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Moore About Business: Gerald Hendry shares the latest on development around Lee County

Construction workers move a framed wall into place at a new housing development in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan
/
Getty Images
Construction workers move a framed wall into place at a new housing development in San Mateo, Calif.

“Southwest Florida has been the darling of US real estate investors,” declared Gerald Hendry, principal with commercial real estate appraisal firm, Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons in Fort Myers, to a local audience of business owners and professionals.

He went on, “This will continue to be the theme for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023 because it ‘checks all the boxes’—population influx, low income tax, capital is flowing into tertiary markets like ours.”

But, he asked, will Southwest Florida’s growth trend continue as we face the headwinds of inflation, interest rate hikes, stock market woes, rising gas prices, supply chain issues, recession?

With all the construction and development going on in Lee County, it’s hard to see activity slowing down anytime soon.

Hendry pointed out: “What’s going on at I-75 and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fort Myers is pretty phenomenal. Up till now I saw that area’s main purpose as just to hold the earth together. Right now there is nearly 4 million sf of office and warehouse space in discussion!”

He then shared, “Along comes Kingston. Kingston Development has 6600 acres between State Road 82 and Corkscrew Road, planning to build 10,000 residential units, 240 hotel units and develop 700,000 sf of commercial space. He observed, “This development could become another Babcock Ranch or Ave Maria, basically a new city.”

He wrapped up by saying, “Keep your eyes on Burnt Store Road, Pine Island Road and on Colonial Boulevard, where medical is coming.”

Karen Moore is the publisher of Southwest Florida Business Today.