In the Know: New Apartments Coming to Surfside and Veterans Parkway in Cape Coral

Four years ago, a real estate developer from Wilmington, North Carolina, named Lowell Zimmer hired a real estate broker from Fort Myers named Alex Henderson as a bird dog for land.

All these years later, earth is finally moving.

Tentatively called Surfside Corner, the 228-unit apartment complex began construction last month on almost 20 acres at 2330 Southwest 23rd Place in Cape Coral. It’s near the corner of Surfside Boulevard and Veterans Parkway, across from Shops at Surfside and across Veterans from a Lee Health outpatient clinic.

In April, Zimmer Development Co. closed on the land for $6.36 million, an off-the-market sale brokered by Henderson, who was almost 25 when he began this endeavor and almost 29 now. A real estate investment company from the Middle East sold the property.

Henderson spent almost three years scouring Southwest Florida for the right land at the right place and at the right time.

“Nothing really shook out until this one,” Henderson said.

It was the highest-priced piece of real estate Henderson had sold until June, when he brokered River’s Edge, a mobile home community in North Fort Myers, for $6.9 million.

Henderson and his colleague, Max Molloy, form the commercial real estate department for Schooner Bay Realty.

Henderson finally gets to see the fruits of his long labor in Cape Coral, where bulldozers are clearing highly visible land to construct the apartments. This should provide him a greater sense of accomplishment than it did, he said.

“I’m guess I’m kind of strange,” Henderson said. “There’s obviously a sense of accomplishment, but there’s a deeper drive. This was the first substantial mark in my career. I’ve had some other big deals.

“By the time the third quarter ends, we will have closed more than $20 million worth of land. And so the $6.36 million deal is all well and great, but in terms of what’s overall on the market, it’s not even a blip on the radar. I guess I have higher aspirations.”

This apartment complex, being built by Essian Construction out of Orlando, will have a lake, a fitness center, yoga studio, billiards room, community conference room and resort-style pool. The monthly rents have yet to be announced, as Zimmer plans on doing a market study.

The sale of the land never would have happened without Henderson forging the connections to get his foot in the door with a developer who saw Cape Coral, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, as an opportunity.