The History of Naples, Florida’s Park Shore

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The History of Naples, Florida’s Park Shore

Learn more about the history of Park Shore and why it remains one of the city’s most prized locations to this day.

Park Shore has been one of Naples, Florida’s premier destinations since the early 1970s. While it existed earlier, it was a far cry from the stunning architecture and modern lighting seen today. Learn more about the history of Park Shore and why it remains one of the city’s most prized locations to this day. 


Purchase and Development

Raymond L. Lutgert originally purchased the 760 acres of land that encompasses Park Shore back in 1964. It was completely undeveloped at that time, but he had a vision of converting the 1.25 miles of gorgeous beachfront into a stunning destination for both locals and tourists. The navigable bay consists of a stunning, winding navigable river that separates the main part of Park Shore from the community along the Gulf of Mexico. Lutgert also ensured that the waterway made each of the 29 plots of land accessible. 


The 29 parcels of land were later developed into stunning parks, open-space common areas, and a promenade. Lutgert even masterfully allowed for a series of natural dunes that remain some of the most coveted home building sites in all of Florida. 


Additions and Improvements 

Lutgert developed what is now Park Shore between the years of 1970 to 1983. One of the first structures was Colony Gardens, which consists of a variety of townhouses and condos featuring individual private docks that jut out into Venetian Bay. In 1984, Lutgert built Horizon House, which was the largest and most luxurious building in the state for its time. The Venetian Villas were finally finished in 1976, and they are now some of the most recognizable structures in the area. They are built over the water, which offers residents and visitors an exceptional view and atmosphere that is difficult to duplicate. 


Introducing The Village

The Village shops on Venetian Bay opened in 1988 with a handful of shops, some of which still remain to this day. One of the originals was Ben & Jerry’s, which was still in its growth phase at the time. As of 2023, The Village is home to more than 50 shops, including unique boutiques, fine dining restaurants, jewelers, children’s clothiers, and much more. The Village celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, which means sidewalk sales and other events will be prevalent through the summer months. 


Park Shore Today

By 1995, Park Shore had become one of Naples, Florida’s premier destinations for tourists and locals alike. Additions included Park Tower (1994) and Venetian Tower (1995) as well as Le Rivage, each of which enhanced the luxury feel of Park Shore. As time passed, people across the state flocked to Naples for the unique dining and shopping experience, and many came from around the world for a chance to lease property or buy a home on the water. 

Park Shore is one of America’s most luxurious vacation and tourism destinations, but even the locals regularly visit for beachfront dining or the opportunity to shop luxury fashion. The area has grown for more than 35 years, and the next 35 hold even more improvements and fun.


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