Published: Aug 02, 2011 11:23 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 02, 2011 4:29 PM EDT


FORT MYERS, Fla.-- If you've ever cruised along the Caloosahatchee River, you've probably seen your fair share of "for sale" signs, typically boasting a river-front home with a rich history. But there's another type of property on the market there, too: an entire island!


"It's one of a kind," seller and developer Todd Gates told WINK News as he gave us a tour of the island. "To me it's a diamond in the rough."


Mere minutes and a quick boat ride from Downtown Fort Myers, another 4.5 acres of build-able real estate is just waiting for the right buyer.


"We put approximately 5 million dollars into the island," said Gates. "Underground utilities. We jacked and bored across the river, underneath the river many years ago."


The sliver of land known as Lofton's Island can accommodate a few dozen boat docks and two private beach areas. It's zoned residential, but the Gates says the city will be flexible.


"We've got commercial uses approved. We can put restaurants out here, a hotel out here."


Many on the mainland are hoping the proximity brings the promise of better business to Downtown Fort Myers.

"Anything that draws more people to the area is going to help," said Leif Lustig, the Dock Master at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin. The city docks have a clear view of the island.


But with a hotel in the area, the Ambassador, already sitting empty. There's fear the island may stay that way, too.


"We'd love to see something happen out there," said Lustig. "It's kind of a shame to just have it sitting out there."


Gates hopes it won't be empty much longer either.


"When people come to Fort Myers, they get postcards of the Edison House or maybe the Shell museum. I'd like to see Lofton's Island on a post card one day."


The price tag for this little piece of paradise? $7 million. That's significantly lower than a previous offer of $11 million which fell through several years ago.


Click here to view a listing of the property: