November 13, 2019
Lee County: Getting Around
Lee County: Getting Around
Lee County: Getting Around

Sponsored Portrait

Getting Around

Beth Luberecki | 9/17/2019

Lee County Transportation & Infrastructure
50+ Flight Destinations
100+ Miles of Rail
23 Electric Substations
225 Acre Industrial Planned Development

Whether a company wants to ship products in and out of Southwest Florida or simply move its employees between work and home, Lee County makes it easy to do that.

Lee County’s Southwest Florida International Airport offers flights to more than 50 destinations in the United States, Canada, and Germany and is expected to serve 10 million passengers in 2019. Opened in 1983, it’s still a relatively young airport with room for expansion, which could include a second runway down the road.

In 2020 the airport will begin a $200-million project to expand checkpoint capacity to better serve its passenger volume. Once that is completed, the airport will likely add to its existing 28 gates. (It has the capability to grow up to 50-plus gates.)

“We have room to grow here, which I think is an asset and makes us a little unique,” says Jeff Mulder, Lee County Port Authority airport director. The airport also thought strategically when it built a new terminal about a decade ago. So it’s redeveloped the north side of its property (where the original terminal was) into Skyplex, which offers 1,100 acres of real estate zoned for multi-use commercial, light industrial, and aviation development.

The site is already home to a Publix-anchored shopping center and an office complex for global research and the advisory firm Gartner. Alta Resources, a global customer service outsourcing company, also has plans for a $21 million, 90,000-square-foot office building at Skyplex that will have capacity for more than 1,000 employees.

“We love that it’s close to where our workforce is coming from and has easy access to Interstate 75,” says Alta Resources CEO Jim Beré. But the airport isn’t the only thing taking off in these parts. Seminole Gulf Railway works with businesses on transportation and logistical needs ranging from warehousing to final-mile delivery. With more than 100 miles of rail, it can help companies and their products get wherever they want to go in North America.

“We can accommodate anywhere from a multibillion-dollar, international company to a mom-and-pop shop,” says W. Bradley Hurst, vice president of marketing and sales for Seminole Gulf Railway.

The railway has available land on which a company could build a warehouse or other facility, a trucking fleet for transporting goods between businesses and the rail line, and both dry warehousing and cold storage capabilities.

Interstate 75 runs north-south through the county and connects the area to other major Florida cities and the deep-water ports in Tampa, Manatee County, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Road improvement projects currently underway in Lee County include the widening of major thoroughfares like Burnt Store Road, Alico Road, S.R. 82, and S.R. 80 that will make it easier for people and goods to move around.

Utility providers in the area include Lee County Electric Cooperative, which has been serving Southwest Florida for 80 years and boasts 8,000 miles of line and 23 electric substations. “In addition to providing reliable and cost-competitive electricity, we know LCEC can play a key role in supporting a sustainable future,” says Dennie Hamilton, CEO of LCEC.

There’s a lot of action along the Alico Road Corridor in Fort Myers. The 240-acre Alico ITEC Park — whose name stands for innovation, technology, enterprise, and commerce — offers 1.2 million square feet of industrial and commercial space available for businesses, which will be grouped by intensity to ensure compatibility in the park. Premier Airport Park is a more than 225-acre industrial planned development entitled for 1.875 million square feet of industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, high-cube warehousing, and office park use.

 

Tags: Southwest, Lee County Community Portrait

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