$1B Casino Targeted for the Forum

The News-Press reports that a developer is targeting a 57-acre parcel at the Forum in Fort Myers for a $1B gaming resort. The project would include 1,500 hotel rooms, 300,000 SF of convention space and 400,000 SF of retail stores and restaurants.

Exile in Eden: Life Among the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession

A new book, Exiles in Eden: Life Aong the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession, offering an insiders view to the Florida housing crisis is hitting the shelves this week.

The Fort Myers area is prominently covered by author Paul Reyes including a look at a mostly abandoned, upscale gated community. A book about the housing bust would not be complete without an examination of Lehigh Acres, where the authors parents purchased a vacant lot in 1969 on the $10/month plan while honeymooning in Miami.

Lee County Considers Bulk Lehigh Lot Acquisition

The News-Press reports that the Lee County Commissioners discussed the possibility of acquiring highly-discounted Lehigh Acres residential lots and bundling them together  for industrial and commercial development: Lee County should stock up on cheap lots, a county commissioner suggested. Frank Mann said Thursday the county ought to buy discounted lots[…]

Hovnanian Checks Out

Bye Bye First Homes An ugly era in the annuls of Southwest Florida real estate history came to an end yesterday when Hovnanian sold the last 1,409 lots it owns in Southwest Florida. Hovnanian sold these remaining lots to a Czech investment group for about $3,000 each, a far cry[…]

Lehigh Acres – How It Began

The St. Petersburg Times covers the early history of Lehigh Acres  in an article titled, Lehigh Acres: Florida’s Lesson in Unregulated Growth.  This article is a must read for anyone considering an investment in Lehigh Acres.  The sad truth is that Lehigh Acres was developed to sell cheap land to[…]

Lehigh Acres Featured in Bubble Book

Our Lot: How Real Estate Came To Own Us, a new book by Alyssa Katz, prominently features the Lee County real estate bubble. The Lee County chapter focuses on the flipping that occurred in Lehigh Acres during the height of the market run-up. Anyone who participated in the Lehigh flipping[…]

President Obama Visiting Fort Myers

In recognition of President Obama’s visit to Southwest Florida tomorrow, here is a brief poem titled Hey Mr. President: Hey Mr. PresidentYou’re coming to Lehigh AcresTo tour the despairWith our movers and shakers Hey Mr. PresidentPlease buy my Lehigh lotI acquired it in ’05Now it’s worth squat Hey Mr. PresidentSamir[…]

NY Times on Lehigh Acres

The New York Times covers the economic challenges facing Southwest Florida, and in particular Lehigh Acres in an article titled In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures. The article details the boom years and what has occurred since the real estate market busted. This article is a must read for anyone that[…]

Fort Myers REO Auction

An auction of of 51 REO-owned properties is being held at 7 p.m. August 5, 2008, at the Ambassador Riverfront Hotel located at 2500 Edwards Drive in Fort Myers, Florida. The auctioneer for this event is Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. The properties being auctioned off are primarily single-family homes[…]

Demographic shift

Lee County is getting youngerThe Fort Myers area is undergoing a significant demographic shift with the average age of our residents rapidly dropping. Much of this growth has occurred in Cape Coral and Lehigh as families have been attracted to these communities in large numbers. Since 2000, Lee County has[…]

Fort Myers market update

Mayday…..mayday….. Here is a quick May Day look at a key real estate metric, pending to active(p:a) ratio, for the greater Fort Myers real estate market. I like this metric as it provides a macro view of the current market conditions. Fort Myers residential p:a ratio = 8.2% (pending=533 active=6481)[…]

Pondering Lehigh Acres

Major development pushing eastward The News-Press coverage of the rapidly increasing level of development activity in Alva caused me to pause and think about the future of Lehigh Acres. Each additional step towards the development of the Babcock Ranch also causes me to ponder the future of Lehigh. I recently[…]