BY: BUSINESS OBSERVER August 19, 2016

Apartment renters in a new luxury complex in fast-growing Estero will have a perk that few, if any, competitors can offer: A team full of minor league hockey players as neighbors.

The community, Estero Oaks, recently announced that it’s the official housing provider of the Florida Everblades. The team, in the East Coast Hockey League and affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, plays its home games at Germain Arena. That’s 2.5 miles away from Estero Oaks, which will have 280 one-, two- and three-bedrooms apartments. The complex includes 12 enclosed garages per building for rent; dedicated storage areas for residents’ use; a 4-acre lake; strolling paths; two boardwalk-style bridges; a dog park; and a resort-style pool with spa.

The Everblades has leased 14 apartments in the community, according to a statement, and all 25 players and some staffers will live there when it opens, likely later in August. The last of the seven, three-story buildings is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, the release adds. Fort Myers-based Brookes and Freund is the general contractor.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for the Florida Everblades to partner with Estero Oaks luxury apartments,” Everblades Associate Head Coach Tad O’Had says in the statement. “We feel strongly that we are providing our players with the best quality living experience in the ECHL.”

Non-hockey playing tenants can also get in on the action at Estero Oaks. Marketing began in May, and through Aug. 1, 64 leases have been signed, with monthly rental rates that range from $1,200 to $2,025.