Island of Amenities
February 28, 2022 | Read Time: 8 minutes
Gary Chensoff stressed he wanted to set a new standard of excellence when he developed The Island at West Bay Club, and he’s doing it from top to bottom. The rooftop is his icing on the cake with a luxury pool, fire pits, bar and fitness areas and barbecue grills. Just below two penthouses stretch across the building with more than 6,000 square feet under air. Four more penthouses below boast 12 foot ceilings, while the rest of the units have ceilings 10 feet high. Everyone has huge terraces. Those on the lower floors can enjoy outdoor living on their 1,890 square foot balconies, while upper floors have ample space on 1,250 foot terraces. Every unit above the fourth floor has views of Estero Bay. Chensoff made sure the condos were spacious at 3,250 square feet, by having only four per floor. Future residents can choose a four bedroom and four bathroom home or a three bedroom plus den and four full, one half bathroom abode. They can select either a front unit that faces the bay or a side one that wraps around the building and has both sunrise and sunset views. The luxury condo tower will span 23 floors over parking and have 86 total condos. At the bottom, Chensoff has plans for a 75 foot long lap pool, a family pool, day cabanas, outdoor kitchen, golf simulator, fitness center, dog wash and grooming stations, club room with a catering kitchen, business center with shared working space for work from home activities, kids club room with video, arcade style games and TVs, two private one-bedroom Guest Suites for visiting family and friends and a welcome lobby with coffee bar. Then there are the little conveniences he’s added such as a cold storage spot so groceries can be delivered even if the resident isn’t home. Every homeowner will get two parking spots, one with an electric charging port. There will also be golf cart parking spaces. Private, access-controlled elevators open to individual residence entry foyers.
“The Island will be the new standard for excellence,” Chensoff said. “I only like to work on projects that are unique. I want to only be involved in projects that are great and something special.”
As he rattles off all the luxury details and conveniences, the developer stressed that he wanted every inch of the planned tower to be superior.
“It’s the last 10 percent of any project that distinguishes good from great, and Gary Chensoff will never give up on that 10 percent,” he said.
He’s excited about the architectural design of the tower with its angles and oversized balconies. Every balcony comes with a grill.
“We like to call it a high rise with a backyard,” Chensoff said.
Construction is not expected to start until November 2022 and people won’t get to move in until November 2024, yet already future residents are putting down deposits.
Tony and Rebecca Sue Boor, put down a deposit and then convinced three other couples that are friends to do the same.
The Boor’s currently live in the Jasmine towers at West Bay Club, as part time residents.
“It will be a little small when we are down here full time,” Tony Boor began.
With full time plans the Boors are excited to move into something much bigger. They looked at condos from Tampa all the way down to Collier County before choosing The Island.
“The design is just beautiful and it will have taller ceilings,” said Boor who selected one of the penthouses. “We love it.”
The couple is also excited about the rooftop.
“I love that entertainment up there and those views will be unbelievable,” he concluded.
Dave and Gisela Allen agree.
“It seems this is going to be one of the finest high rises in Southwest Florida,” Dave Allen said. “This list of amenities that are going to be available like the rooftop pool and barbecue areas is going to be spectacular. It will be a spectacular place to live.”
The Allen’s also already live at West Bay Club and are looking forward to their new condo on the 22nd floor.
“It is just going to be great,” he said.
Future residents had a variety of reasons for choosing The Island. Peter and Trina Keller live in the community, but wanted to switch from a house to a condo. They wanted to do that without losing a lot of space. That’s why the larger units at The Island attracted them.
“You don’t see a lot of high rise condos that go to 3,200 square feet inside with 1,600 on the outside,” Peter Keller said. “It is a very interesting opportunity. “Right now we are in a fairly large home, over 4,000 feet. We don’t really want to give that up if we go to a condominium style. This allows us to maintain our lifestyle in a different location.”
Terry and Joanne O’Brien, from near Boston, will be newcomers to the community. They worked remotely from Naples last year so they could search for the perfect place to buy.
“We went to West Bay and fell in love with the community,” Terry O’Brien began. “One of the reasons we selected West Bay is the towers. That is the lifestyle we wanted.”
O’Brien is excited about having a huge terrace. They chose one of the lower floors so they could have the larger outdoor living.
“We picked a unit (6th floor) that would give us a view to the Gulf and the sunset, but still have a very large terrace,” he said. “We didn’t need to be on the 20th floor because the rooftop amenities are going to be unbelievable. We can enjoy those views any time we want.”
O’Brien likes to cook and is looking forward to a kitchen with natural gas. New, modern and planning for the future are also things O’Brien listed as luring them to the Island.
“They will have charging stations in the parking lot,” he listed. “I don’t currently own one (electric car), but I know I will at one point. This is going to be brand new and modern. A lot of communities have this influence that is totally dated. This is a detuscanization, and this tower will be very modern and contemporary. We are very, very pleased that we were able to reserve what we think is the best spot for us.”
Steve Horn, managing broker for West Bay Realty, says those moving into The Island are getting a lot more than a place to live. They are getting all the amenities of the West Bay Club community from the new restaurant and renovated fitness area by the pool to the updated golf restaurant to an array of sports. There is free boat storage, three dog parks and golf. Future plans include adding more pickleball courts and totally recreating the beach club on Bonita Beach to include a restaurant.
Horn believes that within all this, The Island has its own special place. Years ago a road was lined with Royal Palms and a bridge was built for future development.
“We called it the bridge to nowhere. Now it will be the bridge to somewhere,” Horn said.
The Island will be surrounded by mangroves, greenery and then water. Those with front facing units will see only greenery and Estero Bay. Those with side units will have views of the water and the golf course along with other homes and condos in the distance.
“We call it The island because of the sense of arrival when you go over a bridge,” Horn described. “The sense of arrival is going to be pretty cool. You are not looking at another building. You are in your own little world out there.”
Horn likes The Island so much he is planning on buying a unit on the 10th floor and is looking forward to warm steaks. At his current condo, he must grill downstairs. His new one will have the grill right on the terrace.
“I want to be able to grill on the lanai and watch sunset,” Horn pondered.
Prices start at $2.2 million. The top two penthouses will cost you more than $7 million. West Bay is now accepting fully refundable deposits. Horn said he’s seeing interest from all over Southwest Florida
“We are getting people come up from Naples,” Horn boasted. “We had never seen people coming up from Naples, but the fact that it is new and innovative, people are coming up. They are willing to wait for it to be delivered in two years because it is new and special.”
The first people moved into West Bay in 2000. Now there are no single lots left, and The Island will be the last tower.
“This is the last hurrah,” Horn concluded.