As you will see from this new (September 2022) “round-up,” considerable development is taking place in our community. It seems likely that the total number of residents off East Corkscrew Rd will be 35,000 in the next ten years. But, if the new planned development by Kingston and FFD is built to the maximum allowed, the estimated population will be over 57,000 in around 10 -15 years, almost double the current population within the Estero Village boundary! A full round-up of all the planned developments is summarized below.
Chart 1 Shows the Planned number of Homes (Population estimates will be X2.2)
Developments on Three Oaks/Ben Hill Griffin /Alico Road
The Centro Apartments, near Three Oaks Parkway, North of Alico Road
There will be 264 units, which are expected to be completed by June 2023, with one to three bedrooms and private balconies. Other planned amenities include a clubhouse, event center, theater, two-story fitness room, indoor and outdoor yoga studio, a salon, a courtyard with a pavilion, outdoor kitchen, pool, fire pit, walking path, a Koi pond, a community garden, and games.
Northwest Corner of Estero Parkway and Ben Hill Griffin
Although many have asked what development is planned for this location, no information is forthcoming.
FGCU Parkway & Ben Hill Griffin Road
The land cleared at this location was to house an alum center for FGCU. However, other ideas are now being considered, which could involve a conference center or performing arts center.
FGCU has for some time identified the need for an “on-campus” hotel/lodging/conference center, and although not confirmed, FGCU could develop it with that in mind. No firm conclusions have been reached. The planned development on the site is part of the Master Plan (designated as “Outreach District 3”) to make the University more connected with the local community.
We will provide updates when specific plans have been submitted.
Developments along East Corkscrew Road
The Kingston Project East of Verdana Village
In June, Lee County approved an extensive development after initially denying the limestone rock mine proposed for the same spot along Corkscrew Road. The homes will be built on more than 6,000 acres of property extending from south of Corkscrew Rd. to SR-82. When Corkscrew Grove Limited Partnership bought the land, the original plan was to build a limestone rock mine, but the commissioners said no to that idea.
The proposed development by Cameratta will include 10,000 dwelling units, a 240unit hotel, 700,000 square feet of commercial use, and 3,287 acres of restoration, conservation, and flow way. The proposed density on the site will be 1.5 dwelling units per acre.
The property, which has been used for agriculture, extends south of Corkscrew Road to State Road 82, bordering conservation lands such as CREW and the Imperial Marsh Preserve.
Development conditions of the project include open space, a human-wildlife coexistence plan, a central irrigation system, and hydraulic connections to provide an opportunity to improve flood control in the Wildcat Farms neighborhood.
The property is in a DR/GR area (Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource). The DR/GR is just east of Estero and was established jointly in 1990 by the State of Florida and Lee County to protect the principal water supply for most of Southwest Florida, including both Estero and Bonita Springs, as Fort Myers and other towns.
Concerns have been expressed about the guidelines of the Environmental Enhancement & Preservation Communities Overlay (EEPCO). It encompasses properties critical to providing regional benefits such as re-establishing wetlands, flow ways, hydrology, and wildlife corridors within southeast Lee County. The overlay provided an opportunity to achieve the environmental objectives by allowing for the possibility of higher residential density in exchange for developer commitments to provide regional benefits.
While the project, according to Dan DeLisi (A Consultant with DeLisi Fitzgerald, Inc., a multi-service consulting firm with specialties in land use planning and civil engineering), is said to be consistent with the DRGR and meets nearly every criterion of the EEPCO, others disagree. A further debate seems likely, although the Cameratta developments at The Place and Verdana have incorporated necessary environmental safeguards into their plans for those developments.
If you add the proposed plans for Kingston and the Florida Farms Development (GL Homes), the total will be 15,000 homes over the next 15 years. The total number of residents along East Corkscrew Rd, if Kingston and FFD are built to the maximum allowed, will therefore amount to an estimated population on east Corkscrew of over 57,000, as indicated previously.
It should be noted that the developer (Cameratta) has stated they will incorporate necessary environmental, and water run off safeguards into their plans. This includes removing a levy which impedes the water runoff from NE to SW. In addition, the developer plans to build a 2 lane each way boulevard from Corkscrew Rd to Ste Rte 82, and is working with the Lee County MPO and Lee DOT to extend Corkscrew Road widening Phase III to Kingston.
The Lee County MPO has also moved up the construction of the Alico Rd Connector from St Rte 82 and this could send some traffic North, rather than down Corkscrew.
FFD (Florida Farms Development) Project
FFD is a 5,208-acre site on the south side of Corkscrew Road, just east of Corkscrew Shores and west of Six L’s Farm Road. GL Homes will develop the area consisting of farm fields, uplands, and wetlands.
The proposed project includes:
- 5,208 residential units (single-family and multi-family) 1 unit per gross acre
- 100,000 square feet of commercial uses
- 240,000 square feet of amenity area use
- Existing agricultural services, including 50,000 square feet of research and development
According to GL Homes Traffic Impact Statement, there would be 42,401 new daily trips from this project. The peak hour trips would be approximately 4,300 (in and out at the evening peak hour, around 5 PM.)
Verdana Village on East Corkscrew
Verdana Village, a Cameratta Companies, is currently underway on east Corkscrew Road. The planned community by Lennar & Pulte Homes showcases several collections of new homes styles and footprints.
Verdana Village will host an array of vacation-style amenities with a first-of-its-kind indoor pickleball center. In addition, residents have a Publix anchored retail shopping center outside the front gates. Heartland Dental and other tenants will join Publix, and the community will encompass 2,400 single-family homes on various homesites with lake and preserve views. When completed, The Shoppes at Verdana Village will have over 78,000 square feet of grocery, retail, medical, and dining and additional space for lease.
River Creek (formerly Corkscrew Crossing) by GL Homes is progressing.
The new community will consist of 395 acres and 544 single-family homesites, bounded by Corkscrew Road to the North, Wildcat Run to the West, The Preserve, and Bella Terra to the East. The homes will include single-family homes, twin villas, townhomes, and condominiums. The community features several lakes, and over half of the acreage is dedicated to undeveloped preserves. This residential community will have three phases, with a common recreation area. River Creek’s GL Homes’ grand opening will be on Aug. 27. The new home designs will range from the $500s-$800s
The New Estero Fire Rescue Station on East Corkscrew Road
Susan Lindenmuth, Director of Public Affairs, Estero Fire Rescue, has provided an update on the Estero Fire Station 45 Construction. The new Estero Fire Station 45, located on east Corkscrew, is well advanced and should be completed by this fall. You can view a construction video at Estero Station 45 Construction Tour – YouTube.
The availability of this “state of the art” fire station will be a welcome and essential facility for those living on east Corkscrew Road. Not only will response times to an emergency be significantly reduced, but the availability of a Lee County EMS ambulance on site will also enhance the response times for emergency medical situations. As with other Estero Fire and Rescue Fire Stations, firefighters will be 24-7 on-site, and those stationed there will have available: living quarters, kitchen facilities, a day room for relaxing, and a patio area.
Some of the significant features of the Estero Fire Station 45 include:
- A full-sized training room for in-house training and training classes open to the public
- A tower training facility on site that will eventually have live-fire training opportunities
- An EMS treatment room for walk-in emergencies
- A designated decontamination area of bunker gear with specialized washing machines
- Specially designed locker areas for the storage of firefighting equipment
- Five fire engine bays have been included in the design to allow for future expansion
- A sixth bay will initially be used for equipment storage but could also be developed to accommodate an additional fire engine at a future date
- An enhanced design that can accommodate firefighters and equipment from other locations which might be closed in the event of a hurricane
Residential Developments within The Village of Estero
Stock Commercial’s project- Estero Crossing
Located on the south side of Corkscrew Road, between Three Oaks Parkway and I-75, Estero Crossing (east of Lowes) will feature 306 apartments and 60,000 square feet of retail shops. It will be positioned closest to Corkscrew Road and include six three-story luxury apartment buildings.
Vertical construction is underway. The commercial space will be pedestrian-friendly, with brick-paver walkways, benches, and lush landscaping. Various businesses have expressed interest in the high-traffic corridor, including restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating, other entertainment venues, boutique-style shops, and even health and wellness offices and studios. Current tenants include Chicken Salad Chick, Crisp & Green, Dunkin, Oak & Stone, Orange Theory, Restore Cryotherapy, Sherwin Williams, Affordable Dentures, The Joint, and Bubbakoo’s.
Estero to the North of Broadway
A 34-acre site on the east side of US 41, North of Broadway and east of Broadway Shoppes, is being considered for a mixed-use with multi-family buildings, two mixed-use buildings, and proposed commercial uses. The initial phase will include the project’s backbone infrastructure, perimeter buffers, landscape, and streetscape. The County has approved Mixed-Use Planned Development for the development with specific design standards.
A workshop will be held for comments on the proposed mixed-use project.
The Reserve at Coconut Point (formerly Edera)
This development (a four-story, 180-apartment community) on Williams Road and Via Coconut is complete. The nicely landscaped development is on 13 acres at the southeastern corner of Williams Road and Via Coconut Point, just east of the Hertz Global Headquarters. Miami-based 13th Floor Investments have developed the project. The various-sized apartments have an outdoor pool, fitness center, dog park, resident lounge & more.
What began as a private gated community of luxury condominiums inspired by the Italian Riviera, Genova is now getting ready to debut its final phase consisting of 40 brand new luxury villas and townhomes, 14 of which are single-family homes. Genova is on the southeast corner of Via Coconut and Corkscrew Road and is built by CC Homes.
Open-concept floor plans with gourmet kitchens and outdoor living spaces are just some of the features that will be included. The resort-style amenities include lake and clubhouse views.
The Colonnade (on Corkscrew Road, opposite Genova)
The concept already seems to be popular. The Colonnade will be a multi-family development proposed East of Sandy Lane across from Genova. It will be the first Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Estero. There will be 92 independent living apartment homes, 64 assisted living homes, and 24 with memory care support. They will have resort-style amenities. “We’re going to be a lifestyle community for older adults,” said Gigi Guerrero, sales and marketing manager for the Colonnade.
After reconfiguring some aspects of the project, more open areas have been added, including future outside dining options. The balconies and covered lanais will mean residents will have open air and open space. Residents can still be independent and socially distanced if required.
Via Coconut (via Coconut on the west side of Genova)
This is a new 20-Acre development on the West Side of Via Coconut, south of Corkscrew Road.
The development proposed includes 330 multi-family dwelling units, 29,600 square feet of commercial use, and a 10,000-square foot church or alternative commercial use.
The commercial development will likely involve an Animal Clinic, Banks & Financial institutions, a Bar, a Broadcast Studio (Commercial Radio & Television), and cinemas and theaters. Community Gardens and a public dog park on the south side of the property are also included in the plans.
Other options being considered for the development include restaurants, convenience food and beverage store, Cultural facility, Day Care Center, and Drugstore. A hardware store, Household and Office Furnishings, Insurance Company, Dry-cleaning and Laundry Services, Library, Post Office, and Medical or Dental Lab.
The developer has dedicated a Public Park on the overall site to the Village and will maintain it in perpetuity. They also plan pedestrian and road connections to the railroad right-of-way and Happy Hollow Lane. The need for a crosswalk will be determined at the time of the development order. They will examine the situation in Happy Hollow Lane to determine if a turnaround or cul-de-sac is needed.
This major development will add a wide variety of other commercial businesses to the location and potentially be a major attraction to our area.
The following link shows the details of the planned development.
The development is located off Coconut Road ¼ mile from the Coconut Point Hyatt Resort next to El Dorado Acres. Coconut Landing will have 25 single-family homes. Key features include open concept floor plans, customizable outdoor living with a private pool, and exclusive VIP membership to the Coconut Point Hyatt Resort.
West Bay Club
West Lake Court at the West Bay Club will have 26 Luxury Villa Single Family Homes (now under construction) with spectacular waterfront and golf views.
In addition, a new high rise, “The Island,” has been designed by Garcia Stromberg. It will have a central core building designed to maximize the panoramic views from every residence. The new condominium will focus on outdoor living, an appreciation for sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, and a rooftop amenity deck with a pool and fitness area. The residences will have wider terraces with summer kitchens, expansive walls of glass, and premium interior finishes. The building will be 23 stories over parking (approximately 270 feet) plus 20 feet for rooftop equipment. The high-rise building will be built on Pod 5 at the West Bay Club. The building will have four units per floor, with two penthouse levels. The glass on the building will be non-reflective. West Bay Club is located at the end of Williams Road, west of US 41.
The Hospital Corp of America’s Property on US 41 (East side) just North of Hertz
The Hospital Corp of America plans to sell a large part of its property, keeping part of the site on the north side for a medical complex. Because no contract has been agreed upon, the potential outcome and range of options for the property remain unclear. If a large part of the property is sold to a developer, it seems unlikely that a hospital will be built on the site.
A request has been made to the Estero Planning and Zoning Board to add four pickleball courts on the south side of their existing tennis courts. Riverwoods Plantation is a 55+ mobile home park.
Milan Villas- Northeast Corner of Williams Road and Three Oaks
The 10 acres of land located at the northwest corner of Williams Road and Three Oaks Parkway, designated for Commercial Planned Development, is being considered for rezoning to Residential Planned Development for a small residential subdivision of individual family homes.
Individual Commercial Developments
Construction Begins on Lee Health University Highlands
Stevens Construction provides construction management services for Lee Health University Highlands, located at 19511 Highland Oaks Drive in Estero. It is building a two-story, 20,820-square-foot primary care office and outpatient center for South Real Estate Group, which is leasing the building to Lee Health. Located on the first floor, the outpatient center will house diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound, X-Ray, and women’s health services such as mammograms and DEXA scanning. The second floor will provide full-scope family medicine and include 16 exam rooms, a procedure room, and behavioral health services. The outpatient center will also have a lab draw station and an adult physical therapy clinic. The building is slated for completion in early 2023.
Brightwork Real Estate, Estero Town Commons Place
The applicant proposes providing a convenience store with a gas station at the Estero Town Commons to service traffic heading to the interstate. They request a zoning amendment to include a deviation to allow a Wawa convenience store and fast-food restaurant with gas within 500 feet of an existing gas station to the North on Corkscrew Road. This property is located on the south side of Corkscrew Road on the parcel previously occupied by Ruby Tuesday close to Stoneybrook.
The New School Planned for Three Oaks near the Post Office
This proposed development is on hold.
The Development of the 62acre Land Parcel on the Estero River
Since the purchase of the property in 2018, considerable discussions with the public and architects about what would constitute acceptable options have occurred. The COVID pandemic, unfortunately, slowed this process.
The 30 acres south of the Estero river will remain a protected environmental area that could not be developed following the council’s vote to rezone the property from mixed-use to a public park. This rezoning ensures that it cannot be sold off for commercial use in the future. The land south of the river is an area of natural beauty. There are many mature trees of several types, together with a wetland area and a section home to gopher tortoises.
The natural area will offer a peaceful natural environment for everyone to enjoy. Work is well advanced on the nature trails through the site, which are around 80% complete. An attractive open fence along US 41 and Corkscrew Road is also planned to provide the property’s boundary. The area is anticipated to be available to the public later in the year.
The area north of the Estero river is still under discussion regarding the most suitable options. It is hoped an appropriate solution that takes advantage of this attractive area within Estero will be made soon for the benefit of both residents and visitors.
The Lee Health Development on the Northwest corner of US 41 and Coconut Road
Lee Health has sold the land on this site. Coconut Road Estero Apartments LLC, which is owned by South Carolina-based developer Woodfield Development and ELV Associates, bought the land, looking to build an apartment complex and town center. Lee Health has expressed the wish that the developer should incorporate much of their original design in the new plans. These included housing, a hotel, medical offices, health & wellness facilities, an entertainment venue, restaurants, and open areas for public gatherings.
The Estero land which sold for more than $700,000 per acre, is just across Hwy41 from the Coconut Point shopping center.
The Brooks Town Center Development Plans
While legal matters are ongoing regarding this proposed development, nothing further can be reported. We will provide updates when they become known.
Renovations at the South County Regional Library
The South County Regional Library became the County’s first regional library in 1996. Due to the age and configuration of the building, renovations are needed to provide the Estero community with a better-suited library to meet their current needs. The planned renovations for the library include an automated material handler, upgraded building systems, reconfiguring the interior to serve the public and the staff better, ADA upgrades, a new roof, and site improvements. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.
Shoppes at University Highlands
The Shoppes at University Highlands have applied for a development order to add a one-story, 7,300 square foot commercial building on a vacant parcel on the west side of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway just north of Miromar Outlets. The new facility will have 6,000 square feet of retail space and a 1,300-square-foot restaurant. It’s the fifth building for University Highlands, which includes 14 acres of retail, a hotel, and office properties.
Culvers at Coconut Point (near American House and South of Lee Health)
Culver’s plans to construct a 4,052 sq. ft. fast food restaurant at 8400 Murano Del Lago Drive off Pelican Colony Blvd and looking for a tenant for the southern portion of their property due to the size of the site.
They are proposing a building with a seating capacity for 59 patrons and a drive-through, a hip roof with towers, a clay tile roof, and horizontal banding along the entire building.
Coconut Point Additions.
The Christmas Tree Shop has opened with many trendy products, not just items for Christmas! Good prices and lots of packaged food.
Tullabee Baby has also opened providing baby and children’s clothing.
Wawa (The Former Ruby Tuesday Location near Lowes)
Representatives for Wawa requested to amend the Estero Town Center zoning along with deviations to allow for a Wawa Convenience Food and Beverage Store with Gas on the Ruby Tuesday lot. They requested approval to include a fast-food restaurant to proceed with this proposal. The fast-food restaurant would be located on a different lot in the Estero Town Center. There was a request for Wawa to make some changes to the gas station canopy.
Lavish Wellness on US 41
Lavish Wellness Lounge is opening at 19970 S. Tamiami Trail, Estero. The company’s services include vitamin therapy, wellness boosters, a medical weight loss program, health coaching, and more. There will be refreshments and a raffle in addition to the ribbon-cutting and tour.
Oak & Stone Restaurant
Oak & Stone restaurant proposed 1,000 feet west of the intersection of Corkscrew Road and Interstate 75 in Estero Crossing, a mixed-use project under construction by Naples-based Stock Development. A more than 5,300-square-foot restaurant and bar with a covered patio is proposed for an out parcel. It will be the first Lee County location of Florida-based Oak & Stone, an artisan pizza and craft beer dining concept that launched a place at Logan Landings in North Naples in early 2020.
The Food Rock Cafe
The Food Rock Café had a grand opening on Jul. 9 in Suite 440 at University Village in Fort Myers. The restaurant overlooks a lake and fountain in a space previously home to “Get Fried.” The Food Rock Café restaurant offers salads and daily homemade soups, hamburgers with fries, tacos, gyros, empanadas, and more. Many dishes have an island twist, with flavors and influences from chef and owner JD Damas’s Haitian homeland and the Colombian heritage of his wife and co-owner, Jennifer Verbel Damas. Call 239-257-1176.
Ginsberg Eye Ophthalmology
Commercial development is planned for 9441 Corkscrew Palms Circle, located east of Village Hall in the Corkscrew Palms Development. There is a vacant parcel surrounded by Corkscrew Palms parking lot where a 14,600 square-foot, 2-story commercial building is proposed.
Plans are underway to convert a small existing property on Happy Hollow and Corkscrew Road for their office and small café.
Stemlab – Miromar Outlets
Stemlab, inspired by the IMAG History and Science Center, has opened at Miromar Outlets Suite 192 near the WINK Playland. This space is designed for families to enrich their understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Expect free STEM activities, birthday parties, summer camp, home school activities, Google Earth wall, Stem-to-go, and more. www.miromaroutlets.com
South Fork Grille/El Nido Modern Mexican Restaurant
South Fork Grille/El Nido Modern Mexican Restaurant requested an expansion of outdoor alcoholic beverage services at their restaurants in Coconut Point. South Fork has recently expanded, adding a second restaurant called El Nido. The outdoor area now totals 3,285 square feet, more than double the original outdoor area. Hours of service are 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM Friday and Saturday for indoor and outdoor seating. The Village Planning, Zoning, and Design Board approved the application with several conditions.
AT&T Cell Tower (at 3231 Coconut Road adjacent to the Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge)
AT&T requests a notable exception to allow for constructing a 100 ft. wireless telecommunications facility. The proposed monopole is 99 ft. tall with a one ft. tall lightning rod and can host 12 antennas. AT&T stated the new cell tower is required for improved coverage and capacity in this area. They will be conducting a balloon test in early August, raising a balloon to the proposed tower’s height to demonstrate a true line of sight.