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History of Cape Coral

By Staff | Apr 19, 2011

In 1957 two brothers, Leonard and Jack Rosen, from Baltimore, Md., spent weeks looking over Southwest Florida for a piece of property to develop. Late that year they purchased a parcel of land from Grandville Keller and Franklin Miles, (owner of the Alka Seltzer Company) for $678,000. The land once known as Redfish Point was renamed Cape Coral. The development company, Gulf American Land Corporation started what was to be known as the “Waterfront Wonderland.” Ground was broken on Nov. 4, 1957. On June 10, 1958, the first residents moved into their home in the southeastern part of the Cape. At that time a waterview homesite sold for $990, waterfront, $1,990 and riverfront $3,390. Property sales reached over $9 million the first year. By 1965 approximately 500 prospects a day toured the property. When sales reached a peak in 1969, Cape Coral was sold to General Acceptance Corporation of Allentown, Penn., for $250 million.
In 1970 with the population at 11,470 the City of Cape Coral was incorporated becoming Florida’s second largest in area, trailing only Jacksonville. Barely a decade old, Cape Coral was poised and ready for the future, destined to become one of the nation’s fastest growing and most desirable cities.
In the ensuing years since incorporation, the city population has steadily increased to nearly 160,000, according to the 2010 Census. At buildout it is estimated Cape Coral will have a population of approximately 400,000.

— Source: Courtesy of
Paul Sanborn, city historian