Published: Sep 21, 2010 5:05 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 20, 2010 10:33 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee Co. has closed on some prime real estate on Ft. Myers Beach. The county has bought a huge vacant lot, fronting the Gulf of Mexico, and also the mostly shuttered Seafarer's Village on Estero Blvd. Now Lee and the town of Ft. Myers Beach must decide the future for the village.

"It will either be parking, or it will be what it was before: retail shops, bars and restaurants," said Lee Commissioner Ray Judah. "I am sure the town would like the tax base of shops and restaurants, but it's also clear that parking is needed there."

Judah told WINK that the county will put landscaping, gazebos and tiki huts on the vacant lot. It will provide access for the public to the beach.

The county paid 5.6 million dollars for the foreclosed properties. The money comes from tourist taxes, not local property taxes.