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.
“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