Since 2011, The Farm has leased that land from a small group of private owners to seasonally grow strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, leafy greens and a variety of other fresh foods. But in that time, the economy picked up, commercial developers came calling and a majority of the property’s owners have chosen to sell.
So that means the Farm has got to go. When exactly is anyone’s guess.
The Farm expects to have one more full season on Corkscrew Road before shuttering its signature red barn for good in Spring 2016, said co-owner Dustin Blank.
Jim Wallace, developer of the community that could replace The Farm, said he is confident his project will break ground in December and that an on-site sales center is expected before then.
Blank said he is already searching for a new property in south Lee, preferably in or near Estero. This time, Blank said, The Farm wants to buy.
“All I am is a squatter until (landowners) sell,” Blank said. “To be really viable, we have to purchase it.”
Losing The Farm is another sign Estero will become more urban along Corkscrew Road, a major thoroughfare that links the village to Interstate 75 and U.S. 41.
Wallace’s proposed community, is planned to have up to 205 condominiums spread among six buildings; the condos will be built above garages. The developer is in the rezoning process.