The Village of Estero is currently considering 17 applications from developers seeking rezoning or development orders to start building. The process typically begins with a presentation to the Planning and Zoning Board (PZB), unless a development has already received zoning approval from Lee County or the Village of Estero. If any changes are sought to the current zoning, the developer must seek the approval of the PZB and Village Council.
Once a property is zoned, the developer will need the project’s layout and design approved by the Design Review Board (DRB). This board consists of architecture, landscaping, and civil engineering professionals who evaluate each proposed development’s design, site plan and landscaping and its compatibility with the Comprehensive Plan. The Village has been working from the inherited Lee County Plan but will have its own Comprehensive Plan by the end of the year.
Fifteen of the seventeen projects received their present zoning from Lee County before the Village of Estero was created in 2015. As result, the owners of these properties are entitled to density and intensity of development greater than what might have been provided by the Village. However, if that zoning is no longer the best use for that property in current market conditions, the property will have to be rezoned and the Village will have more influence in the use of that property.
The 17 projects in the development review process consist of a wide variety of uses and sizes — three retail projects, five commercial projects (a storage facility, an office project with some re-tail, a daycare center, a healthcare facility and a hotel), five residential projects (single family homes, multi-unit condos, senior care and rental housing), and four mixed use developments which include a large number of housing units along with some commercial development.
All eight of the retail and commercial developments are on parcels of land smaller than five acres. All but one of the housing developments are mid-sized properties between five and 21 acres, while the Corkscrew Crossing development is a massive 396-acre site. Finally three of the four mixed use developments are among the largest vacant sites in Estero‘s commercial corridors, ranging from 43 acres to 100 acres.
The smaller retail and commercial projects seem to be moving along much faster in the approval process while many of the larger ones are still in the planning and financing process.
What follows is a summary of developments currently under review by the Village of Estero. The ECCL has partnered with GIS Solutions to create a map showing the location of each of these developments. This map will be updated as new development applications make their way through the Village’s zoning and design review process.
Aldi Grocery Store 1
Aldi is planning to build a 22,000-square-foot grocery store directly north of Walmart in the Estero Town Center development. Aldi is currently in the design review process, with the most re-cent plan showing an eight-foot wall to buffer the grocery store from The Vines at Estero Country Club. Aldi is a discount grocery retailer with proposed hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is considerable concern and opposition from the residents of the adjacent Vines community, and the developer has been encouraged to meet with the community.
Heartland Dental 2
Heartland Dental is planning to build a one-story, 5,520-square-foot building to house a dental office and a retail tenant in Grande Oaks Shoppes at the northeast corner of Corkscrew Road and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway.
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits 3
ABC Fine Wines & Spirits is planning to build a new, 12,360-square-foot store at the Paradise Shoppes of Estero along U.S. 41 just south of the entrance to Pelican Sound. This will be a new location and expansion for the liquor store which is currently located in another unit at Paradise Shoppes.
NCH Medical Center 4
NCH is proposing a $30 million, 41,664-square-foot medical facility on a 3.5-acre site on the west side of U.S. 41 in Coconut Trace, across from the entrance to Coconut Point Mall. The two-story outpatient medical center would include a 24/7 emergency room, surgical suites, support services and physician’s offices. This would be an offsite emergency department for Naples Community Hospital. The Design Review Board (DRB) denied NCH Healthcare System’s application for a development order based on deficiencies in the design as well as a zoning conflict with the 24-hour operation of the emergency room — all businesses within the Coconut Trace development are limited to hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. NCH is appealing the decision and is expected to bring its case before Village Council in September or October.
University Highlands Storage Facility 5
University Highlands Limited Partnership (UHLP) is seeking to build a 90,000-square-foot self-storage facility off of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in front of the Tidewater community and across the street from the Grandezza Community. This parcel was previously zoned for 20,000 square feet of office space and 9,000 square feet of retail space. Trip generation calculations by trans-portation/civil engineering firm David Plummer & Associates determined fewer trips would be generated by the self-storage facility than the currently zoned office and retail uses.
Arcos Executive Center 6
Arcos Executive Center is a three-story office building with a small amount of retail proposed in the Plaza del Sol development located at the northeast corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway. The 70,000-square-foot, three-story office building would sit directly on the corner of this intersection. The developer, LAI Design Associates, plans to work with Lee County Utilities to relocate the sewer lift station currently on the northwest corner of the property.
Milestone Learning Center 7
Milestone Learning Center is a daycare facility which opened in 2014 in the Breckenridge Professional Center (northwest of the intersection of U.S. 41 and Estero Parkway). Milestone is seeking to expand its operations into a building previously zoned for office space, enabling the center to accommodate an additional 60 children. The daycare currently serves 80 children, ages eight weeks to 5 years old. The expansion would add six classrooms and bring maximum enrollment to 156.
Hilton Garden Inn (Coconut Point Tract 1-D-3) 8
Hilton Garden Inn is seeking to build a five-story, 115-room hotel on a two-acre site at the southwest corner of Via Villagio and Sweetwater Ranch Boulevard next to the Estero fire station at Coconut Point. A hotel was previously permitted by Lee County for a different tract of land within the Coconut Point DRI, slightly to the north. The new location for this proposed 55-foot-tall hotel is directly southwest of the Villagio community.
Coconut Crossing 9
Coconut Crossing is a 46-acre, mixed used planned development at the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Coconut Road. Infrastructure was built several years ago. This development was ap-proved by Lee County for 300,000 square feet of commercial space plus 142 multifamily units. Original plans also indicated a 150-unit hotel. Coconut Crossing is now in the rezoning process with the Village. In 2015 (before Estero’s incorporation), Coconut Crossing representatives presented a plan to the Estero Community Planning Panel which included seeking a zoning deviation to allow 95-foot-tall buildings with parking underneath several levels of office space and residential units. Estero’s current zoning limits building heights to 45 feet. The developer has not presented any updated plans since 2015.
Estero Crossing 10
Estero Crossing is a planned mixed use development on 43 acres about 1,000 feet west of the Corkscrew Road/I-75 interchange on the south side of Corkscrew Road. Stock Development is seeking to build 350 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of commercial space east of Lowe’s and adjacent to Island Club and Corkscrew Woodlands. This property was previously zoned by Lee County for a 300,000-square-foot “big box” store with surrounding retail shops. Under the existing zoning and the new proposal, a frontage road would separate the 350-unit apartment complex from four commercial out-lots along Corkscrew Road. A traffic signal would be in-stalled at the entrance to Lowe’s on Corkscrew Road before any construction begins. Plans are currently on hold until the Village completes its Comprehensive Plan.
Estero North Point 11
Estero North Point is a 100-acre property located within the Village Center at the northeast corner of U.S. 41 and Williams Road directly north of Hertz. North Point was previously approved by Lee County as a mixed use planned development with residential and commercial uses. The current zoning includes 150 multifamily housing units, 550,000 square feet of retail space, 120,000 square feet of office space and a 150-room hotel. In 2015, North Point presented a plan to rezone for 600 residential units (type to be determined), 300,000 square feet of retail space and 120,000 square feet of office space. North Point has not applied for specific uses since the Village Center Plan was adopted earlier this year. In December 2016, North Point presented plans to the DRB for core infrastructure only, including interior roads, public access (turn lanes and traffic signals), sidewalks and landscaping buffers.
Via Coconut Urban Place 12
Via Coconut Urban Place is a proposed mixed-used development on 18.5 acres at the southwest corner of Via Coconut Point and Corkscrew Road across from the new Genova community (currently under construction). Focus Development Group is seeking to build 297 multi-family units and 30,000 square feet of commercial space in Via Coconut Urban Place, which is within Estero’s designated Village Center. The long, narrow site is bordered on the west by the railroad tracks, where there may be a future recreational path. Multi-family buildings and parking lots would be interspersed throughout the Via Coconut Urban Place development, along with three-story commercial buildings and outdoor gathering spaces. There are four access points to this development from Via Coconut Point. Plans show potential future interconnections with the Estero North Point property immediately to the west.
The PZB earlier voted to recommend denial of the zoning for this development because it failed to integrate the commercial and residential uses on the property as required for all mixed use developments. The developer may be working on some modifications to the application but has not returned to the Village for several months.
Park Place of Estero 13
Park Place is a planned, single-family home community on five acres at 9400 Block Lane, west of River Ranch Road. This parcel was previously approved by Lee County for 26 homes. The developer, LAI Design Associates, is requesting a reduction in the number of lots to 16 and the addition of a half-acre lake with a fountain and a public sitting area. This would be a gated com-munity of one- and two-story, semi-custom homes.
Corkscrew Crossing 14
Corkscrew Crossing is a proposed residential development on 396 acres off of Corkscrew Road directly east of Wildcat Run and west of Bella Terra. The developer, ARGO Land Development, is proposing 625 units, including both single-family and multifamily units. Corkscrew Crossing was previously approved by Lee County for 700 units. The current plan calls for 130 single-family homes and 495 multifamily units to be built in four-story buildings. The developer has committed to preserving at least 218 acres; the community will feature several lakes, natural areas and an amenity center.
Phoenix at Estero 15
Phoenix at Estero is a planned senior living facility being developed by Echelon Senior Living Group at the rear of Plaza del Sol which is located on the northeast corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway, adjacent to the Estero Medical Center. The three-story design includes 124 dwelling units: 100 assisted living and 24 memory care units. These would be rental units of one or two bedrooms. The proposed design also includes internal courtyards, porches and out-door dining.
Colonnade of Estero (Volunteers of America) 16
Colonnade of Estero is a 340-bed retirement community planned on a 21-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Sandy Lane and Corkscrew Road. Volunteers of America operates a similar facility (Gulf Coast Village) in Cape Coral. This senior living community will allow continuum of care from independent living apartments to assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. The planned facility also includes a medical office. Volunteers of America is anticipating employing 160 staff members at build-out. The community will feature Old Florida architecture and include an open campus with a civic center, which would be available for use by community groups. The project will be completed in two phases, starting at the western end of the property.
Volunteers of America is working with Greystone Communities Inc., developers of The Terraces in Bonita Springs, to develop this facility.
Edera at Coconut Point (Coconut Point Tract 1A) 17
Edera at Coconut Point is a 180-unit apartment complex proposed for a 13-acre site at the south-east corner of Via Coconut Point and Williams Road. The developer, 13th Floor Investments, has stated average rent would be $1,500. Edera would offer public use of its lake including a pedes-rian path and observation deck. Plans call for median landscaping in and around the roundabout on Via Coconut Point at Williams Road. Edera has agreed to additional landscaping so there is no line of sight from Edera to the Palmetto Ridge pool, which is within Shadow Wood at The Brooks. Edera’s plans indicate four, three-story apartment buildings. Amenities will include a recreation center, pool, green space, bike sharing program and trolley service to Coconut Point Mall and the future Lee Health Coconut Point facility Point.