Special to the Florida Weekly
Estero Oaks, a new mixed-use development, is slated to begin construction at the corner of Estero Parkway and Three Oaks Parkway. The 36-acre planned community will provide a host of complementary commercial uses as well as 280 one-to-three bedroom luxury apartments.
Oakbrook Properties, a local owner and developer of residential and commercial properties, manages the investment group for Estero Oaks. The group came together to fund the project in 2008, after the recession stalled the development of what was intended to be a neighborhood shopping center development. A commissioned market study revealed that for people saving for a down payment on a home or for those recently transferred to the area, there was a genuine need for an affordable rental community. With projects including the nearby master planned Coconut Point, Lee Memorial Medical Village and recently, the Hertz world headquarters, Oakbrook Properties’ significant experience in mixed-use projects provided the perfect match.
“Estero Oaks will absolutely meet the market need,” says Ned Dewhirst, senior vice president of Oakbrook Properties. Additionally, it will provide convenient access to Florida Gulf Coast University, Southwest Florida International Airport and the bustling 1-75 corridor. The project has also benefitted from the recent construction of the new interstate overpass.
It was important to Oakbrook Properties to not lose a sense of community for the project, despite the explosive growth the area is experiencing. According to Mr. Dewhirst, they wanted the project to be a compact, cohesive design that encouraged a pedestrian-friendly environment similar to Coconut Point, but on a smaller scale. Strict design standards for architecture, signage, lighting and landscaping will govern the project build out for both residential and commercial uses.