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SANIBEL | Ian-battered Dairy Queen site sells for $1.65 million

Closed since Hurricane Ian, this prime location is about to take on a new identity
Posted at 11:00 PM, Oct 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 23:00:42-04

SANIBEL, Fla. — A known local landmark, the Dairy Queen on Sanibel Island, is in the midst of a significant transformation. Located on Periwinkle Way, the Dairy Queen, has been a staple for both Sanibel residents and tourists.

This establishment has retained its Dairy Queen branding despite restrictions on certain chain businesses on Sanibel.

Andre Arensman, the buyer's realtor, shared insights into the sale: "It was originally listed at 2 million, it closed it at $1,650,000."

With a history dating back to its opening in 1971, the Dairy Queen held a special place in the hearts of the community.

Jeffrey Burns, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor at Sotheby's Realty on Sanibel, reflected on the Dairy Queen's legacy, saying, "It was a kind of a local hangout, a lot of kids cut their teeth on their first job experience at the Dairy Queen. That was a big place to get your first job; you got hired at Dairy Queen, and you made Blizzards for people in the summertime."

With the sale of this iconic property, a question arises: What's next for this prime Sanibel location? According to Andre Arensman, "It's going to be a hamburger place, with ice cream. Most likely not under the Dairy Queen name, but we're not sure yet."

The Dairy Queen was sold "as-is" and hasn't seen renovations since the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. However, the rebuilding process is not straightforward as a family of eagles nesting nearby has imposed constraints on construction activities, as Jeffrey Burns explained,

"There's a hard pause on some of the work you can do when an eagle has babies in the nest."

The new restaurant is projected to be open in the fall of 2024. The new owners hope that this launch will align with the return of more open resorts and condos on the island.