Investors buying homes in low-income section of Naples

River Park home listed for sale
River Park home listed for sale

A New York investment group has bought a dozen properties in the River Park area of Naples, raising concern that residents of the low-income neighborhood will have to look elsewhere for affordable housing.

Jonathan Shectman manages private hedge funds that have spent $8.2 million to buy 12 River Park properties, including nine single-family homes, two commercial lots, and an apartment complex with 96 units.

Shectman manages the hedge funds in his role as a portfolio manager at Axonic Capital LLC, a Manhattan-based advisory firm for real estate investors.

He told the Naples Daily News the investors in the River Park properties have not made plans to redevelop the neighborhood.

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“We’re not developers,” he told the newspaper. “We’re buying apartment complexes and single-family homes all across Florida. We own in many areas of Naples. We look all over Naples.”

Shectman acknowledged that investors in the 96-unit rental complex, called Gordon River Apartments, have raised rents.

He also told the Naples Daily News that “we haven’t been raising rents in a way that is any different from rents across the state, basically. There is no intent to move people out of the neighborhood.”

River Park was built in the 1960s as a segregated area for African Americans laborers to reside. It is where 90 percent of the African American population of Naples now resides.

“It’s a low-income neighborhood that’s historically been low-income, and these [housing] units are needed for the workforce in town,” Susan Golden, a planner who worked for the City of Naples for more than 20 years, told the Naples Daily News. [Naples Daily News]Mike Seemuth