Developer plans mixed-use site near Charlotte County Airport

A developer has begun marketing an upscale mixed-used commercial and industrial park near the Charlotte County Airport.

The "Charlotte Regional Trade Center," 96 acres near Interstate 75 and Jones Loop Road, is planned to include 520,000 square feet of industrial space, 300,000 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of retail and 168 hotel rooms.

The developers are Asa Candler and Steve Ostermann, who formed Punta Gorda I-75 LLC for the project. Their private equity company is funded through Naples-based Fitzgerald Group.

Punta Gorda I-75 bought 128 acres in all.

"Originally our search only targeted 20 to 40 acre parcels, but this property has so much potential, it was an easy decision to purchase the entire 128 acres," Candler said in a statement.

The property is within the Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park district, which offers mixed zoning. The district was created by Charlotte County to boost economic development.

"Because the property is in the ECAP district it already has all the basic land uses -- industrial, office, retail and hotel -- that we were looking for," Ostermann said in a statement.

Publix Super Markets' 900,000-square-foot distribution center is within the district, as are operations of FedEx, UPS, Southeastern Freight Lines and Anheuser-Busch.

Charlotte County Airport, which just announced that it will be served by SkyBus -- its first commercial passenger service since 1984 -- is about a mile away from the new park.

The development is also near a Wal-Mart Supercenter under construction and The Wilder Cos. proposed Loop, a large commercial and residential development.

Besides the 96 acres it plans to develop, Punta Gorda I-75 LLC has a 32-acre property that would be available for retail development.

The overall project is expected to be developed in phases, with the first beginning in January.

The business park is also expected to offer 90,000 square feet of industrial flex space for sale or lease and five one-acre lots.

Fort Myers-based LandQwest Commercial LLC is promoting and marketing the property.