When was the last time you saw a Residences at Mercato Update? By now most of us know it’s home to really amazing restaurants like Capital Grille, AZN and McCormick & Schmick’s. We also know that Mercato is home to the most vibrant “younger” nightlife Naples has to offer with venues like Blue Martini, Cavo Lounge and Burn. Families enjoy Mercato for Grace and Shelly’s amazing ccupcakes Yogerbella and venues like Silverspot, Naples most luxurious movie theater with incredibly comfortable reclining seats, a full menu of food and even cocktails! What does this have to do with Naples luxury real estate? Stay with me…
Mercato wasn’t first to introduce urban style condo living to Naples when they released The Strada back in 2006-2007 but Mercato was first to offer a more metropolitan approach. Sure, you could get your hands on condos perched above retail space in Olde Naples but this product had a way younger, more vibrant vibe and appeals a great deal more to those really on the go who love to be in the heart of some real action. In my personal opinion, The Strada could not have been launched at a worse time. Naples was already seeing some serious back lash from the infamous real estate bubble. Couple that with a crazy hurricane year, people were less enthused. In fact, the highest price per foot unit in The Strada’s history closed this past March for 637/foot. These units are cool but this misconception by the masses of what it must be like to live here is so way off! Many people think it’s noisy and inconvenient. I had a client who loved Mercato but was skeptical the noise inside the unit would be troublesome. So much, in fact, we scheduled a late showing so he could “hear for himself” just how unbearable it would be. I have to admit, we were abundantly surprised at what we didn’t hear, not only when the hurricane rated glass doors were shut but when they were wide open. It was shocking.
Let’s talk about Mercato’s newest product currently for sale, The Residences at Mercato. I am overwhelmed at the number of people who don’t know anything about this product. Yes, there’s a sales center located on the main strip and yes, I realize many people just want to drive or stroll by on their own without getting mauled at a sales center. Yes, the gates are closed most of the time to protect the privacy of the residents who live there now which makes being nosey about The Residences at Mercato a little cumbersome. There are a couple of resales in there now and it’s easy to check out an open house or simply call to make an appointment without being robbed hours of your time.
There are 47 homesites located behind Masa. If you’re like most people I’ve talked to, you either don’t know it exists or might have some seriously inaccurate, preconceived notions like I did.
When I received a call to come out and talk to a resident about selling their villa, I thought, oh dear…I don’t know much about it because truthfully, I haven’t been a big fan of new construction. I tend to gravitate to where everybody else isn’t for all the obvious reasons. I came out, checked out the models (absolutely amazing I might add) and then took a peek at what the resident had to offer. Could I envision myself living here? What are the ups? What are the downs? Who buys this stuff? Who doesn’t? Because that intelligence is everything…right?
Here’s what’s happened so far:
- One resident who lived in a luxury beach front high-rise condo sold and bought a villa in the Residences at Mercato. They decided they had enough of the beach and wanted a more convenient lifestyle. Whole Foods is literally located steps away out the west pedestrian gate. Yes, the whole neighborhood is gated.
- Residents from Ohio bought here.
- Upstate New Yorkers made The Residences at Mercato their home.
- Some folks who purchased condos at Strada have upgraded to villa product for more room, in fact, one resident kept their condo so they would still have access to the fitness center and rooftop pool and offer the condo for guests when they’re in town. How smart is that???
I expected to find more metropolitan type people buying here…”big city folks” who maybe looked forward to being on top of the action but I’m finding people who are buying the Residences at Mercato share a very similar demographic the rest of Naples experiences.
- I adore the floor plans! Everything a couple would want for day to day living is located downstairs so, in essence, the whole top floor could be for guests, family members etc. High ceilings, lots of light, great use of space inside and out, interesting options. They really knocked it out of the park.
- Low maintenance! Pools and landscaping are done for you. This product is literally a “lock the door and go” type of product. It’s like condo living with privacy, private pool and green space. No sharing a garage or dealing with a doorman knowing all your personal business. No riding an elevator to get to that thing you left in your car!
- Interior selections are swanky! Just like the product itself, you get free time with Clive Daniels designers. That takes the stress out of selecting tasteful aesthetic options almost completely out of the equation. In fact, there are 4 models to choose from now, you could literally just buy one of those, close and hit the beach the same day.
- Convenience! There is something so alluring to me about having the option to say, “hey let’s go see a movie” and being able to walk there or picking up fresh ingredients for dinner every night I feel like cooking or walking to a fantastic restaurant on all the nights I don’t feel like cooking. The idea of grabbing a coffee in the morning or taking a yoga class…seriously…it goes on and on. For those who value a high “walkability” score, this place rates an A++++++. You aren’t within walking distance on 5th to a grocery store unless you’re not into ice cream. Hahahaha
- Location! Besides everything you can experience within Mercato, you’re just a sneeze over 1.5 miles to get to the beach and if you’re like me and prefer a beach club, you can always go for a spa membership at the Ritz Carlton or join La Playa’s beach club for full amenities. Wanna play golf? You can either join Pelican Marsh, Bay Colony or Pelican Bay…all within a mile or two. Play Tiburon where you don’t have to drop the dough for a full membership. Tennis more your speed? Pelican Bay Community Park (open to the public) offers 8 clay tennis courts and annual memberships there are as low as $402 dollars a year. L.A. Fitness is located across the street and offers racquetball, all the fitness classes you can imagine and an indoor swimming pool.
- Low Fees! Because you’re not dealing with supporting a golf course and other amenities you may not use, fees today are as low as $687/quarter and covers your basic cable, internet, lawn maintenance, sewer, water and trash.
- It’s ALL NEW! The new product is so hard to come by in locations this close to the beach and there’s something extra special when it’s all new. The landscaping is beautiful and fresh, the exteriors are white and current…there isn’t tired anywhere and there is no plague of weird neighbor choices or lack of maintenance like you’ll find in every other older location in town.
- Quality Construction with a specialization in service. The Lutgert family has been developing Naples as early as 1964 (before I was born hahaha) and is responsible for most notably the Park Shore development here in Naples. Their name is held in the highest regard and continues to hold one of the best reputations in town.
The Downside: There’s not a neighborhood in town that appeals to 100% of the masses.
- Lot sizes are smaller and not geared towards people who enjoy lots of yard work, massive gardening or big landscaping bills. Olympic swimmers who enjoy swimming outside will have to go off site for this.
- People who want to hold family and friends captive 24/7 will probably hate this. They can just walk everywhere. On the other hand, if you don’t want to be personally responsible for everybody’s good time, you can literally just point towards the door and let them have at it.
- People who need a water view outside of their personal pool. If you’re looking for Gulf or lake views, this product can’t do it for you. You’re looking at your own beautiful pool and amazing landscaping here.
- If you thrive on fixing broken stuff or costly and time-consuming remodeling I don’t think you’re going to be entertained here at all.
- If you like more tenured interiors like Mediterranean decor, glass blocks, florescent dome ceilings, Formica countertops, chopped up floor plans…there are a jillion other places inn Naples we can show you.
- If you hate the people you live with or who visit, Mercato may not be for you. The way I see it, while you can have separate places to do things like work, watch tv. or read a book, I imagine people who still like their families will find Mercato more interesting than those who can’t stand to be around each other.
Ok, that’s all for now. If you would like to see any of these or any luxury property in Naples, give me a shout or shoot me an email!