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NAPLES, FL-Signature Communities has acquired the 147-room Vanderbilt Inn at 11000 Gulf Shore Dr. for $71.67 million with plans to tear down the hotel. In its place, the locally based company will build a 72-unit condominium development called the Moraya Bay Beach Tower.

Rick Tannenbaum, managing director of advisory services in Cohen Financial’s Chicago office, provided strategic advisory services to the seller, Vanderbilt Beach Associates Ltd. The sale closed in the second quarter. Cohen’s relationship with Vanderbilt began in 1999 when the company was hired to evaluate the property and propose strategic and financial alternatives.

“We immediately recognized that the value of the land if used for a high-rise condominium building development was much greater than the value of the hotel,” Tannenbaum tells GlobeSt.com. “It is on a 4.8-acre site and it is the last underdeveloped site on the beach in that area.”

The property was placed under contract in January 2005, one year before the site development plan was approved by Collier County. The hotel was closed on June 1.

When Cohen Financial first began studying the site, its estimated value was $40 million. “By delivering certain density and building height, we valued and sold the property at a premium on the basis of these zoning entitlements,” Tannenbaum says. “Allowing the purchaser to pre-sell the property also created value for the seller. As a result, the sale achieved a record price for gulf-front land in Collier County.”

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