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Business Observer Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 4 years ago

Developer plans Publix, plus shops, on airport land

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A developer plans to build a shopping center on airport land leased from the Lee County Port Authority in Fort Myers.

FORT MYERS — North American Properties plans to build a Publix-anchored shopping center on land near Southwest Florida International Airport.

The company plans to build a 65,000-square-foot center called Sky Walk at the intersection of Daniels Parkway and Gateway Boulevard in Fort Myers. Publix will use 45,000 square feet of space, with other shops taking the remaining space. In all, the center will be slightly larger than a football field and will be the first new Publix-anchored shopping center to be built in Lee County in more than five years.

The center will be part of Skyplex, the 1,150-acre master-planned commercial park along Daniels Parkway within the northern portion of Southwest Florida International Airport that's being developed by the Lee County Port Authority.

“We are very pleased to work with North American Properties to lease airport land,” says Robert Ball, executive director of the Lee County Port Authority, in a statement. “Sky Walk is the first development at Southwest Florida International Airport's Skyplex and will offer people traveling along the Daniels Parkway corridor and residents of Gateway new grocery and retail shopping opportunities.”

The Gateway area is located off Daniels Parkway east of Interstate 75. The residential and commercial area is home to JetBlue Park, spring training home of the Boston Red Sox, and corporations such as Gartner.

“We are now in the process of applying for permits and expect to break ground later this year, with a store opening projected to occur in the second half of 2017,” says Craig Kopko, vice president with North American Properties, in a statement.

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