If you go
The auction, slated for April 14, will be at the Naples Grande Beach Resort off Seagate Drive starting at noon.
NAPLES — If the price is right, 140 boat slips at Port of the Islands Marina in Collier County will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction next month.
The boat slips will be sold together – in bulk – for a minimum of $1.96 million. If the minimum price isn’t offered, the sale won’t happen.
The owners – James and Christopher Shucart, managing members of The Islands Marina LLC – are confident a sale will happen. The auction, slated for April 14, will be at the Naples Grande Beach Resort off Seagate Drive starting at noon.
“We are definitely confident,” said Christopher Shucart, James’ son.
He said the auction has generated interest from buyers in Naples and Fort Myers, on the east coast of Florida, in Canada and other countries.
Some of those interested buyers have called Port of the Islands Realty with questions about the slips and real estate on the island.
“I have had a couple of calls actually from people. I won’t get anything out of it, but they call me for information,” said the realty firm’s broker, Jean Kungle.
Of the total slips, there are 52 designated as live-aboards, which are rare in Florida.
“It’s a fairly sought-after commodity,” Shucart said.
The live-aboards are allowed because the Shucarts own the submerged land below the docks. That will transfer to the new owners with the sale. In most cases, submerged lands are owned by the state or federal governments and leased to others with more restrictions.
Port of the Islands is about 20 miles southeast of Naples, off U.S. 41 East. It’s surrounded by state and federal preserve lands. From the docks, the Gulf of Mexico is about 8 miles out, and 3.5 miles of that is a no-wake zone for manatees.
The Shucarts spent more than $2 million to improve the marina, including building new docks and renovating the old ones. The renovation included new lighting and landscaping, electrical and water services, a boat washing station and a fueling station.
If the slips sell for the minimum price, the winning bidder would end up paying $14,000 apiece for them.
In 2008, the marina had an appraised value of just under $5.35 million, but an appraisal hasn’t been done since then, Shucart said.
Before the Shucarts bought it, the marina was in sad shape. The seawall was crumbling and wooden docks were falling apart.
The Shucarts purchased the marina, the ship store, a boat ramp, a hotel and undeveloped commercial and residential land in Port of the Islands in June 2005 for about $7 million.
In June 2006, the hotel – now known as Port of the Islands Resort – was sold to SunStream Hotels & Resorts, along with some vacant land for more high-rise condominiums, for more than $6.6 million.
Collier County purchased the ship store and boat ramp from the Shucarts in December 2008, for about $4.7 million.
The Shucarts – who went into business together in 2004 – never marketed the boat slips for individual sale. They have sold only a few to family friends and one to an unsolicited buyer for $89,000.
The Shucarts still own a 2-acre commercial property in Port of the Islands, with 388 feet of frontage along U.S. 41. They want to sell that property, too, but it’s not part of the auction.
“We want to focus on other projects,” Christopher Shucart said.
Those other projects include the Hitching Post Plaza off U.S. 41, half a mile west of the entrance to Lely Resort. After finishing a renovation project at the shopping center in June of last year, the Shucarts have attracted new tenants, but there’s room for more.
Next to the shopping center, the Shucarts own 30 acres of vacant land once designated for a planned unit development, or PUD, called Vincentian. The zoning allows residential and commercial development.
“We acquired that pretty recently, but there are no plans for it yet,” Shucart said.
Now, the boat slips are rented out and are about 50 percent occupied.
“A new buyer may rent them as they look to sell them,” Shucart said. “Potential buyers could come from Naples, Fort Myers or anywhere.”
Slip owners can use The Islands Club. The club’s amenities include a heated swimming pool, two lighted tennis courts, a fitness center, a sauna, a steam room and showers, a game room and a restaurant and bar.
The auction will be handled by Sheldon Good & Co., headquartered in New York. John Cuticelli, the company’s president and CEO, described the marina as attractive and environmentally focused.
The marina, developed in the 1960s, originally was created as an amenity for buyers of single-family lots in Golden Gate Estates, Cuticelli said.
His company is advertising the auction nationally and arranging showings for interested buyers.
“We are the largest real estate auction company in the United States and we’ve been in business since 1965,” Cuticelli said. “We have sold millions of properties over the years, a number of marina-type properties, and this is among one of the most unique we’ve seen.”
The marina and slips are in an old-Florida setting.
“There aren’t a million condos around it,” Cuticelli said. “You can go down there and you can still hear the birds singing and the grass growing.”
James Shucart has been involved in real estate development and investment since the mid-1990s in the Naples area. Before that he was in the same business in St. Louis, Mo.
Kungle, the broker with Port of the Islands Realty, said the island has seen more traffic in recent months from potential homebuyers. Single-family homes and lots are getting the most attention, she said.
She sees the auction for the slips as a positive step. She hopes a new owner can help make Port of the Islands – a remote community with no stores of its own – more of a destination.
The Shucarts did a nice job of fixing up the marina and the slips and the other property they’ve sold off in Port of the Islands, Kungle said.
“They’ve done some goods things,” she said. “They’re savvy business people.”