Collier & Lee County Approved For Vacation Rentals

As of Tuesday morning, Fla. DBPR approved plans for 42 counties to safely reopen vacation-rental properties – an increase from 26 counties last Friday.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic was to authorize the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to approve the reopening of vacation rentals based on plans submitted by counties. During the pandemic and until they received DBPR approval, those homes were been banned from accepting reservations or hosting renters after DeSantis signed an executive order in late March.

As of Tuesday morning, 42 of Florida’s 67 counties had received DBPR approval to reopen under safety guidelines set by each county. While those rules may be different, DeSantis set some general guidelines when he announced the change, such as prohibiting or discouraging renters from pandemic hotspots, such as New York or Louisiana.

Last week, however, the governor announced a reopening of vacation rentals, providing steps were taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and counties agreed to make sure those safety measures were followed.

Many counties quickly submitted approval plans following the announcement, and DBPR has quickly approved a number of them. On Friday, 26 counties had received DBPR approval, and that number grew to 42 only four days later.

Hoffmann Family plans 150-room hotel, conference center near Hertz Arena in Estero

The Hoffmann family, which bought Hertz Arena and the Florida Everblades in 2019, has preliminary plans to build a 150-room hotel and small conference center on land off Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in Estero.

“It’s certainly going to support the arena traffic there,” said David Hoffmann, founder of Osprey Capital and chairman of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate. “We have 32 teams that come in here to see us. We hold various sporting events from all over the country where people come to the arena. We have to have a hotel to support that.”  
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Florida Real Estate Market – Sales, Median Prices, New Listings Up in April 2018

In April, Florida’s housing sector reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more new listings from owners ready to enter the market, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
View the detailed reports for Collier and Lee counties in the links below, showing a strong market with a continuous decrease of inventory and increase of selling price.

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Just Reduced – Best Priced Pool Home – The Reserve At Estero

19636 Villa Rosa loop
The Reserve At Estero

Best priced pool home in The Reserve At Estero. This three-bedroom & two-bath home is in mint condition. Featuring 18-inch diagonal tiles in the living area, GE Profile stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood cabinets in the kitchen, new A/C, new pool (gas) heater & washer 2015. With a west exposure, enjoy the sunset from your lanai with an amazing custom designed swimming-pool with water feature and private landscaped view.

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New Construction Could Be Delayed – SW Florida

New construction could be delayed because of Hurricane Irma.

Future homeowners, with houses currently under construction, will have to wait a bit longer than expected to move in. Hurricane Irma has set back timetables for everything from labor to supplies. The hurricane could also be costly for developers who have contracts with fixed prices.

Richard Durling, president of the Lee Building Industry Association (Lee BIA) and owner and president of Marvin Development Corp., said people should expect delays and higher costs.

“The first thing is cleanup and recovery which is what everyone is in gear to do right now,” Durling began. “Until that occurs, it will be a little slow to get back on schedule for the new constructions jobs.”
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Estero – Lee County Commissioners approve purchase of Edison Farms conservation land

A great victory for protection of the environment in Lee County, and particularly Estero!
The Lee Board of County Commissioners (September 19, 2017) voted unanimously to purchase about 4,000 acres in southeast Lee County – commonly known as Edison Farms – as a Conservation 20/20 preservation site.
The $42.4 million purchase ranks as the largest single parcel approved by the Board since the purchase of Bob Janes Preserve, which is 5,620 acres.
The acquisition of the Edison Farms parcel would:

  • Protect a significant, diverse population of wildlife and plant communities.
  • Assist with the distribution of freshwater flows in a natural wetland slough system and adjacent uplands that are part of the headwaters to Estero Bay, the state’s first aquatic preserve.
  • Help sustain the region’s groundwater levels, a vital component to the area’s drinking water supply.
  • Provide flood relief by facilitating the restoration of historic flow-ways in the region.
  • Provide opportunities for nature-based recreation in the southern part of Lee County.

The Edison Farms purchase is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.
Conservation 20/20, which has preserved more than 25,000 acres since its inception, is Lee County’s environmental acquisition and management program. Preservation lands help the county protect drinking water, provide nature-based recreational opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat.
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Estero – Hotel Project Near Coconut Point

Hilton has the project to built an Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Estero, just North of Coconut Point and close of the community of Rapallo.
The hotel would have five stories with 115 rooms. The project still waits for the Village approval and then will go – if approved – in front of the Design Review Board.  View Complete Article…
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The Future of Estero’s Malls: Brighter Than the National Outlook

The Future of Estero’s Malls:
Brighter Than the National Outlook.

New research from Credit Suisse predicts nearly one in four American malls will close by 2022, Fortune Magazine recently reported. Fueled by the rise in e-commerce, store closures are reaching epidemic proportions; Amazon sales continue to rise as sales from brick-and-mortar stores fall. What does this mean for Estero’s two major malls?
Although the numbers sound astounding (20-25 percent of malls predicted to close over the next five years), Coconut Point Mall and Miromar Outlets are unlikely to be affected. Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall developer, shed its low-end malls a few years ago and has been investing in the success of stronger properties like Coconut Point. 
Miromar Outlets is privately held by Miromar Development Corporation and is also likely to weather the “retail apocalypse” just fine.

Estero’s demographics have a lot to do with this sunny outlook. The estimated average income in Estero is about $20,000 above both the state and national averages, according to, which lists retail as the city’s No. 1 industry. Indeed, Estero has long been dubbed the “retail capital of Southwest Florida.”
While both of Estero’s malls have experienced recent store closures — including large spaces vacated by Sports Authority and World Market at Coconut Point — there also have been new store openings. Coconut Point is dividing the 40,000-square-foot space left by Sports Authority for use by two new tenants: Total Wine & More and Tuesday Morning. Clothing retailer Soft Surroundings and restaurant MidiCi Pizza are also currently under construction at Coconut Point.
Diversification is key to the continued health of any mall, according to industry experts. Thriving malls will be less apparel focused and will include more entertainment, dining and lifestyle/fitness opportunities, said Fortune Senior Writer and retail expert Phil Wahbe in “The Future of Malls in America.” He predicts Simon properties will continue to thrive as other malls vanish. 

Coconut Point is on top of the diversification trend, as several interesting tenants have opened within the last year. This includes an Italian bakery (Sospiri), an interior designer (LuxSpaceLiving) and an innovative concept combining apparel sales with dining: Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar. This “oasis” from shopping offers a walk-up bar where weary shoppers can enjoy a mojito, tacos and a key lime pie pop. 

“We are not afraid to take an existing space and split it, like for Total Wine, or combine spaces, like we did for the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar, which is the only one in the U.S.,” noted Coconut Point Mall General Manager Jamie Grofik. “We want to innovate and surprise people — we have to keep it interesting and evolving.”
Fortune reports that Simon’s overall occupancy rate for its 108 malls is strong at about 96 percent. Coconut Point’s occupancy has remained constant since its opening, Grofik said. The newly opened Towneplace Suites by Marriott should drive even more traffic to the mall.

Divieto Ristorante (fine Italian dining) is another promising addition.
At Miromar, Wasabi Japanese Steak House and Sushi Lounge has opened on the mall’s south end, and a new H&M (a Swedish clothing retailer) is under construction nearby. Miromar offers 20 dining options, from snack vendors like Auntie Anne’s Pretzels to upscale restaurants like Wasabi, while Coconut Point offers 28 dining locations. On the casual end, there’s burgers from Five Guys, and on the upscale end, there’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

That diversity is key to the longterm success of the mall and extends to stores selling apparel and housewares. Coconut Point’s tenant mix includes bargain retailers like T.J. Maxx and Target on the north end of the mall, while an upscale department
store (Dillard’s) anchors the south end.
Special events like farmers markets, art festivals and charitable walks add to the foot traffic at both malls during the peak season for vacationers and seasonal residents.
Every mall will experience store closures, but the key is to fill them quickly with something as good, or better than, the previous tenant, Grofik said. Coconut Point’s strategy to combat the rise in e-commerce is simple: “You have to present a shopping experience that’s pleasant with retailers and restaurants that provide excellent service, offer a lot of choices,
and give guests a reason to return.”
Grofik says Simon, as a corporation, has always adapted to changes in the market and will continue to do so. She sees the future particularly bright for Coconut Point Mall, especially if Estero residents continue to support their local retailers.
“Residents need to realize that the more local dollars spent here and the better the tenant performance, the easier it is to retain key retailers and secure new leases for vacancies,” she advised.
©ECCL – June 2017 Report.
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Naples Real Estate – April Market Report Shows Strong End-of-Season Activity

NABOR (Naples Area Board of REALTORS®) just released today the market report for real estate in the Naples area for April 2017.
Here are the principal points of the report.
– Overall inventory in April increased 8 percent to 5,920 homes in April 2017 from 5,480 homes in April 2016.

But at the same time:
 Inventory decreased for the second consecutive month and prices continued to remain stable in April, setting into motion a burst in end-of-season sales for homes in the market’s sweet spot – the $300,000 to $500,000 price category.
– The April report showed a 41 percent increase in pending sales for homes in the $2 million and above price category.

– Most notable was a remarkable 35 percent increase in the $2 million and above condominium inventory for April.

 – Homes that are unrealistically priced influenced April’s average days on market, which showed an increase of 35 percent to 97 days in April 2017 from 72 days in April 2016.
– Prices overall have remained relatively flat over the last year.

– For the 902 homes that closed in April 2017, the majority (65.3 percent) were cash sales and only 34.7 percent were conventional (financed) sales, a statistic that signifies the seasonal wealth factor.
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