unit house advanced there. He is also constructing a hangar at Naples Airport tied to a big workplace constructing he may have there. When he says his ultimate farewell on the lodge, that’s the place he’ll transfer his workplace for Gulf Coast Business, the corporate he has owned for 30 years. “That’s the corporate I used to develop a variety of what we did over time,” he says.

McCabe additionally co-owns 250 acres on the northern tip of Anguilla, a Caribbean island that’s a British abroad territory. He and co-owner Kevin Stoneburner, the developer of Bayfront Naples, are within the strategy of getting land-use entitlements now with the federal government of Anguilla. The Ritz-Carlton is all in favour of their deliberate growth, which is subdivided into tons, condos and single-family residences. “The Ritz-Carlton has agreed they wish to be there in one of many subdivisions on 26 acres with two 18-story buildings—condos and a lodge,” McCabe says. He notes that 4 Seasons has a lodge on the opposite facet of the island.

“The purpose is, I’m not going to go off and play golf or go fishing,” he says. “If I need to do one thing, I’ve loads.”

Naples icon expands: Placing extra on the Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples refers to its addition of a 14-story tower and different luxurious facilities this 12 months as “the evolution of an icon.” The beachfront resort’s most notable makeover in almost a decade actually earns a spot in its storied historical past.

The Naples opening of the Ritz-Carlton seashore resort in December 1985 was monumental by all accounts. “It actually launched Naples, that Ritz-Carlton. It laid the muse for the rich coming to Naples,” says Naples entrepreneur and longtime hotelier Phil McCabe. “The Ritz-Carlton laid the groundwork.

“The Ritz-Carlton got here right here due to W.B. Johnson, who had a house right here and had a relationship with Westinghouse, which was growing Pelican Bay.”

Atlanta businessman William B. Johnson, who paradoxically made his fortune with the Waffle Home restaurant chain, purchased the primary lodge and the Ritz-Carlton title in Boston earlier than constructing extra areas in Atlanta; Buckhead, Georgia; and Laguna Niguel, California. The Naples lodge was the fifth for the Ritz-Carlton, which units the usual for lodge luxurious.

Westinghouse wished the Ritz-Carlton to anchor the Pelican Bay waterfront group that the corporate created simply north of the town of Naples on greater than 2,300 acres it bought from Barron Collier. Coral Ridge Properties, a division of Westinghouse that turned WCI, supplied a bit of beachfront property on the northern finish of Pelican Bay to Johnson for the lodge about 40 years in the past. “They wished the Ritz-Carlton there,” McCabe says. “Then, they anchored the southern finish [of Pelican Bay] with the Registry Resort (now Naples Grande Seashore Resort) with a bunch out of Texas.”

McCabe had a entrance row seat for the early growth. “I purchased pre-construction within the Remington high-rise in Bay Colony. I used to be truly dwelling within the first high-rise at Bay Colony on the time,” he says. “I had the chance to purchase the land the place the Remington sits from WCI for a lodge subsequent to the Ritz. I’m fairly certain it was $5 million.” The transaction didn’t transpire, however the remaining is historical past, as they are saying.

The Ritz-Carlton continues to cleared the path within the evolving hospitality market in Naples. Its new tower rising on the native horizon is a part of a $50 million renovation venture focused for completion in December. The addition on the southwest facet of the beachfront lodge is being constructed instead of a former swimming pool.

“We’re actually taking the management function,” says Mark Ferland, space common supervisor of The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples. “This iconic resort has all the time been actually one of many crown jewels of the Ritz-Carlton model for nearly 4 a long time. It was already an iconic and revered property however we’re actually reworking it into a good higher expertise. We’re creating a brand new legacy for a few years to come back.”

The Ritz-Carlton embraces the historic alternative to take its iconic property in Naples and redefine it from a luxurious perspective, Ferland stated. The resort’s new 101,334-square-foot tower addition rises greater than 157 toes. A foyer with a mezzanine on the second degree will welcome company to the five-star, five-diamond resort’s 474 rooms and suites, together with its dozen new 1,478-square-foot three-bay suites.

“It’s the biggest transformation venture within the historical past of the Ritz-Carlton model actually exterior of a brand new construct or a brand new lodge being constructed. So, we actually stand prepared to rework this distinguished resort,” Ferland says. “Actually, every purposeful step has been undertaken to guarantee our legacy is preserved and that the Ritz-Carlton Naples continues to be a world chief within the luxurious house.”

The Ritz truly paves the best way for one more luxurious resort model similar to 4 Seasons to need to be in Naples. “Naples is such a fascinating leisure location. Whether or not it’s arts or procuring or positive eating, it’s simply turn into such a luxurious vacation spot,” Ferland says. “It’s actually good to have extra luxurious inns.”

The Ritz-Carlton’s newest addition features a dramatic transformation of its visitor suites, which Ferland describes as a private sanctuary. “We’ve a singular suite product which is, principally, a bi-level suite,” Ferland says. “So, you’ll enter within the parlor space then you definately’ll go down the steps and also you’ll be into your secluded bed room expertise. We’re already getting a variety of curiosity in these suites.”

Greater than half of the brand new three-bedroom ocean view royal suites that the resort lately launched in its new south tower are already booked for the week beginning Dec. 26, he stated. When the transformation is unveiled on the finish of the 12 months, the Ritz may have 92 new suites and a Ritz-Carlton Membership Lounge.

“The Membership is de facto distinctive in that it will likely be not like any within the model, as a result of it’s going to be near 4,000 sq. toes with actually dramatic floor-to-ceiling views of the Gulf of Mexico,” Ferland says. “Will probably be off the foyer on the primary flooring. It is going to have seven to eight of its personal terraces so a household can have breakfast on the market and simply benefit from the Gulf of Mexico and the views. It’s going to be very extremely customized with a person bar, so we’ll have a craft cocktail program only for the company staying on the Membership degree.” 

One degree beneath the Membership would be the resort’s new restaurant, Sofra, which can even launch in December. “Sofra goes to be our japanese Mediterranean-style new restaurant that includes a really vegetable-forward menu, very impressed by just a little extra more healthy consuming once more,” Ferland says. “Within the night, it’s going to have lovely contemporary fish, a really Mediterranean-style menu.”

The resort is reworking its outside facilities, as properly. “We’re constructing not solely an grownup pool however a lap pool that’s linked proper onto it with spectacular bungalows and personal cabanas—actually not like something within the market right this moment,” Ferland says. “The bungalows may have non-public loos, showers and air-con—actually a really, very particular, distinctive expertise.”

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