LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The Lee County School District is moving forward with plans, Wednesday, to sell nine properties it owns which have sat vacant for years.
The following properties will soon be listed --
1402 NE 1st Place Cape Coral, FL 33909 .23 acre waterfront site
13401 Palomino Ln. Fort Myers, FL 33912 19 acre site
1200 Homestead Rd Lehigh Acres, FL 33936 Listing 1 acre from the site of G Weaver Hipps Elementary
Joel and Tuckahoe Alva, FL 33920 35 acre corner portion for sale. Keeping the remaining 67 acres.
9650 Littleton Rd. North Fort Myers, FL 33903 Listing 47 acres of frontage, keeping the remaining 77 acres
14701 Six Mile Cypress Parkway Fort Myers, FL 33912 Listing 11 acres of frontage to bus depot. Could move driveway if necessary.
20791 Three Oaks Pkwy, Estero, FL 33928 71 acres behind and beside the US Post Office
5451 Tice St. Fort Myers, FL 33905 40 acre portion of the parcel with frontage across from Oak Hammock. Keeping 75 acres.
12961 Tower Rd. Bonita Springs, FL 34135 Listing southern half of the 40 acre site.
The undeveloped status of the properties has prompted questions from concerned citizens. "We did get a lot of constituents with the thought that..all this property, why do you have it? Could you sell it and do something capital-wise? For instance, build schools?" explained Executive Director of Operations for the district, Marc Mora.
Wednesday, school officials did look into the properties, but not under the pretense of making a profit. Mora said if the district sold all 29 vacant properties it owners collectively for their current market value, they would be hard pressed to build even a single school.
Mora said analysis showed the vacant properties they already own are not in great locations to build schools because of access issues. "Demographics shifted, and our student growth has shifted in the county," he said.
So, the school district believes the best move is to sell some of the unused land and swap it out for property of equal value, in locations where the student population is booming. "The idea really isn't to generate revenue, but be able to either sell them and buy property in a more advantageous area, or re-purpose them for other things," said Mora.
Those things could include parks, libraries, or other community needs. Mora said the district will consider selling the remaining 20 vacant properties in the future.
The school district is projected to need another six schools in the next five years to keep up with student growth.