One is back.
The boutique condo project overlooking the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers just east of downtown opened its presale office last week.
The owners of the property, Jaxi Builders, based in Doral, put the land up for sale in 2019, along with the property it owns next door where the Allure condo project is scheduled to be built.
Jaxi purchased the land around 2015 and put lots of time, money and effort into the project but became frustrated with the market, said Nils Richter, who along with his partner Pesche Robinson, are the selling agents for the project.
Jaxi only left downtown, it didn’t leave Lee County. The builder started condo projects in Bonita Springs and the Iona area.
Jaxi received several offers to buy the property and the land was even under contract at one point, but the builder had a change of heart, said Jaxi vice president Eduardo Caballero.
“Our partners decided it would be good to build One,” Mr. Caballero said.
Jaxi regained faith in the market, Mr. Richter said.
“In Fort Myers everything always seems to take longer than you think it should,” he said. “That’s the name of the game. You have to be a little more patient.”
The opening of the Luminary Hotel in downtown helped. Mr. Caballero saw the hotel’s success and how it was bringing a new type of customer to the area.
Then came COVID. Florida stayed open, people from other parts of the country moved south. Inflation and supply and demand drove up prices.
“All the waterfront condos are prohibitively expensive,” Mr. Richter said.
New condos on Fort Myers Beach are $2 million to $3 million, he said. New condos on Bonita Beach are selling for $3 million and $4 million. The same is true in Naples.
Condos at High Point Place in downtown
Fort Myers are now selling for more than what people paid for them in 2006, he said.
“We’re finally getting to the point where people are reselling their 20-year-old condos at High Point Place and getting more than one million bucks,” Mr. Richter said.
One will have the advantage of being unlike most of the condo projects along the Caloosahatchee.
“Nothing is available like this in downtown Fort Myers,” Mr. Caballero said. “It’s something like you would see in downtown Miami Beach or the Naples area.”
One will top off at 21 stories and have 34 units. Most of the other condo projects looming over the Caloosahatchee have 150 to 200 units.
The condos will have two and three bedrooms and range in size from 1,500 square feet to 5,000. Two condos will share a floor, except for the two-story penthouse that tops the building and a single-floor-penthouse below it.
The seller will have to charge between $600 and $900 a square foot to make the project work, Mr. Richter said.
A 1,500-square-foot condo at $900 a square foot would cost $1.3 million.
Having only 34 units is an advantage, Mr. Richter said. He will only have to pre-sell about 17 units before starting construction. Larger condo project might have to sell 75 to 100 units.
He hopes to have half sold by November so they can start construction. He is hoping for a spring 2025 opening.
Jaxi has no timetable for the Allure condo project next door. The original plans called for two 32-story towers with 292 units of one, two and three bedroom places.
Jaxi has several options, Mr. Caballero said. He couldn’t disclose negotiations that are going on.
Jaxi is looking at making some changes to the plan to make it more appealing, he said.
“We are doing our best to make it happen,” he said. ¦