The purchase of Edison Farms (EF) has been finalized, Lee County has closed on the $42.4 million 3,922-acre site. The county used 20/20 conservation program money to buy the property. The deed was recorded with the county clerk on last Tuesday.
We here at Sun Bay, have been following this story from the start and finally is a done deal!
The County purchased EF from "Investors Warranty", an Iowa based firm purchased the property out of foreclosure a few years ago, agreed to the sale price for the property a few months ago when the Lee Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase and preserve the property in September.
In the sale, Investors Warranty retains transfer rights for 255 housing units that could have been built on EF under existing zoning rules. somewhere in the county. The rights, can be sold to other developers in the deal.
Edison Farms is adjacent to Hidden Cypress Preserve, a Conservation 20/20 preserve, and lands maintained by the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. The land includes habitat for listed species such as the Florida panther and the woodstork..
Conservation 20/20, which still has an additional $43+ million in its fund, has preserved more than 25,000 acres since its inception.
Preservation lands help the county protect drinking water, provide nature-based recreational opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat.
The acquisition of the Edison Farms property will:
• Protect a significant, diverse population of wildlife and plant communities.
• Assist with the distribution of freshwater flows in a natural wetland slough system
• Help sustain the region’s groundwater levels, a vital component to the area’s drinking water supply.
• Provide flood relief by facilitating the restoration of historic flow-ways in the region.
• Provide opportunities for nature-based recreation in the southern part of Lee County.