Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
News & Notes

Collier County pays $20.77 million for 2,500 acres near Immokalee

In the week's top commercial real estate news, an engineering firm leases more space in Tampa, lots are ready for multifamily development for sale in Sarasota, and Babcock Ranch reaches a milestone.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. June 2, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Collier County has agreed to buy nearly 2,500 acres near Trafford Lake.
Collier County has agreed to buy nearly 2,500 acres near Trafford Lake.
Image via
  • Florida
  • Share

Naples/Fort Myers/Charlotte

New homes, new meals: Babcock Ranch, the solar-powered master-planned community, has topped the 4,000 mark in home sales. The developer, Kitson & Partners, announced the milestone last week saying the 4,000th home sold the second week in May. By May 26, that number had jumped 4,034. Babcock Ranch is an 18,000-acre community that straddles Charlotte and Lee counties. When it is fully built out it will have about 19,500 residences as well as schools, shopping centers, restaurants and other amenities. Developers see it as eventually operating as a standalone, self-sustaining city. Coming to one of those shopping centers is the Washington, D.C. hamburger chain Five Guys. It will move into The Shoppes at Yellow Pine, a 120,000-square-foot shopping center under construction in Babcock Ranch. When it opens next year, tenants will include Ace Hardware, Carvel Ice Cream, Five Below and Marshalls.

Ambrose Property Group, an Indiana developer, has begun building an office park in Fort Myers.
Courtesy image

Being industrious: Ambrose Property Group has begun construction a new industrial park in Fort Myers. The Indiana-based industrial developer broke ground last month on a 25-acre property off of Interstate 75 and Alico Road just south of Southwest Florida International Airport. Work is expected to be complete early next year. Alico ITEC Logistics Park, as it will be known, will include a 195,000-square-foot Building 1 and 185,000-square-foot Building 2. The plan is to get both LEED Certified. Ambrose says the two buildings are designed for bulk distribution and local and regional distribution. The Fort Myers park is just one of three Florida projects the company has in the works. The others are a just completed 246,000-square-foot warehouse in Palm Beach and a three-building industrial park in Orlando. Ambrose has projects in 13 states.

Land grab: Collier County has bought 2,247 acres of land near Immokalee and Lake Trafford. County commissioners agreed unanimously last week to pay $20.77 million for two parcels at the Williams Reserve. That agreement came about two weeks after the commission voted against paying $23 million for the property. The agreed to price was the average of two appraisals. According to an executive summary presented to commissioners, 1,410 acres will be set aside for preservation through the Conservation Collier Program; 412 acres is for affordable housing development; and 250 acres is for parks. The remaining 175 acres will be used for roads, a fire station and stormwater uses. The conservation portion will also require about $1 million per year for restoration of the wetlands. 

Tampa/St. Petersburg/Pasco/Polk

Jersey Jim Towers has sold its Clearwater property to its neighbor, Walker Ford.
Image courtesy of Calhoon Commercial Group of Smith & Associates Real Estate

Lasting legacy: Walker Ford in Clearwater has bought the property belonging to Jersey Jim Towers, a 92-year-old electronics and appliance business in the city. The property, at 17722 U.S. Highway 19 N., is 10.75 acres sitting along Allens Creek. About 3.5 acres of it is usable land. Walker, which is next door, paid $2.8 million. It plans to expand its dealership on its new land. The Jersey Jim Towers store, which today is owned by the founder's son Jim, will stay there for now but is eventually moving, says Calhoon Commercial Group of Smith & Associates Real Estate. Patrick and Chris Calhoon represented Jersey Jim Towers and announced the sale. Once plans are in place, an announcement will be made. Jersey Jim first opened in 1932 and moved to the current site about 30 years ago.

Moving day: A Maryland engineering firm is moving into a bigger space in Tampa. KCI Technologies has leased 26,000 square feet of space in the Silo Bend Office Park. The new office is 9,000 square feet larger than the previous one the Meridian Crescent Center in Riverview. It’s also a little more central. Silo Bend is just off of Adamo Drive in Brandon, just shy of three miles west of Brandon Town Center and the large commercial corridor that surrounds it. JLL, which represented KCI in the negotiations and announced the move, says about 150 employees will work out of the new space. Silo Bend is 650,000-square-foot office park owned by Boca Raton-based Workspace Property Trust. The company owns and operates 41 buildings across five business parks in the Tampa market, totaling about 1.8 million square feet of office and office-flex. KCI will move into the space early next year.


Ian Black Real Estate has listed vacant land in Sarasota already approved to build apartments on.
Image courtesy of Ian Black Real Estate

On the market: Sarasota-based Ian Black Real Estate has listed for sale 4.2 acres of land already approved for 120 apartments. The property is in the city’s North Trail district near the Ringling College of Art & Design and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. According to the listing, the vacant land comes with final site plan approval for two four-story buildings with surface parking for 160 vehicles. The property — at 4415 and 4501 N. Tamiami Trail — has more than 600 linear feet of frontage on the highway and is on the corner of 42nd Street. The listing says the sales price is “subject to offer” and that the owner will consider selling the two properties separately or together. Sarasota County and state records show the land is owned by a Queens, New York-based LLC that paid $3.22 million for it in 2022.

Mighty sporting: Construction has started on a 13-acre sports complex in Lakewood Ranch. Midway Sports Complex is being built in the Wild Blue at Waterside community and will include six tennis courts, eight pickleball courts and a sports pro shop. There will also be basketball courts and an outdoor activity center as well as fitness equipment, a children’s playground and two dog parks. While the laundry list is long, the complex is expected to be completed by late next year. Wild Blue is a luxury development underway off of University Parkway in Lakewood Ranch. Stock Development announced last month that it was releasing more homesites for the second phase of Wild Blue, including 64-foot, 78-foot and 90-foot homesites.

If you have news, notes or tips you want to pass along, contact [email protected]. Or you can text or call 727-371-6944.



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