For sale: 0 beds, 0 baths, needs work…$4,000,000

The last buildable lot in the exclusive Naples neighborhood is listed at a nice, even $4 million, and that’s a heap of money for a nice spread of lawn.

A lot of people have a lawn. Ours is looking pretty fine after the recent rains, but our view is limited to the guy across the street’s house and its lawn, while this $4 million plot has stupendous views of Alamitos Bay and its frolicking boaters and paddlers.

View of Alamitos Bay from the vacant lot at 224 Rivo Alto Canal. Courtesy photo

And it is, admittedly, big. The sprawling 5,619 square-foot lot at 224 Rivo Alto Canal has 68 feet of water frontage and it does come with a 52-foot boat dock, so that’s one thing you won’t have to worry about.

Listing agent Keith Muirhead says the property is currently owned by Jack W. Thatcher, who lives in a Naples home next to the Portofino condominiums on Alamitos Bay, and he’s also owner of the home adjacent to the lot, at 220 Rivo Alto Canal, which is the home of his 105-year-old father, Jack P. Thatcher. On the other side of the lot is Colonnade Park, a gathering spot for Neapolitan community events, including the Summer Concerts in the Park series.

The younger Thatcher, who owns Allan Automatic Sprinkler Co., paid $1.2 million for the house in 1996, and bought the lot in a separate deal for $920,000.

Thatcher is a motivated seller, said Muirhead, “but not highly motivated.” The lot has been on the market for about 10 months and, admits Muirhead, “the number on it is pretty high. We had offers of $3 million right out of the gate, and we have some people circling it now.”

At about $712 per square foot, “It’s not a bad price, really. There are places down here that go for $800 or $900 per square feet,” said Muirhead. Though in those cases there’s usually a house thrown in as part of the deal.

The lot will soon have a rebuilt seawall protecting it, however temporarily, from rising sea level incursion. “There’s been a lot of talk about that happening in 20 years,” said Muirhead, who’s lived in Naples for 36 years. “I’m 65. If it gets me to 85, that’s good enough for me. My son grew up here and he intends to live his life here, too.”

Still, he admits, “I’m worried about my granddaughter. She’s 5, so she’s going to have a lot to worry about.”

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.
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