Workers putting finishing touches on new Inn on Fifth building, renovations

Corey Perrine/Staff
Owner Phil McCabe overlooks 5th Avenue to look at construction Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 at The Inn on Fifth in downtown Naples, Fla. McCabe is directing the finishing of his new suites built across the street. The new 32 exclusive club level suites will range from $750-2,800 per night. A women's boutique, Boston Proper, as well as Chase Bank will grace the new edifice. Reservations begin Dec. 20.

Photo by COREY PERRINE // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff Owner Phil McCabe overlooks 5th Avenue to look at construction Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 at The Inn on Fifth in downtown Naples, Fla. McCabe is directing the finishing of his new suites built across the street. The new 32 exclusive club level suites will range from $750-2,800 per night. A women's boutique, Boston Proper, as well as Chase Bank will grace the new edifice. Reservations begin Dec. 20.

Workers swung hammers as guests of The Inn on Fifth strolled through the construction zone in the lobby.

Across Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples, a second site buzzed with activity this week as more than 100 workers canvassed a three-story building.

They were installing everything from dry wall to bathtubs on hotelier Phil McCabe's latest $15-million project.

"There's the baby," McCabe said, pointing across the street from a balcony at his old building. "That's been my life for the past two years. The real intense part is the next 45 days."

The new building will be an extension of the existing hotel with additional rooms above a first-floor commercial space. Guests can begin booking the new rooms Dec. 20.

Workers recently finished renovating the existing hotel, updating the rooms from an old-Florida style to a more modern look. The rooms now boast red, black and brown colors with large white headboards on the beds and new furniture throughout.

"The guest has been really patient because they're in a gorgeous room," McCabe said of ongoing construction in the main hotel lobby.

Wearing a hard hat, McCabe slipped in and out of each of the 32 club-level suites on the second and third floors of the new building to show off the double sinks in each bathroom vanity, the soundproofed walls and private balconies.

The smaller rooms will book for $750 a night in peak season. Each of the two presidential suites, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, costs $2,800 a night.

Guests will receive a continental breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and appetizers with their stay.

Chase Bank, the anchor tenant on the first floor of the new building, will open in January along with Chico's women's apparel store Boston Proper. A second retailer has yet to be determined, McCabe said.

Natural stone is being installed on the outside of the building's first level, Site Superintendent Steve McKenna said. Shipped in from Syria, the Jerusalem stone, as it's called, was en route to Naples from South Carolina Wednesday on an 18-wheel semi. Complications from Syria's civil war delayed the shipment by two months, McCabe said.

Final details are what has McCabe antsy about finishing in time for peak season.

"We will get it done," McKenna said. "We will get it done."

Impact fees McCabe paid to the city for the new building could be used in part to improve an unnamed alley behind the hotel, which backs up to the von Liebig Art Center.

McCabe recently appeared before the city's Public Art Advisory Committee to propose turning the alley into a walkway dotted with public art connecting Fifth Avenue South to the rest of the city.

Aimee Schlehr, von Liebig's executive director, said improving the walkway will mean more foot traffic for the center and neighboring facilities, especially Cambier Park.

"The park is just a gem here," she said. "The (alleyway) will definitely enhance the area."

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