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The Corridor

Despite the challenges 2020 brought, the Cape continues to grow

By CJ HADDAD - | Dec 30, 2020

Pine Island Park (formerly referred to as Pine Island Village) is a mixed-use development will soon go into permitting, and is scheduled to break ground by the summer of 2021. It will feature a mix of retail, office and warehouse flex space diversifying the commercial uses available along Pine Island Road. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

In a roller coaster year for economies both public and private, Cape Coral’s economic development team continued to drive new business to the city in 2020.

The city’s Economic Development Office, spearheaded by Ricardo Noguera, saw numerous projects break ground or come to fruition as the Cape continued its effort to bring new jobs and commercial development to one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

And it’s only going to continue in the new year, the office predicts.

“Despite the challenges faced in 2020, this new year will be a banner year for economic development in the Cape with lots of construction and grand opening celebrations,” Noguera said. “These are exciting times to live and work in Cape Coral.”

The star of the show in 2020 and beyond is the Pine Island Road corridor. In 2020 alone, more than $300 million in commercial and residential development was under construction or is permitted.

Fairfield by Marriott Hotel, behind the Outback Steakhouse on Pine Island Road, is near completion with 109 rooms and is the first hotel in the city in more than five years. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

Key projects include:

Pine Island Park (formerly referred to as Pine Island Village) is a mixed-use development that has been retooled and will soon go into permitting and is scheduled to break ground by Summer 2021. It will feature a mix of retail, office and warehouse flex space diversifying the commercial uses available along Pine Isla­­nd Road.

Springs at Cape Coral Multi-Family Development (292 units) neared completion with residents moving in and is scheduled to be completed by June 2021.

Fairfield by Marriott Hotel neared completion with 109 rooms and is the first hotel in the city in more than five years. It’s scheduled to open in 2021.n Cape Coral Commons Retail Center broke ground at the northwest corner of Del Prado Boulevard. The 50,000-square-foot project will include retail and restaurants and is currently leasing space and is scheduled for build-out by spring 2022.

Enterprise Car Rental and Sales neared completion and is under construction on the north side of Pine Island Road about a half-mile west of Golden Corral Restaurant.

Tractor Supply Hardware located on the south side of Pine Island Road about a half-mile west of Chiquita Boulevard broke ground and is scheduled to open in late Spring 2021.

In 2021, the Pine Island Road Corridor should witness the completion of some developments while others break ground along the remaining 300 plus acres of undeveloped properties, according to the EDO.

Slated to break ground next year is Island Pearl, a mixed-use development at the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Burnt Store Road. The project is currently in permitting and scheduled to break ground in early 2021.

Also in 2021, Joe V’s Farmers Market will break ground near Chiquita Boulevard.

South Cape

The South Cape witnessed the ground breaking of Cabinet Genie’s new headquarters and showroom; two new restaurants opened including Two Meatballs in the Kitchen – which expanded from Fort Myers. The city and Community Redevelopment Agency also commenced the process to complete a $25 million public utilities expansion to support vertical construction in the South Cape in the coming years.

The area also anticipates the arrival of Insite Managed Solutions, a homegrown employer that is renovating a building that will become their new headquarters.

“Insite boasts average annual salaries exceeding $75,000 and plans to double its workforce from 57 to more than 110 over the next 3 years,” according to EDO officials. “The City and CRA awarded the company financial incentives to remain and grow in the South Cape. The addition of this company to the South Cape will serve to support local restaurants and retailers, especially during the day time when patronage tends to be lower.”

The Public Infrastructure Project should kick off in the South Cape with the launch of an Engineers Report representing the first phase of the project. City staff anticipates the approval of two or more large, mixed-use developments which could commence the entitlement process and break ground in line with the infrastructure project in 2022. According to the EDO, developer interest continues to build beyond the borders of Florida from the Midwest and Northeast. With the city reviewing its economic incentives program and the arrival of more residents and businesses to the Cape, 2021 is projected to be a year filled with construction, permitting and plans for new development.

“2021, the Year to invest and build in the Cape,” Noguera said.

Light industry

On the industrial side, three new warehouses were completed representing 60,000 square feet of space. A new 40,000-square-foot building was completed along Pondella Road and fully leased and two 10,000-square-foot warehouse flex buildings were constructed just north of Pine Island Road.

“This represents the wave of the future in the Cape with small business owners leasing warehouse flex space and diversifying the mix of companies growing in the city,” said EDO officials.

Medical offices

There are currently six new medical offices in the works in the Cape, including an 80-room rehabilitation hospital planned at the corner of Pondella and Pine Island Road and a 11,000-square-foot emergency medical clinic nearing completion at the northeast corner of Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway.

“This is good news for Cape residents who must travel across the bridge for medical and dental appointments. It also spells good news for job growth in the community,” said EDO officials.

— Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

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