Miami-based Jaxi CMD LLC has purchased the old Cypress Club high-rise site in downtown Fort Myers for $4,675,000 and plans to begin sales for a luxury condominium there next year.
If Jaxi starts construction in 2017 as planned, it will be the first high-rise to get underway in downtown Fort Myers since Oasis broke ground in 2006.
Jaxi will get a $15 million tax-increment-financing incentive for the construction of the first of two planned 32-story towers, said Don Paight, executive director of the Fort Myers Redevelopment Agency.
"We could offer incentives to the first in the door" for what Paight hopes will be the first of a new wave of high rises – which ended abruptly in 2006 when the bottom fell out of the housing market in Southwest Florida.
"What we're hoping is when the first project starts, you'll see others as well," Paight said, adding that there's been a resurgence of interest in the high-rise sector lately. "We've seen end users buying a lot of these properties."
Like Oasis, Cypress Club started construction in 2006 but got only as far as putting down a slab. Oasis' two towers were built by 2008 but by then most prospective buyers had bailed out and developer The Related Group of Miami lost the project in foreclosure.
Paight said Jaxi expects to get about $300 per square foot for the condos it plans – that would be $360,000 for a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom apartment.
Commercial real estate broker Steve Luta, who represents the Billy's Creek Condominium project and the adjacent Rock Lake motel on State Road 80 just east of downtown, said there's been an increased interest in high-rise sites around Southwest Florida.
Jaxi's project "seems like a smart move — to do it and get the incentives at the same time," he said.
Others aren't being as careful, Luta said.
"I'm seeing people buy land in Collier County; they're closing on sites at prices that don't make sense to me," he said. "It's a land grab."
Article courtesy of News-Press.com