PORT CHARLOTTE — There are two new commercial developments taking shape along Veterans Boulevard in Port Charlotte, involving gas stations, convenience stores and multi-tenant retail buildings.

One, Veterans Plaza, is under construction on 3.32 acres on the northeast corner of Veterans and Atwater Street, building back to Kenilworth Boulevard.

The other, Veterans Commons, is planned for 12 acres on the north side of Veterans, south of Cochran Boulevard, across Veterans from Home Depot.

Both developments come “almost out of the blue,” according to Shaun Cullinan, since both parcels have been on the commercial market for years.

The key, he said, is the recent residential development spurt in the area. “Housing drives commercial,” he said. “Commercial always follows rooftops. There’s a lot going on. We’re cracking.”

The Plaza site (20550-20580 Veterans Blvd.) has been on the market for more than a decade. It was purchased by Hagefen LLC, of Fort Myers, from Veteran Boulevard Investments for $3.3 million.

The county approved phase one of its site plan in March 2018, providing for infrastructure installation, like water and sewer systems. Building permits have already been issued for a gas station/convenience store in between two multi-tenant retail buildings. Tenants have yet to be announced.

Construction is already under way. In the last month, the site’s heavy vegetation has been cleared, the site leveled, and cinder blocks delivered.

For the Veterans Commons site (19200 Veterans Blvd.) the county approved phase 1 of the site plan on Sept. 28. The planning is for similar construction as the Plaza site, less than a mile away — a gas station/convenience store and two commercial buildings.

The 12-acre site was purchased for $1.05 million by Casto Port Charlotte LLC, of Sarasota, from BMR Funding in 2014. The site, extending along Veterans and Cochran, does not include a lot at the corner, owned by Fifth Third Bank. Site clearance and construction have yet to begin.

Other commercially zoned parcels in the area, including 4.4 acres at the northwest corner of Veterans and Atwater, across the street from Veterans Plaza, are also for sale.

Brian Gleason, Charlotte County communications manager, sees a bright future for construction in the county.

“Whether it is community development, retail investment like Babcock Ranch, the Veterans Boulevard projects, or manufacturing plants like Amigo Pallets,” he said, “there’s no doubt businesses are firing on all cylinders right now in Charlotte County.

“Our strategic location between two metro areas, affordable, accessible land, and business-friendly policies make the county a must-be location for homebuilders, big-box stores, manufacturers and retail developers.”

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