Over a decade later, a new plan for a vacant Cape Coral lot

A promise of jobs, educational buildings and projects. But more than a decade later, people are still waiting for those promises for an empty lot in Cape Coral.

Within the last hour, the Cape Coral City Council approved moving about $300,000 for the project. Back in 2003, the City of Cape Coral dubbed it “Academic Village.” However, we learned Monday, it has a new focus.

At the corner of Del Prado Blvd. N and Kismet Pkwy. sits 165 acres of undeveloped land. The City of Cape Coral spent more than $6 million on the location in 2003. The idea then was to attract a university.

But Ricardo Noguera, with the Cape Coral Economic Development Office, said 16-years later they have a new plan, which is to attract a corporate office park.

Noguera said he and his team are reaching out to big names, such as firms that specialize in medical technology. He hopes to bring a corporate campus and thousands of potential jobs to Southwest Florida’s largest city.

Right now, 125 acres of land is up for grabs.

The South Florida Water Management District issued Cape Coral a permit for the development of the land. But part of it has to be designated for conservation.

Noguera hopes the shift in focus from an academic hub to a corporate campus will provide what Cape Coral needs to keep jobs on their side of the bridge.

“Many of the jobs we have here now are service-related,” Noguera said. “We need jobs that are going to address the needs of the millennials and create opportunities so people can live and work and raise a family here in Cape Coral.”

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
Writer:Michael Mora
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