Changes keep coming to San Carlos Island and the recent sale of Sunnyland RV Park on the corner of Main and San Carlos Boulevard is part of that transformation.
MAJB, LLC purchased the 33 unit park last week for one million dollars and the investor who bought it says he intends to keep it as an RV park but with “substantial improvements” to upgrade the area which is located on a prime corner right at the base of the Sky Bridge leading to Fort Myers Beach.
“Our immediate plan is to take out some trailers that are in bad shape, freshen up the paint, clean the lots and laundry room and weed out a few bad tenants,, said Scott McGuire, MAJB’s manager.
“Some have told us about some not-so-desirable dealings in the park and we intend to clean that up,” he added, referring to a long-standing reputation by some in the community over what has been mildly called “suspicious activities” over the years.
One resident of the park said a lot of the trouble has come about because of the adult club “Fantasys” right across the street. The club’s sign advertises itself as “Stopless Adult entertainment.
“Anytime you have a strip club, you’ll find drugs nearby, it’s just the nature of the beast,” said GY, who asked not to be named since he still lives in the park.
“If there’s drugs in the park, you can be sure we are going to get them out,” said McGuire.
The Sun Bay interviewed some of the current tenants and they seem well-pleased with the improvements being made by the new owners.
“For the few weeks Mr. McGuire has been here, he’s done really well,” said Ray Conley who has lived in the park for 15 years.
Conley also noted that Sunnyland has had a bad reputation in the past but that he feels the new owners are making great progress to reverse that perception.
“There was a time when you walked down the street here that you never knew what you’d run into – bums, drugs and just generally problems but now I’ve seen McGuire walking around at night and things are getting a lot better,” elaborated Conley
Sunnyland now also has an onsite person, Melonie Burton, who serves as the owner’s administrative assistant.
“We appreciate the facility the way it is and despite some rumors, we are just upgrading the park and have no plans to tear it down to build condos,” Burton said.
“It’s important to us to help build a sense of community here and to that end we plan to host barbeques and picnics several times a year,” she added.
The park will retain the name Sunnyland which it has been known by since George and Dennis Henderson from Trico Shrimp purchased it decades ago to serve as living space for their shrimp boat crews. Now that their fleets are a bit smaller and the affable partners are nearing retirement they decided to sell the park.
“George and Dennis have a lot of properties throughout Lee County and they’re looking to downsize and have little spare time to manage the property and just generally want to be free to enjoy life,” said Bob Beasley, the Realtor with Robert Beasley Real Estate the company that handled the sale.
“Sunnyland is a great investment,” added Bob, “the park takes in about $12K a month and after all expenses probably spins off approximately $40 thousand a year.”
Sunnyland is one of several developments occurring on San Carlos Island. Just a bit further down Main Street is Bay Harbour Marina Village which is still in the permitting stage. Even further down, close to Salty Sam’s Marina is Ebb Tide which has already been permitted. Together, if the Bay Harbour project is approved San Carlos Island will undergo a much-needed facelift and the plans of the new owners to upgrade and improve Sunnyland will play well into the overall positive transformation planned for the small unincorporated Island community.
Just a few short years ago, Diversified Yachts built a large dry and wet storage facility near the Coast Guard Station on the west side of San Carlos. It is a noteworthy edifice and though initially opposed by some residents on the island, now is generally viewed favorably and stands out for its modern, cleanly finished architectural design.
While there are numerous businesses closed on San Carlos Boulevard, investment activity is increasing and there are several other properties rumored to be under contract. Besides being close to the Beach, the island offers great Back Bay waterfront views and direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. With new ownership, great plans and an obvious clean-up underway, it is starting to look like the Sun will soon be shining in Sunnyland.
Colin Conley also contributed to this report