Punta Gorda’s Latest Economic Growth Opportunities – fivestarrealty.com

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Punta Gorda’s Latest Economic Growth Opportunities

Today’s Commercial Realtor’s Luncheon  Explored the Latest Economic Growth Developments in Punta Gorda

Bruce Laishley and Ron Humpel hosted a commercial Realtor’s luncheon at Laishley Crab House today in order to inform local Realtors of progress of several different companies that are looking to expand in Punta Gorda. Mote Marine Aquarium has acquired property in downtown Punta Gorda in order to build a second, more visitor oriented aquarium than their Sarasota research focused aquarium. Cheney Brothers Distributing, Inc., a major food distributing company for the Southeast U.S., has purchased a 35 acre piece of land with plans of building a major food distributing warehouse, creating 500-600 jobs in Charlotte County. Main Stage Development has a plan in the works to purchase a 110 acre parcel in Murdock Village in order to build a destination spot in Southwest Florida. Details about this and other economic opportunities are detailed below.

Mote Marine Aquarium in Downtown Punta Gorda

This project has been in the works for a little over a year now. Bruce Laishley and Rob Humpel have been instrumental in bringing Mote Marine to Punta Gorda. The aquarium is proposed to be built on a 1 & 1/2 acre portion of the vacant lot in downtown Punta Gorda, the old site of City Marketplace. “We are in the early stages,” said Rob Humpel, “of making Mote a reality.” Nine architects are being interviewed this coming week for the job of drafting the building plans, and once an architect is selected, design work is projected to take one year to complete. Since the aquarium is only taking up a small portion of the vacant lot in downtown Punta Gorda, there is room for other development, including enough room for a 600 space parking garage, says Rob Humpel. The current renderings of Mote Marine in downtown Punta Gorda envision a 300 person banquet hall facility for weddings and conventions, and also a unique jellyfish bar on the top floor of the facility that is bigger in size than the rooftop bar at the Wyvern across the street. Universities could use the facility for marine biology classes, and trade shows would find plenty of room in the banquet hall.

Cheney Brothers Distributing, Inc.’s Proposed Food Distribution Warehouse

Cheney Brothers Distributing, Inc. pulls in $1 billion in sales annually. The company has purchased land in plans of building a food distributing warehouse on a 35 acre site in Punta Gorda (the old FEMA site). They are weeks away from choosing an architect, and once complete, the warehouse would bring 500-600 jobs to Charlotte County. This would be the single largest creator of jobs in Charlotte County’s history. The company is projected to invest approximately $100 million into our community.

Main Stage Development: Think Downtown Disney, times eight.

This proposed destination spot is still in the planning stages, but its proposed size and scale is impressive. According the developer’s website, the proposed development includes 8 theaters with 1500-2500 person seating capacity, 70-90 retail stores, 20-30 restaurants, 4-6 themed nightclubs, 2-3 Hotels, vacation condos, and  business offices with corporate conference rooms of various sizes.

Other Promising Developments

  • Proposed water park
  • Ripken Baseball – in negotiations


With these promising business opportunities, Punta Gorda will continue to grow and thrive as the city that we know today.

Which business, or what type of business, do you think will be most effective in helping Punta Gorda grow economically?

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