NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodImmokalee


BIG MONEY, BIGGER PLANS: Commissioners buy $20 million Immokalee farm

Posted at 10:21 PM, May 23, 2024

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — In February, a soccer league in Immokalee wanted to see more soccer fields and places like it in the area. Their county commissioner heard them out.

The county bought 2,247 acres for those soccer fields and so much more.

The east side of Immokalee will look different in give or take three years.

The county bought the land from the Williams Farms for $20.7 million with an idea in mind.

Commissioner Bill McDaniel represents Immokalee. He said, "I couldn't be happier. It's way past time. You saw at that event we were at a couple months ago. The stress, duress, the community is suffering because of the lack of the field space."

At the February meeting, Commissioner McDaniel listened to how people felt and helped come up with a solution, 2,000 plus acres.

The county planscall for soccer and baseball fields, affordable housing, conservation, water quality improvements with Lake Trafford next door, a Parks and Recreation facility and more.

The people who live around here said it's long overdue.

"God, I thought it's about time. This community is so overcrowded," long-time resident JJ Barnhart said.

Barnhart and his brother Bernardo grew up in Immokalee. Now, they raise their kids here and said as much as the area's grown, the infrastructure is the same from their childhood.

"A lot of things a lot of people have that come second hand in, they have it and we don't," Bernardo Barnhart said.

His brother added a space like this could help kids stay safe,
"They're looking for something to do, and there really is no room. No space to do anything."

Commissioner McDaniel said, "It checks all the boxes. Its got the environmental, its got the housing, its got the roads and bridges, its got the parks and rec. Boom."

The sellers accepted the county's $20.7 million dollar offer, so the board will vote whether to approve the purchase on Tuesday.