BY SUSAN HANAFEE – The Boca Bay Pass Club’s $3.5 million renovation project – delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic – will kick off April 12, with completion expected this November.
“Why are we doing this? It’s the Pass Club’s 30th anniversary this year,” said Larry Hannah, chair of the renovation committee. “And these changes, which will be spectacular, will allow us to meet the current trends in club dining and the changing island and Boca Bay demographics.”
The focal point of the club’s plan is the main dining area. Known to members as the Paradise Room, this expanded area will become the Gulf Grille.
“Some days there is no one in the main dining room,” said Tony Zaranti, club general manager. “Our popular casual bar is the social hub of the club. It has 30 percent of our seating but receives about 70 percent of the activity, so the natural flip was to change the two rooms to meet the demands of the membership.”
A larger bar will be added to the main dining area. The existing patio will be enclosed to create additional interior space. Folding glass doors that can be opened to bring the outside in will be used in lieu of windows. Internally, steel beams will be added to support the eight-foot extension of the waterside wall.
“The star of the show is the waterfront view,” said LeeAnn Maloomian, who is part of the interiors committee. “The new dining area is designed in a classic coastal style, energized by a central bar. It will be sophisticated yet casual, with a lively atmosphere in which members and their guests can enjoy great food and drink while watching gorgeous sunsets.”
The current small dining area will remain intimate but more refined, with a section that can be closed off for a private dining experience. The existing bar will be removed and replaced with a new, climate-controlled wine cellar with a 1,600-bottle capacity.
Outside, a poolside bar will be added, with more spectacular water views. A unisex, handicapped-accessible bathroom will be built near the current restroom facilities. The second-floor Sunset Room will be redecorated, all the club’s shutters replaced with hurricane windows and infrared heaters will be added to the outside patio ceilings to replace the free-standing gas heaters used today.
Deangelis Diamond Construction of Naples was selected to do the project out of the four firms interviewed. “They do about $600 million a year, including hospitals, clubs, hotels and big resorts. This will be one of their smaller projects,” said Hannah.
Adrian Karapici of AM Design Group in Naples was chosen as the architect. Migena Gace of M Design Studio was selected for interior design.
Local contractors were invited to bid on the renovation but declined because of the size of the project and the time allocated for the completion of the work, Zaranti adds.
The decision to delay the project was a good one, said Hannah, who also chaired the club’s kitchen renovation in 2007. “We didn’t know what we didn’t know…whether the Lee County permitting office would be open during the pandemic, and once we got started, we didn’t want to delay the project.” It turns out the club didn’t receive final permit approval until August.
Maloomian said there were also pandemic-related concerns about sourcing materials outside the U. S. “By postponing a year, we could assure long-lead items were pre-ordered so as not to delay the construction or furnishing the club,” she explains.
Zaranti said the Pass Club will continue food and beverage service even after construction begins. The club will offer take-out, home delivery, poolside dining and, if safe, at the nearby Power House facility until May 23. They will open again in mid-October to provide the same food service options until the renovations are completed.
The club has 317 members that are Boca Bay homeowners, 125 associates and 60 dining and social memberships. Each was invited to participate in the planning process at nine informational meetings. In the end, 82 percent of the membership voted in favor of the renovation.
The idea to undergo the project began in 2016 with the Pass Club’s advisory committee. Besides Hannah, Maloomian and Zaranti, the renovation committee includes Jim Drobnyk, Jim Hornig and Sue Najar, Boca Bay general manager. The interiors team includes Hank Cox, Mary Hoffman, Maloomian and Zaranti.