The Coquina Sands subdivision was the northernmost section of the original plat of Naples, filed in Lee County, Florida in 1887. At the time it was envisioned to use the same grid-type street layout that still exists in Old Naples.
The first road from Fort Myers angled across The Moorings, Coquina Sands, and the Beach Club golf course, bringing travelers over a rough and sandy trace to the small collection of buildings near the pier.
This route was abandoned following the construction of the Tamiami Trail in the 1920’s. A Coquina Sands resident, Monica Cameron, shared that a layer of crushed beach shells was uncovered when building her home in 1987. Her next-door neighbor, Lorenzo Walker, explained that it was there because her lot was located on “the old road to Bonita.”
In 1946, the title to the northern portion of the Town of Naples passed to the Naples Company. The Naples Company holdings included The Naples Hotel on 12th Avenue South (since 1889) and the Naples Golf and Beach Club that had been established in the fall of 1930 by Allen Joslin of Cincinnati.
At the original Golf and Beach Club property, the golf course was built first, followed by a clubhouse two years later to serve golfers and bathers, but no quarters for lodging. The new golf course replaced the crude golf course along Fifth Avenue South that served as both a golf course and an airplane landing field.
In June 1948, the first apartment building was built on the beach. A year later, a bar and restaurant opened at the Golf and Beach Club next door. The Naples Beach Hotel had its origins when the Golf and Beach Club were combined with the apartment building. The apartments remained as the hotel’s main wing.
While approving the first apartment building on the beach in 1948, the City Council established that only single-family homes could be built on the beach south of South Golf Drive. This decision set in place the pattern of future development.
The Unit 1 plat of Coquina Sands was approved by City Council in April 1954. Engineer and surveyor W. Robert Wilson laid out the development, replacing the original grid plat with one of wide, gracefully curving boulevards. The street names followed the theme of the subdivision name, Coquina Sands - a mollusk that buries itself in the sand at the gulf’s edge. Streets were named for shells and flowers.
The Unit 2 plat was approved by City Council on October 1, 1957, and included the dredging of Hurricane Harbor.
The Naples Company gave property to the city for a beach front park in lieu of beach access points, which the original plat had shown on every block (similar to Old Naples and Aqualane Shores). Lowdermilk Park was named for Naples first City Manager, Fred Lowdermilk, and is the only public beachfront park in Naples. Benefactor Lester Norris donated a pavilion, grills, and picnic tables.
In the early 1960’s, after development of The Moorings, several streets in Coquina Sands were renamed. Coquina Boulevard was renamed Gulf Shore Blvd. Jasmine Road became Crayton Road, and Hibiscus Road was changed to Murex Drive.
Today, Coquina Sands consists of approximately 230 single family residences, 660 multi-family units, and the Naples Beach Club hotel and golf course. The redeveloped Naples Beach Club, to be managed by The Four Seasons hotel organization, brings a globally recognized icon to our doorsteps. Along with the impact of Hurricane Ian in September 2022, this will drive unprecedented renovation and redevelopment for many years to come, further reshaping our beautiful and thriving neighborhood.
Compiled by Monica Cameron
CSA Past President
Updated Fall 2023