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Investors flock to Charlotte County, creating visible transformation and vital prosperity.

Charlotte County is looking bigger and better these days as more and more investors see compelling opportunities here. The expansion of Cheney Brothers distribution center is underway, and Amigo Pallets completed construction of its manufacturing facility in the Airport Commerce Center. New retail development includes Port Charlotte Station, which will feature a Five Guys Restaurant and an Aspen Dental as well as office space; an AutoZone and a Firestone store; Kings Crossing with shops, restaurant and medical space; Twisted Fork, a themed, destination restaurant; and an expanded Aldi grocery.

And now Lost Lagoon Development has just closed on a $3 million loan from Kennedy Funding for the acquisition of the 101.45 acres of land, purchased for $3.755 million, for the future home to Arredondo Pointe, a development that promises to bring massive transformation to the area.

In addition to the development’s centerpiece—the Lost Lagoon-branded hotel and 45-acre water park—Arredondo Pointe will offer a multi-level golfing facility, retail shops, restaurants, a state-of-the-art convention center, arts venues and cultural and historic spaces. In short, it promises what residents and community leaders have long envisioned: An inviting and walkable downtown that will lure people “over the bridge” to dine, shop, play and enjoy an array of engaging arts.

That vision is also what attracted Kennedy Funding, the Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based direct private lender. The Arredondo Pointe loan, a commercial real estate loan at 80% loan-to-cost, is unusual for raw land, particularly at this time. But, as Kennedy CEO Kevin Wolfer noted in the company’s loan announcement, Lost Lagoon has “a clear plan with all the approvals in place. It was easy for us to share in Lost Lagoon’s vision for the future of Arredondo Pointe.”

While the project brings immediate good news for local construction companies and contractors, upon completion the development is expected to create 500 to 800 non-seasonal jobs for area residents, in addition to seasonal work opportunities.

“Poised for explosive growth”
All together, Charlotte County building permits for 2019-2020 are expected to meet or exceed 2018-2019 number of 28,701. Other projects planned for immediate construction: More homes and a Publix supermarket at Babcock Ranch; a new Family Service Center; the Plaza on El Jobean Road, a 10-unit development for retail and professional services; and 18 four-unit coach homes at Heritage Landing Golf and Country Club, developed by Lennar Corporation, a Fortune 500 firm and the largest home construction company in the U.S.

Additionally, construction has begun at West Port, a mixed-use planned community located adjacent to Arredondo Pointe.  At completion, West Port will include 2,400 single and multi-family housing units.  Together with the homes at Babcock Ranch and Heritage Landing, the County’s housing stock is rapidly expanding.

In fact, residential land has become hot property in Charlotte County, according to Geri Waksler, President of the Economic Development Partnership and a local land-use and zoning attorney. “I’m getting three to five calls per week from people looking for large tracts of land. Demand for housing in Charlotte looks poised for explosive growth in all types of construction, whether it’s single or multi-family, RV parks or even tiny homes. Every type of housing is on the table.”

In the wake of the pandemic, Waksler sees this trend continuing with even greater momentum. “People from urban areas are migrating from the cities to find a better quality of life.”

And as others have, from private lenders in New Jersey to Fortune 500 builders, these migrating professionals may like what they see—which is why Charlotte County may well see more growth and transformation in the future.