■ BY MARCY SHORTUSE
Just prior to a meeting that is scheduled to be held on Monday, Nov. 16 regarding the potential purchase of nine acres of FPL-owned land at the southern tip of the island, an FPL spokesman has confirmed that the land is safe and ready to go for development.
Bill Orlove, a spokesperson for FPL, said nothing was required to be done to the site after its closure in 2002 other than “normal cleaning operations.” The site used to house oil tanks that supplied fuel to FPL’s Fort Myers plant. “Following the modernization, which means we now burn clean natural gas, the site was shut down and cleaned according to all local, state and federal regulations,” Orlove said. “We were provided with a site rehabilitation completion order in 2002 from the State of Florida.”
FPL made the announcement just prior to 2000 that they had switched from oil to natural gas, and they would no longer need the property that held their fuel tanks. Lee County’s 2020 Conservation program rejected the land purchase proposal because the power company’s oil storage facility tanks were still on the property.
In 2014 discussions began between the GICIA and FPL regarding the land acquisition, but no deal was ever made. FPL also entered into discussions with Gasparilla Island State Park Administration regarding purchase of the land, but again no deal was ever made. It was recently announced that Gulf Coast International Properties of Boca Grande had brokered the deal between FPL and the two land development companies, BCB Homes, Inc. and Seagate Development Group, LLC.
Their proposal is to build 20 new homes on the property. In order to answer any questions the community might have, Seagate Development representatives will be on hand on Monday, Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium to discuss the project.