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Major projects slated for Pine Island Road

By Staff | Sep 5, 2019

Two new developments along Pine Island Road will see restaurants, retail, and office space make a new home along the “spine” of the Cape.

The first site in the works will be a new high end commercial development between Santa Barbara Boulevard and Del Prado Boulevard.

Local developer/builder Ray Masciana, along with Carlos Acosta, broker/owner of CRES Commercial Real Estate Services of Southwest Florida, hope to break ground in early spring on what they call Pine Island Village.

Masciana is the mind behind bringing the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs to Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

“Pine Island Village stems from my development background,” Masciana said. “I thought there was a need, and I see the growth potential on Pine Island corridor, and I said, ‘It’s a place for another development.'”

Acosta agreed that Pine Island Road is a place of promising growth and evolution.

“There’s a lot of exciting things happening,” Acosta said. “Recently we had the Chrysler dealership open up, Nissan is well on its way to be finished, and we thought there was a great need for ‘class A’ office space and also a really nice retail center that is going to be built to be able to have people come and gather. It’s going to have four beautiful fountains in the center and a gazebo so people can gather.”

The pair are looking to stand out from the rest and bring something unique to the city.

“The vision is not to duplicate what everything else is here in Cape Coral,” said Masciana. “Everything here in retail is in a strip center, malls — and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to do something completely different. And that’s why we created a village atmosphere — building surrounded in a U-shaped form, with a gazebo and fountains in the middle to bring the community together — have community events as well — and all the retail users can have events as well to bring more people into the village. There’s plenty of seating around the fountain, at least 200 seats.”

The village will be anchored by what Masciana likes to call “triple-A” office space, surrounded on both sides by retail.

Up front and center will be fountains on four corners, centered by the gazebo. Pedestrians will be able to walk across and through the gazebo to get to different sections of the village.

The pair are still looking for businesses to be a fit for what they’re trying to accomplish, but, of course, there will be a Nathan’s Famous at the location.

“It’s a different project — unique. I’m looking for boutique-type businesses that don’t exist in the Cape right now,” said Acosta. “You have a lot of centers with your traditional national tenants, but we’re looking for different types of businesses — restaurants, your typical (mom and pop) local businesses that you see in downtown Cape Coral. We want to bring that to Pine Island Road.”

They believe the area has the most potential for growth, and already showed that with new car dealerships just built.

“That’s the area of growth. That’s where it is,” said Masciana. “The west side of Pine Island is going to move, it’s going to grow, and I’ll be the first one to start it going.”

Masciana said he’s looking to give more life to commercial space, as more often than not, those developments lack in originality and uniqueness.

“I really wanted to build a center, but I changed it to a village with a fountain because I want to give amenities to commercial space,” Masciana said. “Commercial space is so raw and cold. I wanted to create a more warm atmosphere (with) a center attraction and make it a village.”

Economic Development Manager for the city, Ricardo Noguera, said he is assisting the duo in finding referrals for prospective areas.

Noguera expects this development, which is in the permitting stages, to not hold back.

“They’re including everything but the kitchen sink,” Noguera said.

Another change along Pine Island Road in the near future will be the removal of the Circle-K and Shell Station at the corner of Pine Island and Del Prado to usher in a restaurant, retail, and maybe a bit of office space.

Noguera said the $30-plus million dollar project is slated to break ground by the end of this year or early 2020.

The site is being developed by a company out of Indianapolis, said Noguera.

The 40,000-square-foot parcel of land is one of many sites along Pine Island that is getting a face lift, or, being dressed up for the first time.

Noguera said Pine Island is a great place to do so.

“Pine Island Road is a lot deeper in terms of land area than Del Prado,” Noguera said. “I would like to see multifamily housing not in front, but behind on Pine Island. I want to beautify Pine Island so that is becomes an attractive drive for investors and people who live and work here.”

He said that projects such as the one Masciana and Acosta are developing is what he wants to see more of.

“The time has arrived,” Noguera said. “There’s lots of developments in the works. We have a great team here, and we’re open for business.”

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj