Once appraised at more than $90 million, the former Lochmoor Country Club and Golf Course, now known as Paradise Preserve, was purchased last Friday by a subsidiary of California-based Brandenburg Properties for $3 million.
The property sits at the end of Orange Grove Boulevard in North Fort Myers near the border of Cape Coral, and has stood vacant for numerous years.
All that remains active in the complex is Paradise Marina, which is now under new management.
Neighbors who live adjacent to the approximately 400-acre site are expressing excitement over the sale, and what it can mean to the area.
Mary Ann Lehmann, a local artist, has the property that is 20 feet away from the line that defines the Lochmoor property.
"This piece of the community will return to the neighborhood," she said. "Lochmoor has always been such a nice community, so we are all very excited about this. We hope the developer will better it, and return the golf course area to its former glory."
The broker who handled the sale for Brandenburg, Tad Yeatter, is a North Fort Myers resident who lives near the property.
Yeatter is the owner/broker of Cape Coral based Schooner Bay Realty, which has been in business in Cape Coral and the North Fort Myers area for nearly 40 years.
"As a local resident and business owner, I can say we are very excited to rejuvenate this hidden treasure," he said.
He also from commented from a business standpoint of handling the sale.
"In my experience of 37 years of business in Lee County, I believe the Brandenburg are perfectly suitor for this property of this nature."
He technically handled the sale for Brandenburg Properties of Florida, LLC, part of the larger Brandenburg development group, a 50-year old established West Coast based company.
"These are the type of people that we welcome into the community. They are long-term, community-oriented developers."
It is far too soon to announce any formal plans for development of the area, he said, but cleanup of the property and maintenance of the Paradise Marina are the two top priorities at this time, and actions and meetings have already been held on those items.
A quick re-build of the golf course, however, is not presently on the table.
"There are no plans for any development of the golf course portion at this time due to our current economic conditions. As things improve, obviously the future is going to be very exciting at this location, and rewarding for the residents in the area," he said.
There was immediate action right after the sale on the Paradise Marina. Management was assumed at 1 p.m., last Friday.
"The marina facility will be a process. Unfortunately, it has not been maintained for a considerable number of years. Our goal is to work on deferred maintenance and improve it over a period of time."
Paradise Marina has direct access to the Caloosahatchee River, with 69 wet slips, total, and many live-aboard
"We have 37 boats in, and we will be looking for additional tenants that would like to enjoy out fabulous location."
"We want to assure people that live there we will be maintaining the marina and maintaining and improving the facilities, and Schooner Bey Realty has a marina manager on site Monday through Saturday."
For information call 810-4787. There will soon be a new website.
Facilities include full-service bathrooms, washer and dryer facilities, pump out services.
"And all this at probably one of the best rates in Southwest Florida."
Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall, who represents the district in which Lochmoor is located, said, "We're happy it sold, happy to see someone take ownership of it and hope they will be good neighbors." Right now, she said, officials have not given her any information on formal plans.
"When we get it, we will share it with community."