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City puts out land swap feeler for old golf course acreage

By Staff | Aug 30, 2017

The city of Cape Coral’s administrative staff has broached the possibility of a land swap with the owner of the old golf course site.

City Manager John Szerlag advised Cape Coral City Council members via email Wednesday that he has contacted Ryan Companies, which owns the 175-acre parcel off Palm Tree Boulevard. Ryan had requested a land use change for the site in hope of selling the property to D.R. Horton. The sale fell through when the national builder, faced with opposition from neighboring property owners and continuing requests for additional concessions and revisions, withdrew prior to City Council’s vote on the request. Council then deadlocked 4-4 on whether to remit the land use change to the state, effectively killing it.

The email states that the city has three possible parcels for trade should Ryan Companies be open to talks concerning some type of swap for land the city owns. Those parcels are 300-plus acres off Old Burnt Store Road, the Seven Islands acreage in the north Cape that the city has deemed appropriate for “destination” type development and the Academic Village acreage off the Del Prado extension, which the city purchased years ago in hope of attracting a branch college campus with related uses.

Bill McHale, executive vice president for Ryan, will now relay the idea to the firm’s CEO for possible interest in opening talks, Szerlag said.

The text of the email reads:

“Subject: Discussion with Ryan Companies

“Good morning, Mayor and Council Members.

“Per your direction following the vote that denied the land use change on the old Golf Course property, Connie Barron and I reached out to Bill McHale, Executive Vice President of Ryan Companies (the owner of the golf course property). Our discussion centered around any potential options his company might consider regarding the golf course property. This included possible land trades (with P3 opportunities, if applicable) involving three, large parcels of City-owned property listed below:

“1.300+ Acres off Burnt Store Road

“2.Academic Village

“3.7 Islands

“Mr. McHale did agree to present the options to the Ryan Company CEO but was non-committal on whether there would be any interest. We will let Council know when we hear back from Mr. McHale.

“Best regards,

“John”