$48.8 million mansion, priciest in Southwest Florida, torn down to build a new one

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The priciest home in Southwest Florida is no more.
The 10,825-square-foot mansion in Naples sold earlier this year for $48.8 million. It is now a barren construction site. Built in 1994, the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion sat on 5.49 acres overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Homes that previously sat on that plot had welcomed presidents and many other dignitaries over the past 81 years. The beachfront Port Royal mansion sold June 20 after being listed for $60.9 million. Still, the sales price broke the record. The names of the new owners have not been disclosed.
According to public records, a complete demolition permit of all structures on the property was issued by the city of Naples on Sept. 19 for an estimated cost of $150,000. “We just finished it like a week and a half ago, and it took two months to do,” said Mike Austin, owner of BJ Excavating, who was in charge of the teardown. “It’s an exclusive property, and the home that’s going there matches up with it.”
The bare lot where a $48.8 million home in Port Royal was recently torn down, photographed Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Naples. Homes that previously sat on that plot of land had welcomed presidents and many other dignitaries over the past 81 years.
The builder was not able to divulge any information on plans for the new home. Austin said all the structures and vegetation were removed from the property. “Everything went to dump facilities. It’s all recycled,” he said. However, part of the home was furnished at the time of demolition, and Austin said he got to keep some of it. “You got to remember it was completely top-of-the-line remodeled not even 11 years ago, so there was some really killer stuff in there.”
In 2007 software mogul Art Allen and his wife, Carol, purchased the estate from Miles C. Collier, grandson of the county’s founder, for $40 million and spent nearly $25 million on renovations and upgrades. The couple sold the home in 2015 for $45.6 million.

History of 2500 Gordon Drive
The estate has not been just a quiet retreat for generations of family members. It also has welcomed presidents and hosted grand charity events over the past 80 years.

Some highlights from its 81-year history:

1937 — William B. Uihlein and his wife, Melitta Uihlein, purchased the property in 1937. Uihlein was chairman of the Schlitz Brewing Co. The original beachfront estate featured nine bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a five-car garage. The property also included a guest house and servants’ quarters.

1965 — Southwest Florida developer and philanthropist Raymond L. Lutgert purchased the home. The Lutgert Cos. are well-known in Collier County, with projects such as the Estuary at Grey Oaks, Mercato, the Promenade and the Northern Trust Building.

1981 — The Collier family acquired the beachfront estate. The original 1937 house was in bad shape, and the family decided to start from scratch. They demolished the home and built a new one.

2007 — Arthur Allen, founder of ASG Technologies, purchased the home for $40 million. During his time living at the beachfront estate, reality TV show “Paradise Coast Wives” was filmed there on occasion, with Allen’s wife, Carol, one of the stars.

2015 —The estate was acquired by 2500 Gordon LLC for $45.6 million. The identity of the owner was not disclosed.

2018 — 2500 Gordon Land Trust purchased the home for $48.8 million. The identity of the owner has not been disclosed. The home was completely demolished in November.

USA Today NetworkJennifer Beeson, Naples Daily News

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