John R. Wood Agents Close on Near $25 million Sale

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Beachfront estate sold in a week believed to the be the second highest sale ever in Southwest Florida.

Two local real estate agents recently experienced the highest, and perhaps fastest, sale of their careers. Bruce Babcock and Merry Coolidge of John R Wood, Inc. Realtors sold a beachfront compound off Gordon Drive in Port Royal for $24.8 million in July, just a week after securing the listing.

Hard to believe, yet this isn’t the highest priced sale to occur in Southwest Florida. In April 2001, two other John R. Wood agents, Pat and Frank Candito, sold another Gordon Drive beachfront estate compound for $30 million.

According to Coolidge, the recent sale included a beachfront mansion with bay front properties across the road, comprising a rare compound. The beachfront estate includes 7,000 square feet with four bedrooms, four and half baths, and a three-car garage with 150 feet of beachfront. The two lots across Gordon Drive overlook the bay and feature a four-bedroom guesthouse and additional carriage house with caretaker’s quarters located above the three-car garage, and adjacent manicured lot with boat dock.

The Wood firm is not new to handling record-breaking sales. In 1996 Coolidge brokered the sale of the same residence at a record-breaking $7.9 million. Shortly thereafter, she sold the bay front properties to the owner for renovation as additional guest quarters. This property was also listed by the Wood firm at the time.

“That $7.9 million sale held the record for about three years and once it was broken sales started going up fast,” said Coolidge, who has been selling Naples real estate for 20 years.

Coolidge and Babcock, who has 24 years selling experience in Naples, work on a partnership basis in the Port Royal area.

According to Phil Wood, President and C.E.O. of Wood Realtors, from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system that covers the region of Naples thru Ft. Myers, there have been 30 improved property residential transactions that have closed in 2005 at a price of $5 to $10 million. Wood reports there are another 9 sales in that price-range that are pending, but not yet closed. In the over $10 million category, there have been seven MLS closings in 2005. The recent Wood closing is the only one this year above $20 million, although the Haldeman property in Old Naples is expected to close soon, which was marketed at a list price of $22 million.

“The estate market in SW Florida is extremely healthy,” reports John R. Wood C.O.O. Dottie Babcock. “Almost any area of the U.S. would be delighted to have seven sales or closings in the over $10 million price category, so we are indeed fortunate to have such a great real estate market.”

The purchaser of the property is confidential, but they have placed their newly renovated Port Royal home, which sits on 1.75 acres on Morgan’s Cove on the market at a price of $13.9 million, with John R. Wood agent Marni Chur. Chur said that the purchaser’s plan to move to their new beachfront home in the near future and are looking forward to the views and lifestyle they will enjoy in the new residence.

John R. Wood, Realtors is one of the oldest major real estate firms in the area. The company has six offices in Naples and Bonita Springs, with over 250 Realtors and another 175 management and support staff. John R. Wood Realtors is a member of The Realty Alliance, Leading Estates of the World, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and RELO, a global network of 650 firms specializing in relocation and representing $380 billion in home sales in 2004. In July 2005, REALTOR® Magazine named the company No. 2 in the nation in production per agent in its list of the Top 100 Companies. The firm specializes in the luxury residential markets and coastal communities located in Southwest Florida, as well as upscale golf course neighborhoods within the area.

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Melinda Isley
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