Volume 110 | SEPTEMBER 2019
Economic Development News & Updates
IN THIS ISSUE OF OUR QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER:
Plans for 'Pine Island Village' with on camera interviews
Message from New Economic Development Manager...Ricardo Noguera
Mercola Creates Jobs, Corporate Headquarters in Cape Coral
Planned Skybar, Steakhouse Already Boosting South Cape Revitalization
Pro Med Instruments Hosts First On Site Product and Procedure Training
New Home for BizChat!
Finalists to be Recognized at Industry Appreciation Awards
Cape Coral Top Ranking
New Businesses in Q2 2019
Save the Dates: FSBDC GLOW event, Blue Chip Awards, Cape Coral Catch the Vision event
New Premier Mixed-Use Development Planned in Pine Island Corridor
The new development site is on Pine Island Road between Santa Barbara and Del Prado boulevards.
A new high end commercial development is in the works along Pine Island Road. Local developer/builder Ray Masciana plans to break ground on Pine Island Village in December. He’s working with Carlos Acosta, broker/owner of CRES Commercial Real Estate Services of Southwest Florida, to find just the right tenants for retail, restaurant and “triple A” office space. Planned amenities include water features, unique architectural designs and a gazebo. MerriBeth Farnham caught up with Ray and Carlos recently to hear more about their plans, and to see a video rendering of the concept.  Check out the interviews below, then email cacosta@ccim.net for more information.
Message from New Economic Development Manager Ricardo Noguera
A revamped Commercial Investment Opportunities Guide is one of several new marketing tools.
Ricardo Noguera
It’s a pleasure to be able to represent Cape Coral to promote development opportunities in this fine city. My approach is to "think outside the box" in considering opportunities and challenges. Each community has different attributes. Economic development must be approached based on local market conditions, political and community desires and, most importantly, land availability for redevelopment and infill.

In the past six months, I’ve gained a grasp of our market and its unique challenges.
  • Approximately eight percent of Cape Coral land is zoned commercial and industrial. The rest is zoned for single family residences, making it a challenge to expand commercial/industrial inventory.
  • Distance from I-75
  • Lack of utilities to support developments along the western portion of Pine Island Road and along Burnt Store Road

For every challenge, there exist opportunities to promote infill, commercial, industrial and mixed-use development.
  • On city-owned properties (i.e., North Del Prado Commerce Park, a.k.a. Academic Village)
  • On privately-owned properties (i.e., Zemel property in NE Cape Coral)
  • 100+ acre sites along Del Prado Boulevard and Burnt Store Road offer ample space to fill a need for office and light industrial where current vacancy rates run in the single digits.
  • South Cape has an enormous opportunity to evolve into a walkable community with "downtown" housing. We are working with several private developers to promote mixed-use development (i.e., Bimini Basin).

Cape Coral is now the 8 th largest city in Florida with a 2+ percent annual growth rate. We are rapidly changing from a retirement community to a workforce market with the median age near 42. Moving ahead, the EDO will focus on a marketing approach that involves travel to conferences, trade shows, and on site visits to developers and end users throughout the U.S. The goal is to build out less developed sites and bring industry and good-paying jobs to the Cape with an emphasis on millennials. I look forward to this challenge.
Mercola Creates Jobs, Corporate Headquarters in Cape Coral
Mercola workers
When Mercola began to move its global headquarters to Cape Coral three years ago, a small staff migrated with the natural health company to begin to build out the first 15,000 square feet of millennial-friendly office space--and to hire local talent.

Today, Mercola’s Cape Coral headquarters has more than 100 employees. The Cape Coral City Council recently approved a retroactive job creation incentive to reward Mercola for bringing higher wage jobs to our city. The average wage is $60,000 and Council approved up to $132,000 in incentives.

The mercola.com natural health website uses a holistic approach to help audience members make informed decisions about their health with research-proven nutritional, lifestyle and exercise principles. Dr. Mercola sells over 1,000 premium, GMO-free natural health products to a global customer base.

The company plans to more than double its Cape Coral space and open its first floor to the public with a one-of-a-kind retail store and marketplace, with a beautiful outside area.

To learn more about Mercola, see the workspace and future plans, check out the video business profile below.

Planned Skybar, Steakhouse Already Boosting South Cape Revitalization
Rendering of four-story building with Prime 239 steakhouse and Skybar 26 at 1415 Cape Coral Parkway.
South Cape Coral’s revitalization efforts got a big shot in the arm in June with announced plans for a new steakhouse and skybar in a new four-story building on Cape Coral Parkway. Construction is set to begin this fall and finish in November 2020. The project is a joint effort from Cape Coral residents and friends George Lukas and Oliver Straetz.

The first floor will be home to Prime 239. Skybar 26, named for the 26th latitude on which Cape Coral Parkway sits almost exactly, will have views of the Caloosahatchee River. Exact plans for office space on the second and third floors are still being determined.

Following the recent completion of the $13.1 million SE 47 th Terrace Streetscape Project, the commercial development was met as welcome news as Cape Coral diversifies its tax base. Lukas, also owner of Ceno Grille in Cape Coral, said the project carries a price tag of more than $3 million. He said he’s already receiving phone calls for reservations for New Year’s Eve 2020. “It’s going to be a landmark in Cape Coral,” he said.

Lukas said the project also is already having another desired effect: spurring more interest in commercial development in South Cape and Cape Coral. “This is going to start the domino effect,” he said, citing phone calls he said he’s received from other developers asking about the city’s support. “They’re going to start coming. I told them, ‘Just bring it. They’ll welcome you with open arms.’”

Pro Med Instruments Hosts First On Site Product and Procedure Training
pro med instruments training
Pro Med Instruments expanded on its reputation as a global leader in neurosurgical technology by hosting its first product and procedure training seminar at its recently expanded Cape Coral facilities. The company, which provides cranial stabilization and brain retraction technology to neurosurgeons, hospitals and patients in over 100 countries, hosted about a dozen affiliated partners for specialized education and demonstrations.

The training included the use of a mobile operating table, cranial stabilization devices from PMI, hands-on training and instructional procedure videos. It improved on prior, off-site educational opportunities, said Michael DeMaria, president of Philadelphia-area MD Surgical Products. “This is a little more advanced. I’m quite impressed,” said DeMaria, who believes the on-site training capacity is one more element that will enable PMI to expand its market share. “I’m excited about our future. We’re constantly bringing new technology to the field and making the best products on the market. We haven’t even scratched the surface right now.”

PMI, based in Germany, opened its North American headquarters in Cape Coral more than 10 years ago. In 2018, the privately-owned company completed the first phase of a multiyear expansion project of its facilities here to accommodate growing operations.

The initial training seminar was for PMI distributors from the East Coast. Urs Brunner, managing director of PMI in Cape Coral, said a second session is planned for November for representatives from the West Coast, followed by several more next year. “They will be promoting our products to neurosurgeons across the United States,” Brunner said. “We will bring people to Cape Coral, expose them to our technologies and introduce them to the region and just be excited about having new people come here.”
Finalists to be Recognized at...
Sixteen finalist companies will be recognized, and the winners announced, at the 2019 Industry Appreciation Awards, Friday, Oct. 25, at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. The luncheon is 10:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. It is presented by the Horizon Council, Horizon Foundation and Lee County Economic Development.

The finalists: Small Business – Chris-Tel Construction, Edison National Bank, ITVantage; Large Business (51 or more employees) – MY Shower Door, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Scotlynn USA Division; Innovator of the Year – AXI International, Honc Destruction, Lamar Advertising of Fort Myers; Manufacturer of the Year – Golden Manufacturing, HF scientific, MY Shower Door; Start Up of the Year – Cape Coral-based Architectural Metal Flashings, Creative Architectural Resin Products; Community Steward of the Year – Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright and Co., Sullivan State Farm Agencies. Register here .
New Home for BizChat!
Don’t miss important networking and educational opportunities at the monthly BizChat, now in a new home! The Coral Ridge Event Center, 950 Chiquita Blvd., will host the final two installments in 2019, on Sept. 25 and Oct. 23, before the holiday hiatus. BizChat, presented by the Cape Coral Economic Development Office and FGCU SBDC, returns January 2020 and runs every fourth Wednesday of the month. Times are 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m. Light lunch is included. Learn more: 239-574-0444 or ecodev@capecoral.net .
BizChat Logo
Cape Coral Top Ranking
A recent ranking gives Cape Coral high marks for affordability and employment. In August, Cape Coral and Fort Myers ranked No. 5 in the nation in a report from Realtor.com on Top Moving Destinations. Relative affordability and strong employment highlighted the leading attributes for cities on the list.
New Businesses in Q2 2019
381 new businesses registered for Cape Coral Business Tax Receipts
Save the Dates
The Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University is hosting its third annual women’s entrepreneurial event, G.L.O.W. (growth, leadership, ownership, well-being and wealth) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2019, at Bonita Bay Club. Tickets are $35 and include breakfast as well as free headshots and a 20-page behavioral assessment to help in making solid business decisions. Learn more.
The 25th annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award, coordinated and sponsored by McGriff Insurance Services, is Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. The Blue Chip Award program recognizes small business owners who have overcome adversity to achieve success. Register here.
Catch the Vision provides the latest trends, tips and forecasting on new and exciting development in Cape Coral. The event is Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. at Cape Christian Fellowship, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. Tickets are $20 and include a light meal and full color brochure. A portion of proceeds go to Cape Coral Caring Center. Visit catchthevisioncapecoral.com or contact Linda or Gloria at 239-542-2254 or catchthevisioncc@gmail.com for more.
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CAPE CORAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
Ricardo Noguera • Terri Hall • Karen Ramos • Nita Whaley

239.574.0444 • ecodev@capecoral.net bizcapecoral.com

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