Lee County Commissioners unanimously approved a more than $1 million purchase agreement Tuesday to acquire land for a future emergency medical services facility just northwest of the intersection of Treeline Avenue and Daniels Parkway in south Fort Myers.
The agreement is between DP-TA Associates Ltd. and the county to purchase the 50,977-square-foot commercial lot at 13561 Goldenwood Drive for $1 million, plus $30,000 in estimated closing fees and costs.
The purchase is contingent upon the average of two appraisals of the land being at or more than $1 million.
In 2010, the county acquired a 36,590-square-foot site at 13501 Goldenwood Drive for a future EMS facility.
However, after reanalyzing the lot, staff determined its size and irregular shape won’t accommodate the building design and construction of an EMS public safety station. The lot at 13561 Goldenwood Drive was then identified as a replacement site, meeting the needs for the building design and construction.
The process of asking the board to approve staff moving forward with acquisition of the land prior to having appraisals is out of the norm, said Marla Britton, manager for the Department of County Lands.
“We’re finding in this environment that properties are being gobbled up before we can get that process completed,” she said.
With the county approaching a population of 1 million and an increased need for public health and safety services, acquiring the property is part of the county’s broader strategic plan for identifying future locations for EMS services. Last year, four locations were identified.
“We are currently working through the process of property acquisition. We’re going through the process of bidding out the architect and getting an architect on board with the intention of starting to staff these locations in the next 24 to 36 months,” Lee County Director of Public Safety Benjamin Abes said.
The property’s value to the county is due to its proximity to Interstate 75, the growing corridor along Daniels Parkway and the expansion plans for Southwest Florida International Airport, Abes said.
“This is all part of the effort to continue to serve our growing population, and we want to make sure that we keep those response times nice and low so that we can take good care of our residents,” Chairman Brian Hamman said.