Skyplex updates provided by commercial realtor Cushman … – WGCU

We’ve been hearing about Skyplex at the regional airport in Fort Myers, and how it is going to change the region, for the past 10 years. What we’ve actually seen is a few office buildings by major players going up there, like Neogenomics and Gartner.
When I got the opportunity to hear Gary Tasman, head of the local branch of national commercial real estate firm Cushman Wakefield, talk about how his firm is helping with what is being called the re-visioning of Skyplex, I knew I needed to be there.
Tasman first explained what Skyplex is. “Skyplex, for those of you who don’t know, it is basically the 1,800 acres on the north side of the runway where the old terminal was — so it’s basically between the runway and Daniels Parkway. It goes out to Treeline and east way past the Red Sox Stadium.”
Tasman then shared the roll-out of the plan which has been broken into four phases. The four phases include 1) looking at existing conditions, including the market, 2) studying local economic factors, 3) a real estate market analysis, and finally, 4) recommended positioning.
Tasman then talked about the region’s potential economic growth in the next few years. “This tri-county economic system or eco-system provides over 700,000 jobs and (has) grown by almost 50% over the last 20 years. Add to that the $60-90 billion of additional investment that’s heading our way over the next five years and you start to get an understanding of the magnitude that Skyplex can be.”
The recommendations from the study under consideration include a major high-end hotel and meeting space, retail dining and leisure hub, and a flex/tech campus, as well as the region’s emerging bio-life sciences cluster, and a potential employment campus opportunity.
Randy Krise, a local commercial realtor and developer, and long-time member of the Lee County Port Authority Airport Special Management Committee, noted Ben Siegel’s contribution to where the project is today. Siegel is the Executive Director of Lee County Port Authority, which operates Southwest Florida International Airport. “Over the last 10 years Ben has been a visionary for Skyplex and with his leadership we’ve built the infrastructure to be able to do what Gary’s done.”
So, this re-visioning of Skyplex is not something that just happened, it’s been part of a process—and now the vision will start to take shape.
Tasman concluded, “This isn’t a pipe dream. This is not us just waking up one day and saying, ‘Wow, we should have that.’ This is the most data-driven conclusion that’s ever been studied, in our opinion, in Southwest Florida and it’s really been done by a team of world class leaders. I’m excited to move on to the next phase that I hope to be reporting on by the end of the year.”
Karen Moore is a contributing partner for WGCU and the publisher of SWFL Business Today.

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