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Property for TPI’s off-island hotel project switches ownership in $4.1 million deal

Site has been intended by TPI to be used for Margaritaville employee off-site parking

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | May 26, 2021

This 15-acre parcel off San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road has changed ownership from TPI's Tom Torgerson to Gateway Florida LLC in a $4.1 million deal. The county issued a stop work order on May 14 due to clearing of vegetation without a permit. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

A site off island on San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road with plans by TPI for a hotel, workforce housing and off-site parking for Margaritaville workers, has changed ownership.

According to Lee County property records, the parcel was sold for $4.1 million earlier this month by San Carlos Apartments LLC with TPI’s Tom Torgerson deeding the property to Gateway Florida LLC, whose address matches Terry Persaud, owner of Sunset Beach Tropical Grill and other properties on Fort Myers Beach.

The county approved bonus density for the 15-acre site off San Carlos Boulevard in January.

A violation was issued to the owners this month for having begun clearing the property without the required vegetation removal permit. A stop work order was issued on May 14.

The parcel is located behind the 7-Eleven gas station and across from Bayside Estates.

The 15-acre parcel has been part of plans by TPI's ownership to build a hotel and create off-site parking for Margaritaville's employees. Florida Gateway LLC, based on Seminole Way in Fort Myers Beach, purchased the property this month in a $4.1 million deal.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach Council’s approval for the Margaritaville development stipulates that 75 parking spaces off island must be procured for employee parking due to a lack of parking onsite at the resort’s location off Estero Boulevard.

It is not clear what impact, if any, the reported sale of the off-island property will have on the plans of the Margaritaville developers for employee parking. No mention of the sale was posted on the Margaritaville Resort Fort Myers Beach Facebook page, where other announcements related to the Margaritaville project have been made.

TPI chairman Tom Torgerson did not return messages seeking comment. Town officials contacted said they had not been informed of the sale or any proposed changes to the development conditions. Persaud could not be immediately reached for comment.

The sale was entered into county records on May 6 with the new owner appearing as Gateway Florida LLC on Seminole Way in Fort Myers Beach. According to an online records search, the limited liability company’s principal address for formation purposes is in Manhattan and registered to a West Palm Beach law firm.

Last year, TPI announced plans were moving along at the site for a Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel, a 150-unit residential development and shuttle lot at Pine Ridge Road off San Carlos Boulevard to be known as Gateway Village. Torgerson had said he was seeking a development partner for the workforce housing end of the project before the pandemic hit.

The project was delayed last year before the pandemic due to outstanding issues at the county level including a review of the traffic impact statement and a request for the design of a stormwater system in accordance with South Florida Water Management District requirements to address stormwater runoff and utilities issues.

Torgerson said at the time that soil issues on site were part of the delays.