A multi-generational, family-owned company that years ago built a commerce park near Fort Myers International Airport is back at developing in the area again, this time in the Alico Road corridor.
The grandson of the founder of Geis Companies, established in 1967 in Streetsboro, Ohio, is spearheading three projects. Two of them are near Alico Road and Interstate 75 with the third off Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, just south of the entrance to the airport and north of Alico Road.
“We started developing in Southwest Florida in the 1980s with Airport Woods Commerce Center,” said Conrad Geis, who leads the real estate development team at Geis Companies. “That was my grandpa’s first project in that area. Fast forward to today, we are a multi-faceted company. We have 47 architects and engineers on staff. We’re a property management company as well.
“We were building large business parks and were outside of the multi-family world. Then we started doing multi-family a couple of decades ago. Industrial’s too simple. We’ve always been an opportunistic company. We saw the opportunity in the multi-family space.”
The Centro Apartments, near Three Oaks Parkway and north of Alico Road, is the most visible of the projects, with thousands of cars driving by the site every day off I-75. The company paid $4.5 million in October for the land.
Earlier this year, the elevator shafts went vertical.
There will be 264 units, which are expected to be completed by June 2023, with one to three bedrooms and private balconies. Other planned amenities include a clubhouse, event center, theater, two-story fitness room, indoor and outdoor yoga studio, a salon and a courtyard with a pavilion, outdoor kitchen, pool, fire pit, walking path, a Koi pond, a community fresh garden and games.
“It used to be just a bunch of land,” Geis said. “When you fast forward to today, we’re bringing it to market. We’re starting to see a big push in Southwest Florida out of COVID.”
More people moving to the region requires more industrial-related sites to support the population growth, Geis said. That’s why his company is building two other projects nearby.
It is building Legacy 500K, the current name for two 250,000-square-foot distribution centers and warehouse storage facilities off Oriole Road, which runs just north of Alico Road. The buildings will be configured to house tenants in spaces as small as 37,000 square feet, or tenants can lease the entire building.
Geis just paid $9.3 million for the land last month.
Off Ben Hill Griffin Parkway at Meridian Business Park, Geis is building four buildings of 75,000, 60,000 and two of 35,000 square feet each on 5.36 acres. The first two, the smaller buildings, are slated to be completed by March 2023.
Geis paid a combined $6.6 million in October for seven parcels, leaving three more to be developed in the future at Meridian Business Park.