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Maryland firm buys major Lee County site

Knott Realty picks up 123 acres for $5.7 million

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  • | 6:00 a.m. January 10, 2020
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A Maryland-based development firm that has been active in Southwest Florida’s industrial and multifamily rental sectors over the past decade has acquired a significant site in Fort Myers.

Knott Realty Group and the affiliated James F. Knott Development Corp., of Timonium, Md., purchased nearly 123 acres in Lee County for $5.7 million, the latest in a series of land purchases in recent years.  

Knott Realty, which has developed offices, apartments, warehouses and churches throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area over the past 40 years, acquired the property from Sara M. Rodriguez.

The tract, with nearly 5,000 feet of frontage along Interstate 75, in Fort Myers, intersects with Terminal Access Road.

Knott Realty officials declined to comment on the purchase or what the company plans ultimately to do with the land.

Lee & Associates | Naples-Fort Myers Principals Bob Johnston, Jerry Messonnier and Derek Bornhorst represented both parties in the transaction.

Knott Realty has been among the most active industrial developers in the Fort Myers area over the past five years. Most recently, the firm bought 27 acres near Southwest Florida International Airport for a two-building, speculative industrial project known as Meridian Center.

Last fall, logistics operator Wayfair LLC leased 47,400 square feet in the project, for which Knott Realty paid $2.1 million in 2017. In all, the industrial development is slated to have about 350,000 square feet at build out.

The company also is finishing the Decorum Luxury Apartments in the Fort Myers area, at 9851 Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Knott Realty acquired the 38 acres for those apartments in 2017 for $5.2 million.

The six-building complex was designed to have 435 units and feature amenities such as an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse, fitness center and a swimming pool.

Knott has been active in Southwest Florida since the mid-2000s. In 2006, the company developed a four-building, 216,000-square-foot industrial project near Meridian Center that today is fully occupied.

In all, Knott and affiliates have developed more than 4.2 million square feet of space and thousands of residences in Maryland, Florida and South Carolina.


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