Pine Island Expansion

Pine Island Road is coming to life as the commercial spine of Cape Coral – running through the city’s relatively sparse residential communities along the northern edge of the city.It’s been a long time coming.“When we first came here in the early ’90s we had to join the Moose just to have a place to eat,” said Dave Large, general manager of Roger Dean Chevrolet at Pine Island and Santa Barbara Boulevard.Now the dealership has plenty of company on the heavily traveled road, which runs 10 miles from U.S. 41 in North Fort Myers to the barrier island of Pine Island: Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill restaurants are nearby with a slew more scattered along the highway from 41 to Burnt Store Road.Greenwell’s Bat-a-Ball & Family Fun Park and the road’s only other car dealership, Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral, are east of Hancock Bridge Parkway.There will be a lot more businesses coming in years to come, said Dana Brunett, director of economic development for the Cape. “Realistically that’s the growth area. Pine Island Road is the best place for that type of expansion.”The most visible proof of that is the Sam’s Club scheduled to open at the end of the year at Pine Island and Hancock Bridge Parkway, he said.Across the street is the Mid Cape Corporate Center, a mixed office/industrial/flex project near Santa Barbara Boulevard and Pine Island Road in Cape Coral.“That building’s going to take off” as the corridor fills up with businesses and homes, Brunett said.Gary Tasman, founder and executive director of Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida, said the road’s business revival is driven by a Cape residential real estate market that’s “on fire.”Because of that growth, he said, “The retail segment of the commercial market has come alive.”Right now, Tasman said, the typical rental rate along both Pine Island and Del Prado Boulevard are about the same: $12-14 per square foot.A few years ago at the bottom of the recession, he said, “We were doing 8- and 9-dollar deals.”

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