Car row will be rejuvenated in south Fort Myers. That’s because Sonic Automotive just paid $7.6 million for 8.6 acres, including five buildings sandwiched between the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen dealerships off U.S. 41.
It’s across the street from Sutherlin Nissan’s Fort Myers location at 14020 S. Tamiami Trail.
John Mounce, a broker with LandQwest, represented Capital Automotive Group, the sellers. David Conn of Tampa CBRE represented Sonic.
Sonic, one of the largest automotive dealers in the country, plans to overhaul the site. Some of the buildings will be renovated and others will be razed, Mounce said. And the used cars will be sold under the Echo Park brand. Sonic could not be reached for comment on the specifics.
Sonic also owns the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen dealerships adjacent to the land it just purchased but leases those locations.
This deal ends a bit of a saga for the land, which was coveted by many suitors in late 2019. That’s when Honda of Fort Myers changed hands to Morgan Automotive Group, which moved Honda from Tamiami Trail to the new-construction location at 3550 Colonial Boulevard.
“Before Covid, we thought this was a slam dunk,” Mounce said of selling that old Honda location. “We had two major restaurant groups vying for a location. We had a large furniture store that wanted to be there. We had a large fitness place.”
COVID-19 threw those plans into disarray. Mounce and his LandQwest team had to regroup and wait for another suitor. “So we feel pretty good about ourselves,” Mounce said.
That old Honda site also had another potential purpose, Mounce said. Whole Foods Market had been looking at it. Instead, that landed off Daniels Parkway on what used to be a golf driving range.
“I approached our client (Capital Automotive Group out of McLean, Virginia),” Mounce said. “It was too early in the process. That was how we got involved, way before the property was available. We just maintained our relationship with them. And the car dealership came back.”