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Communities

Lee County

These are the communities that comprise Lee County

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 533-2111
www.lee-county.com

Population (2014): 653,485
Ad valorem tax (per $100 valuation): $16.8278
Median existing-home price (September 2014): $175,000
Average apartment rental (two bedrooms): $897 per month
Monthly taxable sales: (July 2014): $1.025 billion
Retail sales tax: 6 percent
Tourism economic impact (2013): $2.77 billion
Public school students (2014): 75,861
Total per pupil expenditures (2014): $6,224
Graduation rate (2013): 74.4 percent
SAT mean score (2013): 1434
Teachers with advanced degrees (2013): 35 percent
Teachers’ average experience (2013): 13.3 years

 

ALVA

Close-up: Alva was once a bustling spot—and might be again. The 
Caloosahatchee River has been central to the northeast Lee County community from its beginning, when the river served as a primary transportation route. Today, the community is experiencing redevelopment as upscale homes replace Old Florida homesteads, farms and citrus groves, and new communities shoulder into the area. Although a small-town, country atmosphere still dominates, Alva and its neighbors, Buckingham and Olga, are expecting accelerated growth in the next few years, especially with the widening of S.R. 80.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 332-2737
www.lee-county.com 

Population (2006 estimate): 2,437
2011 population projection: 2,689
Median age (2006 estimate): 46
Per capita income (2006 estimate): $27,512
Median household income (2006 estimate): $46,778
Median household disposable income (2006 estimate): $39,846
Number of employees (2006 estimate, daytime workers): 324
Median home sale price (2006): $290,000
Ad valorem tax (per $100 valuation): $16.8278

BOCA GRANDE

Close-up: Separated from the rest of Lee County by Charlotte County is Boca Grande in the northwest corner. Situated on the south end of Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande is renowned for tarpon fishing. It is home to the historic Boca Grande Lighthouse—now a museum—and Gasparilla Inn and Cottages, where, for nearly 100 years, some of the world’s elite have found accommodations, including the Bush family. The island once was a world center for the phosphate industry. Now it thrives on tourism, fishing and high-priced real estate. 

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 332-2737
www.lee-county.com

Population (2006 estimate): 1,426
2011 population projection: 1,726
Median age (2006 estimate): 58.5
Per capita income (2006 estimate): $100,743
Median household income (2006 estimate): $140,015
Median household disposable income (2006 estimate): $105,391
Number of employees (2006 estimate, daytime workers): 891
Average home sale price: $1.3 million*
Ad valorem tax (per $100 valuation): $14.8783

BONITA SPRINGS

Close-up: Lee County’s newest city, located midway between the Lee and Collier county seats, has blossomed into a thriving community. Once a small agricultural community of tomato fields, farm workers and fishermen, the city now is more often perceived as a northern extension of Naples, with a hefty population of well-heeled residents and snowbirds filling the gated golf-course communities in the area. The Bonita Bay Group and WCI Communities helped pave the way for today’s Bonita Springs, and class-A office space has attracted corporate headquarters of companies such as Source Interlink and Tigris Pharmaceuticals.

City Hall
9101 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135 
(239) 949-6262
www.cityofbonitasprings.org

Population (April 2014): 45,819
Per capita income (2013): $40,260
Median household income (2013): $52,884
Labor force (2013): 19,341
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $343,500
Ad valorem tax: 16.0505

CAPE CORAL

Close-up: A small community on "the other side" of the Caloosahatchee River has grown into the largest city between Tampa and Miami and the third-largest by land mass in the state. Lured by relatively affordable waterfront property along the river and the city’s more than 400 miles of canals, new residents made it one of the fastest-growing cities with populations exceeding 100,000 in the United States. The Pine Island Road corridor has attracted national retailers, including Kohl’s, Belk, BJ’s Wholesale Club and The Home Depot, and plans call for the downtown eventually to redevelop with condos, hotels, shops, restaurants and office space.

City Hall
1015 Cultural Park Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 574-0401
www.capecoral.net

Population (April 2014): 163,599
Per capita income (2013): $24,299
Median household income (2013 $50,400
Labor force (2013): 82,300
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $177,500
Ad valorem tax: 20.6880

ESTERO

Close-up: High-end shops and restaurants have sprung up from a once-desolate stretch if land, making Estero a destination for residents of both Fort Myers and Naples. Just north of Bonita Springs, it is home to Coconut Point, a large shopping center and mixed-use development; Germain Arena; and Miromar Outlets. Hertz Corp. is building its new headquarters here.
 

Village of Estero Offices
21500 Three Oaks Parkway
Estero, Florida 33928
(Inside the Estero Fire Administration Building)
(239) 390.8000
Estero-Fl.gov

Population (2015): 30,118
Housing units: 16,021
Per capital income (2013): $44,515
Median household income (2013): $50,318
Business establishments: 1,117
Labor force: 8,641
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $340,000
Ad valorem tax: 15.9504

FORT MYERS

Close-up: As the county seat, Fort Myers is considered the center of Lee County and the next city of any size north of Naples. However, several other Southwest Florida cities have incorporated in recent years, and Cape Coral has been growing at a much faster rate than Fort Myers. Such luminaries as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and others have made their winter homes in the City of Palms, so named for its neat lines of royal palms donated by Edison. The city idled in recent decades until various annexations helped boost its tax base and stretch the opportunities for additional growth. In recent years, Fort Myers has created a redevelopment plan for the downtown area—now called the River District—in the hope of bringing more residents, businesses and visitors to the core.

City Hall
2200 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33902
(239) 332-6700
www.cityftmyers.com

Population (April 2014): 69,437
Per capital income (2013): $22,207
Median household income (2013): $37,374
Labor force (2013): 32,624
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $205,000
Ad valorem tax: 21.6292

FORT MYERS BEACH

Close-up: A favorite destination for vacationing families and college students, Fort Myers Beach is flanked on one side by the Gulf of Mexico and on the other by Estero Bay. It boasts seven miles of beachfront and an abundance of restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, condos, and annual festivals and events that help boost its tourism industry.

Fort Myers Beach
2523 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
(239) 765-0202
www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Population (April 2014): 6,250
Per capital income (2013): $48,883
Median household income (2013): $54,415
Labor force (2013): 2,855
Median home sale price (Aug 2014): $335,000 
Ad valorem tax: 15.7917

LEHIGH ACRES

Close-up: In recent years, land values in Lehigh Acres—one of the region’s last affordable areas—shot up exponentially. Newcomers, including many from east coast cities, have discovered it, and Lehigh Acres is home to members of the workforce who commute to other parts of Lee and into Collier counties. As in Cape Coral and other preplatted areas, Lehigh Acres faces serious growth-management challenges as the residential lots fill in. Though the community still lacks much commercial development, projects such as the widening of Gunnery Road in western Lehigh Acres help bring more businesses to the area.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 533-2111
www.lee-county.com

Population (2013): 90,354
Labor force (2013): 45,080
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $104,900 
Ad valorem tax: 17.3726

NORTH FORT MYERS

Close-up: This unincorporated community in the north side of the Caloosahatchee River, across from downtown Fort Myers, has also experienced development pressures in recent years. As in Lehigh Acres, community-planning initiatives are under way that could boost redevelopment efforts in North Fort Myers, where urban and rural communities meet. Shopping centers and businesses join horse farms, mobile home parks and recreation space. Landmarks include The Shell Factory, a regular stop for tourists.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 332-2737
www.lee-county.com

Population (2013): 41.027
Per capital income (2013): $25,133
Median household income (2013): $40,733
Labor force (2013): 16,926
Median home sale price (Aug. 2014): $140,000 
Ad valorem tax: 16.2623

PINE ISLAND

Close-up: Fishing and relaxing are main attractions here for residents and visitors. The opening of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway several ears ago made the island easily accessible from Fort Myers to Cape Coral. The road to the little entry island of Matlacha is lined with galleries, shops, bars and restaurants. At the south end of Pine Island is the largely residential St. James City, and at the northern tip is Bokeelia. The fishing industry remains an important part of Pine Island.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 533-2111
www.lee-county.com

Population (2013): 8,916
Per capital income (2013): $25,031
Median household income (2013): $42,962
Labor force (2013): 3,540
Median home sale price (2013): $137,000 
Ad valorem tax: 16.7623

SANIBEL AND CAPTIVA

Close-up: Renowned for their beaches and abundance of shells, these sister islands are the region’s main tourist draws. Both took a severe hit in 2004, however, when Hurricane Charley blew ashore. Most facilities that were damaged have reopened—including Captiva’s South Seas Island Resort after a $140 million renovation—or have opened as new businesses. 
Although the islands are often lumped together, they have significant differences. Sanibel, noted nationally for its environmentally friendly approach to development, incorporated in the 1970s to thwart high-intensity development. Captiva—accessed by driving the length of Sanibel—opted against joining Sanibel in city-hood and remains unincorporated. Development on Sanibel is tightly reined and about two-thirds of the island remains undeveloped, including the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Captiva has experienced a great deal of development and redevelopment, with beachfront mansions replacing most of the modest beach cottages.

City of Sanibel
800 Dunlop Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
(239) 472-3700
www.mysanibel.com

Population (April 2014): 6,490
Per capital income (2013): $72,704
Median household income (2013): $77,395
Labor force (2013): 2,273
Median home sale price (2013): $645,000
Ad valorem tax: 16.0685

CAPTIVA, UNINCORPORATED

Lee County Administration Building
2115 Second St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 533-2111
www.leegov.com

Population (2013): 602
Per capital income (2013): $52,957
Median household income (2013): $93,993
Labor force (2013): 206
Median home sale price (2013): $ 1.8 million
Ad valorem tax: 17.5123


Collier County

The communities that comprise Collier County

EVERGLADES CITY

Close-up: Situated at the edge of Chokoloskee Bay and Everglades National Park, Everglades City retains an Old Florida feel, something that’s become hard to find in Southwest Florida. The town was founded in the late 1800s by George Storter and was a key in Barron Collier’s construction of the Tamiami Trail, which linked South Florida’s east and west coasts. After Hurricane Donna ravaged Everglades City in 1960, Naples became the new county seat. Today, tourism and real estate have replaced agriculture, hunting and fishing as economic staples for this once-secluded outpost.Visitors take airboat rides through the Everglades, browse through the Historic Smallwood Store or mail a letter at the Ochopee Post Office, claimed to be the smallest post office in the United States. As a jumping-off point to the Ten Thousand Islands, it’s also a popular ecotourism spot. The 29-acre Everglades Airpark makes the town easily accessible for small planes and serves as the departure point for seasonal "flightseeing" tours. The annual Everglades City Seafood Festival draws visitors from miles around.

City Hall
102 N.E. Copeland Ave.
Everglades City, FL 34139
(239) 695-3781

Population (April 2014): 412
Per capita income (2013): $20,521
Median household income (2013): $41,332
Labor force (2013): 187
Median home sale price (2013): $240,000
Ad valorem tax: 17.5967

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES

Close-up: About 10 miles inland from Naples, the affordability of property in this sprawling community—platted as residential lots by a 1960s-era developer—has drawn a wave of new homeowners. The demand, however, has pushed property values upward, and the unforeseen growth has increased pressure on infrastructure. Homes are served by well and septic, and residents commute to the western coastal areas for work, shopping and entertainment—creating traffic congestion and potential environmental damage. County officials are racing to address these challenges with road improvements, including a new overpass at the intersection of Golden Gate Parkway and Airport-Pulling Road.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY
3301 Tamiami Trail E.
Naples, FL 34112
(239) 774-8999
www.colliergov.net

Population (April 2014): 45,527
Per capita income (2013): $14,824
Median household income (2013): $40,560
Labor force (2013): 13,872
Median home sale price (Sepr. 2013-Sept. 2014): $185,688
Ad valorem tax: 11.7929

IMMOKALEE AND AVE MARIA

Close-up: Ave Maria Town is taking root around the growing Ave Maria University, a Catholic institution. It emerged a few years ago from largely agricultural and undeveloped lands just south of Immokalee, Collier’s largest inland community, and are helping to spur some new commercial activity and interest in the area. The University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center is in Immokalee, focused on the community’s agriculture industry (vegetables and citrus are leading crops) that swell the population to more than 30,000 at harvest. Another large employer is Seminole Casino, which recently expanded and added Vegas-style slot machines. The Florida Tradeport at Immokalee Regional Airport also is positioned to attract new and expanding companies.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY 
3301 Tamiami Trail E.
Naples, FL 34112
(239) 252-8999
www.colliergov.net

Population (April 2014): 24,846
Per capita income (2013): $10,739
Median household income (2013): $27,770
Labor force (2013): 11,162
Median home sale price (Sept. 2013): $210,000
Ad valorem tax:15.262

MARCO ISLAND

Close-up: Known primarily for tourism and its well-heeled population, Marco Island s a popular destination, thanks to its calm, warm waters, beaches, and high-end hotels, such as the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort. Once inhabited by Calusa Indians, it is the largest occupied island in the Ten Thousand Islands. Barron Collier purchased most of Marco Island in the 1920s, developer Deltona Crop. Came on the scene during the 1960s, and the population is now almost 17,000 residents, swelling to twice that in the winter.

City Hall
50 Bald Eagle Drive
Marco Island, FL 34145
(239) 389-5000
www.cityofmarcoisland.com

Population (April 2014): 16,607
Per capita income (2013): $55,626
Median household income (2013): $70,380
Labor force (2013): 6,870
Median home sale price (Sept. 2014-2014): $594,211
Ad valorem tax: 11.7929

NAPLES

Close-up: Naples has made its mark in luxury living with high-end shopping, fine restaurants, multimillion-dollar homes, numerous golf courses and beautiful beaches. It boasts an active cultural and arts scene, including fine-art galleries and Sugden Community Theatre on Fifth Avenue South downtown, Artis-Naples and the Naples International Film Festival, which debuted in 2009. Home to many part-time and retired captains of industry, Naples attracts a range of corporate headquarters and other businesses, from technology to finance.

City Hall
735 Eighth St. S.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 213-1000
www.naplesgov.com

Population (April 2014): 19,849
Per capita income (2013): $76,256
Median household income (2013): $68,791
Median home sale price (Sept. 2013-2014): $375,008
Ad valorem tax: 11.6043

 

Sources: Collier County Government, Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse, Florida Department of Revenue, Collier County Property Appraiser, John R. Wood Realtors


Charlotte County

The communities that comprise Charlotte County

PORT CHARLOTTE

Close-up: Punta Gorda, Charlotte County’s only incorporated city showcased its recovery after Hurricane Charlie devastated it. The Baily Airport Terminal offers passenger service to many destinations, the mixed-use Sunloft Center and hotels are downtown, the high school has been rebuilt and the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center plays hots to a stream of meetings, expos and community events. 

 

City Hall Annex
326 W. Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-3302
www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us

 

Population (2014 estimate): 17,487
Per capita income (2013): $54,772
Median household income (2006 estimate): $53,607
Housing units (2013): 11,427
Labor force (2013): 5,307
Median home sale price (2013): $300,478
Ad valorem tax: 17.649

PUNTA GORDA

Close-up: Punta Gorda, Charlotte County’s only incorporated city showcased its recovery after Hurricane Charlie devastated it. The Baily Airport Terminal offers passenger service to many destinations, the mixed-use Sunloft Center and hotels are downtown, the high school has been rebuilt and the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center plays hots to a stream of meetings, expos and community events. 

 

City Hall Annex
326 W. Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-3302
www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us

 

Population (2014 estimate): 17,487
Per capita income (2013): $54,772
Median household income (2006 estimate): $53,607
Housing units (2013): 11,427
Labor force (2013): 5,307
Median home sale price (2013): $300,478
Ad valorem tax: 17.649

 

Source: University of Florida Bureau Economic and Business Research, Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse, Florida Department of Revenue, Charlotte County Property Appraiser