Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Retail boom hits Estero as Publix and a shopping center open

Thursday is a busy day in Lee County as the grocer and a developer open in the 2,400-home Verdana Village planned community.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 12:00 a.m. April 18, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The Publix Super Market-anchored Shoppes at Verdana Village open in Estero on April 18.
The Publix Super Market-anchored Shoppes at Verdana Village open in Estero on April 18.
Courtesy image
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
  • Share

If retail interests you, Thursday will be a big day in Estero.

That’s because Publix is opening a new store in the Shoppes at Verdana Village, a shopping center that is also holding a grand opening.

The confluence of merchandising interests is happening at the corner of Verdana Village Boulevard and Corkscrew Road in the planned residential community the center is named for.

The developer behind the project is WMG Development of Winter Garden. It built the center on land previously owned by Cameratta Cos., the Estero-based real estate development company behind Verdana Village.

WMG would not share financial details of the project but says the center is creating 200 jobs.

While the new 48,000-square-foot Publix will garner most of the headlines, this being Florida after all, the new center is a big addition, and a lifeline of sorts, to Verdana Village.

The 78,000-square-foot Shoppes at Verdana Village is the only center within 8 miles of the planned community, which, according to Cameratta, is a 2,100-acre development slated to have 2,400 homes when complete.

It is about 6 miles east of Interstate 75.

Craig Kopko is the executive vice president of development at WMG Development in Winter Garden.
Courtesy image

The Shoppes at Verdana Village is the commercial center of the community with a tenant mix that includes Heartland Dental, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Nail Spa Estero, New York Pizza & Pasta and The UPS Store.

Craig Kopko, WMG’s executive vice president of development, says beyond the immediate community, the center “is perfectly located to service the needs of the explosive residential growth we've seen, and continue to see, on Corkscrew Road east of I-75.”

WMG is a privately held national real estate development company. It began in 1995 as a developer for Heartland Dental and has expanded into the retail, health care and restaurant sectors.

Today, it has 393 properties in 35 states, with 58 active developments according to its website.

Kopko says of the center's design that it was “important to us as retail developers to fit into the overall look and feel of the other large residential communities on Corkscrew Road and surrounding area.”

As for the new Publix, it is the Lakeland chain’s 13th new store this year. Along with the usual departments, the store will have a seating area upstairs for customers.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

Latest News