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In the Know: Biggest real estate deal in nearly three years nets $36 million beachfront mansion

Phil Fernandez | Naples Daily News

So the home didn’t go for the $58 million that the trust of a former Westinghouse Electric executive originally listed it for seven years ago in Naples.

But this past week’s $36 million purchase of a Port Royal gulf-front mansion still ranks as the priciest in about three years in Southwest Florida, according to Matt Simmons, a principal of real estate appraisal firm Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons.

The 18,172 square feet at 2750 Gordon Drive featured a five-car “collectors” garage, a 500-bottle wine room and a half-dozen bedrooms after a $3.5 million renovation for Robert A. Watson, former president and chief executive officer of units of Westinghouse and TransAmerica.

Built in 1999 and called “La Campana,” the Italian Renaissance-style palace, with its marble floors and fireplace, included a beachside game room, his and hers studies, a two-story rotunda, an elevator and a mahogany bar with green marble top. With 14 full and half baths, you had your choice of multiple bidets and jetted tubs.

Near a cabana with a full kitchen, dancing fountains surrounded a zero-edged pool on the 1.55 acres overlooking the sands of the Gulf of Mexico and two doors away from the exclusive Port Royal Club. The 2019 property tax bill: $238,058, on tax assessed value of $23.3 million.

The price tag has been dropping over the years, $51.9 million in August 2017 and $42.5 million in December 2018. Zillow estimates its current value at $18.6 million.

“It can be very difficult to sell a property like this,” he said. “The pool of buyers is very small and the marketing efforts need to be surgical. With a median-priced home you can cast a wide net in exposing the home because it’s hitting the middle of the pool of buyers. Unique properties, in general, require a lot of skill in how they are marketed, but properties like this are on a different level entirely. It’s much more personal, relationship-oriented, and targeted. It’s not easy to navigate transactions like these but Southwest Florida has a number of superb professional agents who are elite at what they do and know how to deliver on transactions like these.”

The highest priced abode on the market right now is another case of “Keeping up with the Gordons”, instead of the Joneses. It’s $65 million and right next door at 2700 Gordon Drive, listed in November 2019.

That property used to be part of the newly sold 2750 Gordon parcel and previously had been owned by D.L. “Stoney” Stoneburner, a key player in Collier history in development, agriculture and other ventures. Stoneburner had obtained it from a co-founder of Briggs and Stratton Corp. for $2.1 million in 1979, according to my research of our archives.

Interested? The massive beachfront family compound on four acres consists of an 11,511-square-foot main house, a 4,675-square-foot guest dwelling and a 2,303-square-foot caretaker’s cottage.

If not, there are nine properties currently up for grabs in Naples for $15 million or more, Simmons said. One of them is a penthouse in the Regent at Park Shore, 4104 Gulf Shore Blvd N.

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In the market for a truly luxurious property in Port Royal? contact David at or 239-285-1086.

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