Golden Gate Estates nefarious history

Collier-County-Communities-Webserver – naplesplus.us.
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Random excerpts from various websites:

Exacerbating the biological problem is the ever-present human intrusion. The list of affronts to the landscape grows with numbing regularity in south Florida. First the swamp was logged for its cypress; its land was cleared for pasture; its snails and orchids were pirated by collectors. Then came the real estate agents, along with canals and levees and the fly-by-night land sales that have become a standard Florida joke.
The worst of these, according to Levin, was “Golden Gate Estates, the world’s largest subdivision. A projected community of four hundred thousand, Golden Gate Estates
became one of Florida’s most nefarious real estate scams. Spurious salespeople sold twenty-nine thousand lots over the telephone to out-of-state buyers who had no idea that by late June, despite 180 miles of recently dug drainage canals, they would need boats to reach their land.”

In the 1970s Golden Gate Estates’ abandoned roads, particularly Everglades Boulevard, were used as landing strips for DC-3s landed with South American drugs.

Golden Gate Estates(112,000 acres, 880 miles of roads, and 183 miles of canals);

Gulf American Land Corporation
(founded by Leonard and Julius “Jack” Rosen of Baltimore via Miami) which was formed in 1957. [. . .] Gulf American’s subsequent “developments” were land promotion schemes subdividing land, selling lots, and not much else using the technology of the day including the autotype machine, WATS line (and resulting boiler room sales promotion tactics), black & white television advertisements, national newspaper advertising, slick colorful sales brochures, the free steak dinner (to hear the sales pitch), and the “free” trips to Florida, and aggressive salesmen to close the deal. Gulf American purchased a travel agency and a charter airline with 15 planes to fly prospects to its developments at lower cost. By 1967 when Gulf Americans land sales activity peaked, it was Florida’s fourth largest publicly traded corporation with more than 500,000 acres of land for sale in Florida and across the
United States.

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The mother of them all

Just south of Cape Coral, deep in the marsh country of Collier County and adjacent to Everglades National Park, lies the mother of all antiquated subdivisions: the 175-square-mile Golden Gate Estates. Lonely canals and little-used roads criss-cross this cypress swamp turned subdivision, which was originally platted in the early 1960s by the Gulf America Corporation. The company dug canals to drain the wetlands and carved the property into 1.25-acre lots. It then promoted Golden Gate worldwide as a vacation and retirement community. Most of the lots were sold by 1965, but unsuspecting buyers still get suckered into paying over $15,000 for a lot worth about $3,000.

In 1974, when the area was less than 10 percent developed, it became apparent to county officials that the project, with limestone roads and no centralized water and sewer system, could not support the number of platted lots. The county downzoned the property that year and required a minimum of 2.25 acres to build a house.

“The county recognized that it would have real problems if the entire area developed as originally platted,” says transportation director George Archibald. The county also took over road maintenance after the developer filed for bankruptcy in 1978. The property was sold to Avatar Holdings of Coral Gables soon after.

Today, three-fourths of Golden Gate Estates remains unoccupied. In 1985, the state targeted 42,000 acres in the southern part for purchase under its Conservation and Recreational Lands Program. Acquisition has proceeded slowly, hampered by the administrative burden of contacting over 17,000 far-flung lot owners. Thus far, the state has bought about 18,000 acres.

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Golden Gates Estates was spread out over 114,000 acres of land in southwest Florida in Collier County, encompassing part of what is ominously called the Big Cypress Swamp. A small residential community called Golden Gate just three acres in size was to be surrounded by 113,397 acres of land sold in 1.25 acre tracts. All Gulf American would build was drain ditches and roads. The land sold at $800 an acre with the tag line “Buy it by the acre and sell it by the lot.” Prospective buyers were shown films of Cape Coral, a real successful community with churches, golf courses, and schools, and assumed the Rosens would duplicate their success at Golden Gates. They had no such intention. Leonard Rosen could have not been more clear. He said:

“We’re promising nothing, absolutely nothing. We’re offering what we believe to be an excellent investment at a low cost and with the company’s good name behind it. It will be a place where the unsophisticated investor can take pleasure in his property.”

The Rosens quickly began selling another offering, a 63,000 acre development in central Florida near Lake Wales they called River Ranch Acres with the same rules. No actual construction, just raw land to whomever wants to buy it.

Land which the Leonard and Julius purchased for less than $100 per acre was now being sold for $800 per acre on very soft terms such as $30 down, $30 per month at 6.5% interest. But unlike Golden Gates Estates which is just raw land, their new project was REALLY BAD raw land. Large sections of River Ranch Acres was literally underwater and much of the land that wasn’t submerged was near a U.S. Air Force practice bombing range! To boot, most of the buyers were denied mineral rights to their land since the Rosens believed there might be oil in the area!

Glossy brochures on Golden Gates Estates proclaimed these lots as “the first step to financial security.” Another screamed “It would be difficult to envision a commodity with a greater universal appeal than the type of land which Gulf American makes available to men and women of average means everywhere.” One of their full-color, SIXTEEN PAGE, advertisements appeared in every major U.S. Sunday newspaper simultaneously in 1967. The Rosens were soon spending more money promoting the virtues of life in Florida than the State of Florida’s tourist office itself.

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Golden Gate
The Golden Gate Area is located in Collier County; it is not incorporated. The development was another project of the Rosen Brothers and their Gulf American Corporation (now Avatar Holdings, Inc.). Originally, Golden Gate was divided into three sections: Golden Gate City, North Golden Gate and Golden Gate Estates. Golden Gate Estates was intended to comprise five acre tracts, with little or no infrastructure built into the community plan. Golden Gate City and North Golden Gate had smaller lots, with some infrastructure planned. While some neighborhoods of these areas are almost fully
built-out, that is the rare case. Most of the lots in these areas are individually owned.

There are so many lots in Golden Gate, that should the area ever experience rapid development, the need for services and infrastructure likely would be overwhelming. In 1995, as part of its Evaluation and Appraisal Report, the Collier County Planning Department presented the following projections regarding infrastructure needs for the Golden Gate Area, using Charlotte County’s methodology. Staff used an average
household size for Collier County of 2.49 persons and applied that to the 23,966 lots in the area. Staff then projected a buildout population of 59,675 people with the following
projected needs.
• 10,640,830 gallons of potable water per day
• 6,959,678 gallons of wastewater treated per day
• 74 acres of community parks
• 169 acres of regional parks
• $10,295,722 for recreational facilities
• 18,981 square feet of library space with 77,649 volumes
• 138 jail beds plus 50 staff
• 7 new schools for K-12 public education
• 148,397 square feet of government office space
Considering that Golden Gate Area is only one of many such subdivisions, the service costs and infrastructure needs could be overwhelming. However, southwest Florida has
made limited strides in dealing with its platted lands. Lots in Golden Gate Estates South are being purchased by the state under the Save Our Everglades Conservation and
Recreation Land Project. This purchase is a critical component in protecting important hydrological connections among Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and the Everglades National Park.

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71 Responses to “Golden Gate Estates nefarious history”

  1. simplify3 Says:

    Wow! #1 website when searching for Golden Gate Estates history! I’d better put some non-nefarious history on here as well :) We DO have a checkered past – hopefully our future is less checkered!

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  2. Ivan Drechsler Says:

    I am looking for the tie-in of the Rosen and Bing Crosby… I think the plaque on the Golden Gate CC has Bing’s name on it?

  3. Trent Seguin Says:

    I heard there was a book written about this. Does anyone know about it? I think the name was something along the lines of “Lies, bad lies, and what became truth” any help.

    • mike Says:

      The book is called “Selling The Dream: The Gulf American Corporation and the building of Cape Coral, Florida” by David Dodrill…much of it covers Golden Gate Estates as well. A great book.

  4. Caitlin Says:

    Born and raised in Naples…Golden Gate Estates is too big for its own good…driving through there is a ridiculous maze. It’s quite beautiful back there and I’m glad to hear that the south lots are being purchased by the state. My Dad invested in a couple of lots a few years back, somehow thinking it was a smart move…which depending on the location, yeah…but he didn’t do his research on the history as you have, and he’s paying the price now with the current slump in property values. I’ll have to send him to this site so he can see the bigger picture.

  5. Naplesguy Says:

    I live off Everglades and 27 Av Ne, I think the landing gear off one off those drug running DC-3 planes is in my backyard. If Im lucky ile find some square grouper as well. I new I moved to the twilight zone from Miami.Overall,however, there is no place like it.

    • jerry gage Says:

      Hey Naplesguy
      I may move to 3540 54th NE from here in Las Vegas. I am retired finally. I am 100% disabled from the V. A. I am only 61, and no one can tell that I am disabled when they see me, I just can not run far. What I am saying is that I am very capable of living in the outskirts of a town unassisted, wife yes, week end girlfriend sometimes.
      Please do me an easy favor. Go down the street and tell me if 3540 54th Ave NW is a dump. On the real estate page the pictures of it look good. On google maps it looks like you would pass it on a long dog walk. From 27th and Eglds
      GGE seems isolated from what I can see of it on line but it, I guess, it is only a half hour from the marinas in Naples, I will get a boat there. And I would spend my days there socializing with other fishermen, boat people, Ex-sailors and talkative women, (hopefully).
      Be sure to include naplesguy in the email under subject or I will delete it without knowing it wass you. I get dozens of generic emails from real estate people each day. Also I have nationwide unlimited long distance so you can call if you want and I’ll call you back and I think it is no charge to either of us, I DON’T KNOW THAT FOR SURE. (702) 822 0199.

      • Mari Says:

        I don’t kno if you will every read this, but the area is not bad. It’s like living in a suburban area. I came from Miami and it’s just lots of land some houses have large lots and some have smaller lots, and some lots are still vacant. I love it… Peace and quiet and beautiful beaches.

  6. John Hepner Says:

    Lies That came True

  7. Cheryl Says:

    I live in upstate NY & was considering purchasing a vacation home in Golden Gate Estates. Is this place a safe investment for my money or should I look elsewhere in Naples? I’m concerned with Grow Houses and Crime & WHATEVER other surprises we may not know about.

  8. Kenneth Udut Says:

    I live in the heart of Golden Gate Estates – actually, very deep within it.

    There is no visible personal crime that I’ve seen out here.

    I’m sure stuff happens, but it doesn’t affect me.

    There are grow houses, but you wouldn’t know they are there. And I don’t see cars getting stolen, or crimes against random folks. Domestic violance happens out here (as everywhere).

    People keep to themselves.

    The distances between houses is usually too far apart to make “convenient crime” really possible.

    So yes, it’s safe here. And I’m from Jersey, so I know about crime :-)

    Ken

  9. Cheryl Says:

    Thanks Ken……..We are originally from Jersey also. We Love Naples, Florida. I was hoping to purchase a home there soon. Unfortunately the house we fell in love with in Golden Gate Estates is under contract & has its closing this coming Monday. So, we are still looking.

    • simplify3 Says:

      There’s a lot of other houses in gge that are for sale as well. The prices can’t be beat right now.

      One thing a lot of ppl outside of the area don’t know right now is that a lot of new services are coming to this area.

      There used to be just one convenience store. Now there are two. And a a couple of small supermarkets, pizza parlours and a giant supermarket is poised to come in the next couple of years. We’re getting our first Walgreens (like CVS) out here too – it’s about 95% finished.

      It’s suburban / semi-rural living. Can’t walk to anyplace but you can’t beat the weather.

    • Tim Ryan Says:

      Let me know if I can help you with finding Naples Real Estate. I can have you receive email alerst as new properties get listed.

  10. Cheryl Says:

    Sounds great! Many homes appear available, however when I have my realtor check the status on them (more than a dozen) they are all under contract. I’ll Keep Looking!!

  11. Kimberly Says:

    Look on Ziprealty.com

  12. Glvoyager Says:

    I am working on a book, impart, covers gge. Will you e-mail me. Thanks

  13. TimA Says:

    I have sevaral houses in GGE. Love it. The area from Collier Blvd to about 10 St (5 blocks behind Wilson) is great. In general in info here is dated.

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  15. Chuck Feney Says:

    What’s the deal with the water out there? All the homes are on wells- any problems with water quality/quantity? (I drove through in the dry season, and it was BONE dry… I couldn’t believe it- like driving in the desert!) And, speaking of water, just how wet is it in July and August? (Need a boat to get around?!!) Are the mosquitoes thick as fog, or what?
    It’s really not that far from Naples- I bet it would be pretty cool to live out there. As for the whole “grow houses” thing, as long as they aren’t meth. labs, I really don’t care what they’re growin’ out there. Damn libs will probably legalize it soon, anyway- then the “grow houses” are outta biz, anyway.

    • mitch Says:

      Hey Chuck,
      I have lived in the estates for about 7 years now and you are smart to be concerned about some of the topics you listed. The water can be a small issue. It has a sulfer-ish smell straight from the well but can be easily brought to a clean, odor-free, state with a decent treatment system. The dry season can be very dry, at times, but since we are on well, water is essentially free. Therefore a decent irrigation setup is the solution to keeping the property looking lush and tropical. The trade-off for the inconvenience of watering is the amazing, perfect weather with blue skies and cool breezes this time of year. In the wet season everyone’s property looks green and nice but, yes it rains every afternoon, and it’s hot. We don’t have any flooding issues during this time, but I know that others do. For brief periods of time during the wet season, the mosquitoes can get pesky but not horrible. If you add in the fact that we are constantly seeing hawks, eagles, deer, bear, and numerous other varieties of awesome wildlife that we live alongside, it’s easy to recommend this area to anyone without reservation. I get around the neighborhood and I haven’t encountered any growhouses and definitely no meth labs, so I’m pretty sure there’s no epidemic in either respect.

  16. Peter R Says:

    Hi I am thinking about purchasing also in GGE. Some questions.

    1. Water + Quality
    2. Mosquitos?
    3. Vehicle Access
    4. Internet Services (Comcast?)

    Any help would be appreciated

  17. carylongchamps Says:

    Anyone ever hear about the abandoned lab out off of Oil Well Grade Rd? I lived out there for years and had never heard about it till now.

  18. Brian Says:

    To clarify, this is mainly about the SOUTHERN Golden Gate Estates. Very different from the rest. South of I-75 is a completely desolate grid of roads we all refer to as “the blocks”. Look at the map on this link: http://wikimapia.org/1458036/Picayune-Strand-State-Forest
    You can see that the red boxed grid is the area that was formerly underwater and used for running drugs, but trust me anywhere you’re looking at buying a home now is NOT there, it’s farther north across I-75. (Plus I’m pretty sure that Southern Estates are now mostly, or all government owned) In the rest of Golden Gate Estates, it’s plenty civilized with most homes on septic but the water (may or may not be well) quality is as good as the city. Mosquitoes are bad as would be expected, worse when it’s wet out. Vehicle access is just fine because everything is paved and there’s cable and all just like anywhere else.

  19. ken Says:

    Yes, this is about old history of southern gge, not the part where ppl live.

    I live off desoto, and we have DSL. Our neighbor down the road has Comcast.

    Well water is fine – just have to take care of it, which is no big deal.

    Most of the grow houses have been “busted” since my original posting, we even picked up more land here last year.

    Come on down and join the neighborhood – its quite nice and natural. Quite unique.

    Ken
    Affordable Trapping
    Naples FL
    2394659291
    Free.naplesplus.us

  20. Rosemary Atkinson Says:

    I bought land in Golden gate Estates in 1965 . I was wondering if anyone ,got BACK any of their property ? Did the city of Miami , get it all? I was 24 when i bought it ,so i would not be on welfare like my parents were when i retired Ha Ha . I am now 70 , and on soc . Sec. It was such a shame , that we got took . I think , i was offered 700 at one time , but said i would n’t lower myself anymore about that property . They could have offered at least what we paid . Those were the days we still trusted people’s words . Then they had the nerve to ask us for money to give to ,probally some crooked lawyer ,to try to fight it . Never heard another word after that !!! It haunts me to this day !! Every thing LOOKED so legitmate then . I remenber , having to scrimp on groceries ,to get enough money to make those payments . It was Comerical property near the main road of alligator alley . I picture a Motel there ( ha Ha ) . Thanks for reading this !

  21. Joe Says:

    Excellent article.

    I wrote the following in regards to the new shopping center at Wilson and Golden Gate boulevards. Today I live off of DeSoto and I love it out here.

    As always the loudest voices is that of the vocal minority. Funny how many of these same folks complain about government interference and insist on the free enterprise system functioning without government interference and when it does they still whine. The GGE Shopping Center is free enterprise at work, isn’t that what we all support? Jobs and economic growth?

    The fact is that the majority of GGE residents do want accessible groceries, banking, post offices and other services. The other factor for supporting the project is the jobs it will create in a time of economic woes, jobs that are much needed in our community. Drive around the Estates and you can’t help noticing the numerous empty and abandoned houses. The area is already in decline and it has more of a chance of becoming a rural ghetto than a West Broward or Kendall as some opponents allege. Declining property values attest to this.

    There are arguments that it will ruin the rural setting is a humbug. Nothing could be further from reality. Sure those that live close to the center will be impacted but they should have thought of that when they bought their properties close to the convenience of the main roads and intersections. Most of us know what inevitably happens in Florida on main roads and intersections. For them to complain now seems to want to penalize the rest of us for their lack of foresight. I for one was very much aware of this and made sure that I bought my home deep in the Estates so I would not be impacted. So for those that didn’t plan ahead and wanted the convenience of having the main roads nearby my answer to you is tough. You can’t have it both ways. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. So to obfuscate the issue with romantic platitudes of country living avoids the reality that this is no longer the Florida of the 1960′s. And many of those responsible for it not being so are used as the basis of the argument for opposing the shopping center. But in fact, it is the very basis for supporting it.

    This brings us to the master plan argument. This argument is debunked before it even gets off the ground. Are we forgetting who the original planners of GGE were? Does the name Gulf American Land Corporation ring a bell to anyone? How about the name Julius and Leonard Rosen? They were land developers looking for a quick buck. These were the original master planners of GGE an area that was originally designed to make that quick buck on overpriced parcels to unsuspecting out-of-staters and giving fame to the sale of Florida swampland and land sale scams worldwide. So to insist on the Rosen’s obsolete master plan as originally designed by these opportunistic con men seems to be a bit ignorant. I remember those times very well since in my youth I worked for General Development Corporation and the Lehigh Corporation’s First United Investors, so I am very well aware of all the behind the scenes going-ons that I was privy to. Buyers were not people but units very much the same as the imaginary lines on a map that designated property boundaries and non-existent roads. The Rosen brothers’ Gulf American Land Corporation followed a business model that was in every way identical to that of the Mackle brothers’ General Development Corporation and other land sales companies. Golden Gate Estates with its 112,000 acres was projected to have a population of around 400,000 residents by the original master planners. Where is the planning for all the infrastructure to support a population that large on the original master plan? The planning is not there. So to use the master plan argument is quite baseless.

    The fact is that these developers only foresight was how big their bank accounts were going to grow. That the area was actually going to be populated as it is today never came into play for them. So much of the environmental and infrastructure considerations never came into play in their quest for the quick dollar. I remember how as a high pressure salesman I would tell stories to unsuspecting buyers, or units, of the areas potential. Of the future shopping centers, churches, parks community centers, schools, airports, roads, etc. That was the dream that was sold. What was being sold was a dream that wasn’t to be realized in the lifetime of these buyers ( units ) and land sales companies knew this. But of course we omitted that little detail to those unsuspecting victims 30 years ago when I was involved in the land sales business, the same story that had been peddled since the 1950’s. Calling buyers units was a way of de-personalizing individuals as much as the little rectangles on the map that represented the dream they were being sold. To me it was just a job at the time. So maybe my support for the center is to correct the wrongs of so many broken promises of which I was a conduit.

    Today the dream is slowly being realized within our lifetimes and probably more so in our kids lifetime, not because of the original master planners the Rosens’ but in spite of them. The realization of that dream that was sold to the many enthusiastic unsuspecting buyers is due more to other factors other than any foresight that the original master planners, the Rosens’, may have had. Because the reality is if that master plan would have had the foresight that was sold to those unsuspecting buyers this would not even be an issue today. Spaces would have been set aside for all the amenities that were promised and reason would dictate that the corner of Golden Gate and Wilson boulevards would have been one of those spaces. So the GG Shopping Center is a step in the correction of a flawed master plan that was conceived in a past of unmitigated greed of developers whose dream was to squeeze the last penny out of every square inch of land without thought that people would actually be living here someday. They definitely didn’t plan for that.

    So because of this I enthusiastically support the GG Shopping Center and the other one by the Waterways.

    • Jose Says:

      It is a rural ghetto, but also a rural mansions drive. a little of both. the poor and the rich, and the skelotons of the rich who are now poor. I saw houses out there that had 6 car garages, with grass up to the windows

  22. cynthia Says:

    Jusy moved off of Everglades BLVD south of GG Blvd. Very beautiful, quiet and peaceful. Picayune Strand State Forest nearby) is a gem, have seen plenty of folks riding bikes and jogging along with hunters coming and going. Everyone seems to get along. Really neat place. It is mid July and the skeeters are not bad at all.

  23. Carroll (CC ) Rosborough Says:

    Hello Brothers n Sisters

    Looks 4 sure like simplify3.wordpress.com justmight be a enormous forum for me
    I am content to have found it.

    Who knows what happens next… All I know is: Except for 75% of the women, everyone in the whole world wants to have sex. :

    Lol!

    Anybody into Model Rockets

    Looking forward to a good long sojourn here!

    Michigan,Paw Paw Lake

  24. Mike Says:

    I too am from Western New York area, very rural farming area, and am looking at Naples and Golden Gates Estates area due to what appears to be excellent opportunities. So the question is, why are homes being abandoned or sold off there in such high numbers? It seems the water issue gets skimmed over. Is there ample water in quality and quality? What are the reasons the area has seen such a decline and what explains the high number of homes foreclosed etc. there?
    Thanks

    • Joe Says:

      Mike the problem here is not the water. The water I get is great. I drink it on occasions, of course I run it through a Kinnetico water system. The water comes out clear, had it tested and it’s better than any municipal water you’re going to get. (no chlorine or fluorides).
      For drinking and cooking I have reverse osmosis system that I picked up at Lowes for about $160.00. I had that tested and I’m drinking better water than anyone who drinks municipal water or for that matter, I know that is hard to believe, better than any bottled water you buy at the store. Plastic water bottles release harmful chemicals like dioxins. Eventually the plastic bottle breaks down into carcinogens as they decompose. And if they’re heated they release other harmful chemicals like Bisphenol A. How can you know how much heat those bottles were subjected during transport and stocking on shelves before you purchase them? Have you ever gone by a store and seen the pallets of water bottles just sitting outside on a pallet under the hot sun? I know I have.

      Well sorry I got off topic. To answer your question; the problem in Golden Gates is not the water, it is the lack of jobs. That is why people are leaving. Most are upside down on their mortgages and can’t pay, so they leave seeking greener pastures. It’s mostly a practical business decision.

      So there are great opportunities here and don’t let any rumours about bad water keep you from taking advantage of them. Just make sure you have a job before relocating here or you can wind up going back to were you came from.

      • Mike Says:

        Ok, thanks. So the water is fine with quality and quanity with the wells not running dry? How about the mentioned flooding? What areas would recommend the highest and lowest? I appreciate the help. Of course, none of this info will replace my coming down for a week to “look around”, but it helps to narrow things down so I am not wasting my or a Realtor’s time.
        Thanks again.
        Mike :)

  25. Umbrella Stand Says:

    the best vacation homes are those that are located near the beaches, they are really cool -.;

  26. Tim Ryan Says:

    Thanks for creating the open forum on Golden Gate Estates. I sell Naples real estate and work on making great real estate websites for my buyers and sellers. I just lanched a new one for Golden Gate Estates. The site will improve dramatically! I actually have the com and net. Contact me if you have questions about the real estate.

  27. Audreyvgs Says:

    I wasn’t clear whether Rosemary still owned the lot. I hope she does~!

    Mike probably didn’t know about the huge balloon in home values a few years back, heck, a property I paid 130 thousand for 30 years ago went to a million two! A whole bunch of people tried to flip houses here, bought high and got stuck. The fluctuations weren’t as bad in other places, hence the recession wasn’t as bad up north as it is here. I would think now that my property is back to normal, well, less than normal, but it’ll be ok, but I think that now is the time to buy, before it gets better as far as real estate. I think my property is now worth over 500 thousand, which isn’t bad. I’d of rather had the 1.2, but I felt no compunction to leave. I’m grandfathered in on my horses in town, I get a homestead exemption, which is something new for beginners, but it cuts your taxes, which aren’t really bad here either. Drill your well deep, and that will probably be fine, in the dry season. Septic and wells, they’re a pain sometimes, but nothin’s better than not having to pay some city water and sewer. There’s lots of real estate here for sale now, and in GGate it’s mostly very private…if you’re handy at fixing up places, it’ll be even better.

  28. Will Golden Gate Estates Flood? - Naples - Florida (FL) -Collier County - City-Data Forum Says:

    [...] [...]

    • Naplesguy Says:

      I just got the message and ile check it out for you if you still need me too just let me know

  29. Naplesguy Says:

    This is my annual follow up. I have been here now 10 years and the estates Is in a transition to the future. Already the Walgreens is finished and 2 large commercial shopping centers are in transport planning stages. As the other person noted the only problem here is employment. The County has don’t little to nothing to create employment out here. Consequently, folks leave and thier taxes don’t get paid, thus, the county loses millions in ad valorem taxes.As a former Miami boy born and raised and the great grandson of J Frances Williams mango grower and shipper in Miami since 1927 I can relate to declining communities. Miami is full of them Naranja, Kendall, Homestead etc. I lived in all of these communities and the common denominated here is the midlle class leaves and the ghetto moves in. However, I do not see this happening in the Estates, this is more like te Redlands in the 1970s and with the right leadership will go far. I hold a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from FIU in Miami and I have yet to find a job after 3 years I have given up. I am very disappointed with the laque of leadership here. I dont like to ride the hope boat but I pray that jobs will come and we too won’t have to leave to greener pastures. As far as flooding goes there is a 100 year possibility and I suggest you buy high and dry land, look for slash pine and palmetto NO CYPRESS because that’s a water tree. The land elevations are differant from house to house. We all have fill pads do a CLOMA letter will exempt you from FEMA flood insurance if your above the base flood elevation that I still don’t understand bacause the maps are all changed and the NGVD Datum was converted to another and I am not sure where the benchmarks are located to pull off of. Overall it’s crime free and safe. We all have guns so you’d be an idiot to come here to rob. I am always ready to rock and roll since I was raised Miami with an AR15 and 9mm but here I have never had to use it. This is a great place and I recommend it for people who can get government jobs or the retired, the rest will have a hard time finding a decent job but again I pray this changes.

  30. Audreyvgs Says:

    Generally, I’ve always thought of Golden Gate as a service community to greater Naples, it’s where the worker bees live. People here have stores in town, and businesses they have in town or run from their homes, they grow things in their backyards or don’t, they have the options of having horses and chickens, if they want to The decline of the building industry hit us first, and is lasting a while. Lots of homes are on the market right now at great deals. Golden Gate can be relatively far from town, but there are advantages like peace and quiet. I live further in, having bought 5 acres 24 years or so ago, the taxes aren’t bad, and we’re relatively close to town. A few years back we even got buses to help transport us to town, thats a relief. Every big town had to start someplace, and I think that as Naples grows, we’ll be insulated from that for a while. I like it here. It fits me. If I lived any closer to town, I’d feel like a bird in a cage, with all their rules.

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  32. Noelia @ Naples Florida Real Estate Says:

    @Tim – Congratulations on the Golden Gate website. You have done a really good job there. Is that a WordPress template you are using?

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  34. Robert Boettger Says:

    I’m an out of state land owner in North Golden Gate. Just got some paperwork from an oil & gas company looking to lease our property for drilling. Does anyone out there know anything about this activity? Has drilling started anywhere yet? Any success?

    • Jose Says:

      sounds like a scam. I dont think there is any oil drilling around here, maybe they want to grow weed on your land or use it as a storage lot for a bunch of junk cars or trucks

      • Robert Says:

        Thanks for you response about the potential oil/gas drilling.
        Responded to the company with counter offer and of course have never heard back. Agree with your assesment.

    • cmm Says:

      whats the name of the oil co.

  35. Audeyvgs Says:

    Holy moly, I thought that the Colliers owned 99% of all the oil rights on property here. I haven’t heard anything like this. There are oil wells in Collier. The Colliers own air rights too. Some have asked for release from this encumbrance, and gotten the rights back, but generally anybody who gets a deed in Collier County has their air and mineral rights spoken for.

  36. marisol Says:

    i am currently in the works to purchase a lot in golden gates estates off of desoto blvd n , anyone familiar with the place/////

    • Cynthia Says:

      I think that is where they are planning to put that new city Big Cypress which I have heard will be larger than Ave. Maria.

    • Jose Says:

      Middle of nowhere, this is far from town, no stores, no nothing. why wuold you buy land there? I hope it is not an investment, sounds like you need to go there first, and see what i mean. Ave Maria is nothing, And this cypress thing… I dont know.

  37. Jose Says:

    No gas stations for miles, walmart is an hours drive from some places, hospitals are another hours drive. There is a DMV and a tools place, and a cuban grocery store. a couple pizza places. that is it, North Naples is at least 45 minutes away.

    Golden Gate is not a bad place if you understand and like living in the woods where no one will mess with you. I have worked there alot, I haul away scrap metal and I have seen alot of properties and I have come to understand the concerns and problems that can be found there. I can assure you growhouses are everywhere, and if they start one next door just look the other way, becuase this is normal and it really is not your problem. It is a bisness like anyother, if they catch them they lose. Growhouses are a problem if you are into others properties and are nosey, I am sure they just want to grow the weed in peace and kept it down low, not have a shooting where everyone can find out what is going on. Most of the growhouses are cubans tring to pay back some type of loan to a mafia. They are normal citizens who are harmless to others unless you try to steal the plants or something.

    In the estates you need to respect others land, everyone has guns and are waiting to use them. Going into someones land or house is asking for a gunshoot wound. And everyone knows that, so you are certain to know your land will also be respected. There are alot of BIG people from drug lords to political figures hiding in those woods, they fell safe knowing they live in the middle of nowhere. I have meet really famous political guys who have homes out there and the next door people dont know them becuase the place is so private.

    Ideal place for a redneck or anyone who owns alot of junk, and someone who hates to see another mans face. It is lonely out here.
    If you are an anti social person dont wait to move there, it will be perfect for you.

  38. Jose Says:

    DONT WORRY ABOUT:

    growhouses, it is like a bisness, not going to affect you
    crime, people will respect your land, or die
    hatians and cubans, are workclass (they can afford a house there)
    (too busy growing weed and paying bills to bother you)
    Aligators dont come on dryland, they stay in the canal
    You can have anything on your land, forklifts, trains, airplane

    Problems that will affect you if you move to the estates are:

    You can have anything on your land, forklifts, trains, airplane
    (your street may look like a military junkyard)
    people have alot of animals and loud trucks, it is legal
    Snakes are everywhere
    You need to have guns and dogs, for this is the middle of nowhere
    dont be surpriced to find a bear on your driveway
    During hurracanes the place is 1 feet in water, the WHOLE PLACE.
    After hurracnes, the place can be blocked for 5 days (water + trees)
    You will need a huge truck, 4×4
    traffic along GG Blvd and wilson and evergaldes is bad at 4pm
    Your daily drive to work and back will suck, bad
    Vacant homes everwhere, drepressing
    Nothing to do outside your land and house, you live in nowhere
    Fireants and aligators, alot of bugs too
    hot and humid summers
    if your car breaks down, no one will help you
    FAR DRIVE TO TOWN, LONELY LOCATION

  39. Audreyvgs Says:

    Or, you can research where you buy your land, mine is 14 ft. up, no standing water ever, we have neighbors we’ve had for over 15 years, friendly and helpful. There are streets where there aren’t abandoned houses, and there are streets that are crappy. I live in the Estates, and I have 2 large hospitals within 5 miles of me. The guy that owned the place before me collected junk, and I am still mad at him. But it’s cleaned up now. It’s what you make it.

    • Marisol Says:

      Ok thanks..I’ve been reading a lot about the area..I know for a fact that golden gates compares a huge area..,,I visited the place over 7 years ago and it seemed really desolate..but now I was surprised to see all the homes that have been built since then..I went through oil well dr.and it looks like the street is being expanded widely,,I was told that by Everglades blvd..a public was coming to the area..I don’t really mind the growth since either way the lots are huge and homes are still built very sort from each other..

      • Marisol Says:

        A publix

      • Marisol Says:

        And by the way desoto seemed far but it seemed so peaceful ..I was their this past weekend…and coming from Miami I can’t inmagine more traffic than what we have over here..and here in miami when hurricanes come it’s the same flooding problem ..and the same fallen trees…

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  44. charles Says:

    gas &oil

  45. Mickey Says:

    GG Estates is great if you like peace and quiet…. there isn’t much commercial activity here so if you want stores and businesses close you don’t want to live here.

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  48. NaplesGuyToo Says:

    Test. My previous post did not show up. Let me see if this works now.

  49. NaplesGuyToo Says:

    It’s sad that there is so little activity here. I guess everybody is on FB and blogs like this don’t get used any more. I found this blog while searching for some history of GGE to include in a power point presentation about my garden here. I have hundreds of bromeliads, orchids and other tropical in my personal botanical garden which makes the Estates a personal paradise for me. I’ll have to sort out the conflicting items listed in the beginning of this thread. I guess it was assembled from various sources over time.

    I was really trying to figure out what this area was before the developers came in. We are presently sandwiched on the South by the Picayune Strand State Forest which adjoins the Big Cypress National Preserve which in turn borders on the wet freshwater prairies of Everglades National Park to the south, and other state and federally protected cypress country in the west, with water from the Big Cypress flowing south and west into the coastal Ten Thousand Islands region of Everglades National Park and on the North by Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. In 1947 when Everglades National Park was founded the Cypress area was to be included but it was all in private hands. I can only presume this to have been Collier land and that the GGE area was part of the great Cypress Swamp. I wish I could find out more information on this transformation.

    I wonder what my land looked like back in the 40s before all this development started. My soil is pure sand with rock a foot below and top soil does not really exist. That is what I don’t understand. If there were trees and vegetation growing here over hundreds or thousands of years, why is there nothing left from the decaying plant life? Did it wash away during the flood season or what? Right now I have magnificent Live Oaks and giant Slash Pines on my 7.5 acres but I don’t see any old stumps from prior growth. It puzzles me.

    Anybody have any thoughts on this?

    • Charlie Says:

      About the non-existent topsoil, I think your the rain combined with organic matter creates carbonic acid. Also, there is tannic acid. I think those acids remove what is required for the topsoil you might want. It seems like I have heard that slash and burn only works in rainforest for a short time because there typically isn’t any soil and everything is in the forest itself. So when the forest is gone you end up with zilch. Like I said, I am no soil scientist. But, I may be moving down there, so would like to become acquainted with residents.

      • Fred Rump Says:

        Since I wrote the above I’ve done quite a bit of reading and research about what really happened here in the 60s. To be brief, after the area was cleared and canals had been dug, the entire ecology changed almost overnight. Water levels dropped and moisture was left to rain not the slow flow of the glades. In 1970 all of the lots in my neighborhood were hustled off to unsuspecting buyers from the northern states. Mostly sight unseen. 5 acres went for $4750 if you paid cash or $4950 on time with 20 bucks down and 20 bucks a month. In 1971 about 1/4 of Collier County burned down. Huge forest fires cleared the GGE. They only had 10 firefighters and a handful of houses in the area at the time. I have a few trees which have black burn marks on them and have always wondered when there was a fire. Now I know. There have been fires before and since. I presume now that they consumed whatever vegetation existed completely. In my wet areas I have many feet of black muck from centuries of deposits. These did not burn. I’m just glad that the Southern Golden Gate Estates are being returned to nature as much as we can with the highways running through to block the flow but at least they are trying.

  50. Full Throttle Diversified Services Says:

    I am truly thankful for this blog. I am headed for naples (for good) here in about a month. Without GGE I don’t know that the move would even be possible. So all that live there you’ll have another helpful neighbor soon. I am so looking forward to meeting some of you.

  51. Jack Off Says:

    I lived in Naples for 10 years and spent every week-end 4WDriving in South Golden Gate. I left for Belize in 2005 when the Gov. was repossessing all the lots. Good buddy of mine bought in 72, paid $2,000 and that’s all the Gov. gave him back 30 years later. There were still some good old boys living off the grid out there.
    The 99% people in the US are good people, but the State of Florida and the Feds have turned the place into a Police State.

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