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Sports billionaire is bringing his cash to North Fort Myers' revitalization efforts

Sports billionaire is bringing his cash to North Fort Myers' revitalization efforts.
Posted at 10:15 PM, May 28, 2024

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — From the bridge to the shell factory, you can't blame people for feeling like something is missing.

"North Fort Myers has always been a little, I want to say, rundown but there's nothing new coming to the area," said Jason Polly, Cheeks at Sunset Harbor co-owner.

That's about to change, thanks to a billionaire.

Fox 4's Bella Line searched through public records and found about 20 acres of land, between Diplomat Parkway and Littleton Road, off of North Cleveland Avenue was recently sold.

The buyer, a company from Columbia, Missouri picked it up for $2.6 million.

I did some more digging and found a connection between the company and the Kroenke group.

As in Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

The man who married into the Walmart fortune.

"I was so excited to hear that the owner of the LA Rams would look at investing in North Fort Myers," said Brian Hamman, Lee County Commissioner District 4. "Our whole program for the last 10 years has been designed to try to attract private investors like that to come in here to see the vision of this riverfront community that can be redeveloped and then to invest in it."

Hamman is not the only person who thinks it'll be good for business. Polly also thinks the entire community is about to change.

"North Fort Myers needs a push to grow more to become like a Fort Myers, Downtown Fort Myers, and, or Naples or something. We need more," said Polly.

It's not just the billionaire's cash, though. Other investors are coming here too.

"Just a few years ago, North Fort Myers was a sea of abandoned buildings and a lot of eyesores and blight over here," said Hamman. "Now all of that has been knocked down and you see new development and new investment coming to our area. I'm excited because I think it's going to bring back jobs and it's gonna bring back businesses to our area."

It's not just business. Hamman says the project at the Hancock Bridge Square and the apartments at Merchants Crossing will bring in some much-needed housing.

"It's just staying stagnant and we're not going to grow if it stays stagnant," said Polly. "More jobs, more housing, hopefully, brings up the housing market a little bit. It's been a long time coming, it's been needed."