Boston Proper is coming to downtown Naples.
A store on Fifth Avenue South will be among the first three prototypes, said Phil McCabe, owner of the Inn on Fifth.
He shared the news during The Excellence in Industry Awards ceremony on Thursday at the Hilton Naples, where he was recognized for expanding his hotel. The $16 million project — across the street from the inn — includes more guest suites, meeting rooms and retail. Boston Proper will take up about 2,200 square feet on the bottom floor of the new three-story building, McCabe said.
Asked whether he courted the women's retailer, he said, "They came to me."
A year ago, Fort Myers-based Chico's FAS Inc. acquired Boston Proper, which was privately held, for $205 million in an all-cash deal.
Boston Proper has only sold its women's high-end apparel and accessories through its catalog and website. There are plans to open a handful of test stores by 2013, including one at the Coconut Point mall in Estero.
Others prototype stores are planned for Boca Raton and Sarasota at St. Armand's Circle, McCabe said.
A spokesman for Chico's FAS could not immediately be reached for comment about the specific plans for opening Boston Proper stores. The company has three other brands: Soma Intimates, White House/Black Market and its namesake Chico's.
McCabe said he's about a year into construction on the expansion project and that it remains on schedule. He anticipates a Dec. 20 opening, but it's unclear whether Boston Proper will be ready to open by then.
The inn's 32 new suites will help attract more affluent travelers, who will spread their wealth around Collier County, McCabe said. The new building will be one of the best locations downtown for retail, he said.
The Boston Proper store, he said, will "absolutely do well if the management is right."
Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden