Commercial development in Charlotte County is expanding rapidly: Moore About Business

November 10th, 2023

By Karen Moore, Pam James - WGCU

Dave Gammon, Director of the Charlotte County Economic Development Office, recently spoke to a group of Southwest Florida business professionals about the tremendous amount of commercial development currently going on in Charlotte County.

“People have now noticed Charlotte County,” he said. “Let me tell you some things going on there. First, we’ve got a very successful airport. It’s a top 100 commercial airport, it’s the base for Allegiant Airlines, one of their top three hubs. We’re closing in on 2 million passengers a year and it has very steady growth.”

According to Gammon, several changes in Charlotte County are beginning to capture a lot of attention. A distribution center from Cheney Brothers opened in 2015 on airport commercial property, which the company believed had perfect placement.

“Because our route drivers can load their trucks, go to Tampa, do their routes, be back home by dinner. Same with Naples, they can get down to Naples and get back. They couldn’t do that if they were located further south and they couldn’t do it if they were further north,” said Gammon.

In 2020, Cheney Brothers expanded with a 40,000 square foot spec building. This was the first time Charlotte County had spec building space to offer.

“That was a big milestone,” Gammon noted, “That 40,000 is what brought in Vesta Air Coil. That’s how come they came — because they had a building.”

This year, FedEx opened a 250,000-square-foot facility which, Gammon said, which inspired the King of Vape to do the same.

“They’re building a 130,000-square-foot distribution facility. Can’t imagine how much vape is in 130,000 square feet but that’s what they built. They also saw the market, it was so strong, they’re building a 130,000-square-foot spec building also to keep going with that.”

On the north side of the airport, several national builders are looking at an 800,000 square foot spec building. This is a major accomplishment, according to Gammon.

“This airport was built in 1943. The first 70 years, that’s 840,000 square feet of commercial space built at our airport,” he said. “That’s about a typical Amazon building that you might have in Lee County.”

“If you look at last year and this year, we have more than 840,000 square feet being built or finished! That’s how much we built in 70 years,” he continued.” “So there’s a ton of stuff happening in Charlotte County and over the next three years, we have in planning, over 1.5 million square feet. So big numbers for us.”

Gammon only sees more of this type of growth coming to Charlotte County.
“If you want something you never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done and that’s what we’re doing in Charlotte County.”

Karen Moore is publisher of Southwest Florida Business Today and special to WGCU.