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Living in Cape Coral

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Cape Coral history began in 1957 when two brothers from Baltimore, Maryland, Leonard and Jack Rosen, flew over the peninsula known as Redfish Point, across the Caloosahatchee River near present-day Fort Myers. Cape Coral was founded as Redfish Point. Leonard and Jack Rosen, who were real-estate developers, and a small group of partners purchased a 103-square-mile (270 km2) tract known as Redfish Point for $678,000 in that year and, in 1958, began development of the city as a master-planned, pre-planned community.

The Gulf American Land Corporation (GALC) was formed to develop the area. GAC developed a marketing model that was a total departure from traditional selling methods. Approval was secured from the Lee County to master-plan the entire property into lots. Instead of listing the lots with real estate agents, GAC developed the land-sales, dinner-party model, operating from banquet rooms in local hotels. People were invited to attend by offering a free dinner for two. The model, referred to as team-selling, allowed for a well-trained team to close deals in 90 minutes. Buyers would sign a contract and agree to come to the property within six months and cancel if not satisfied. Ezio Valentini, an Italian real estate developer, joined GAC and became Director of Sales. The program was so successful that offices were opened in 24 states and an arrangement was made with an airline to charter flights to fly buyers to the property.

Instead of borrowing from banks and lenders, the developers factored the sales contracts to pay for building the infrastructure. Canals were dug, streets paved, houses and businesses built. Cape Coral was promoted like no other Florida development. Celebrities were brought in to tout the benefits of “the Cape”, as it is known locally. The first building in Cape Coral was the Rosens’ sales office. It was built where George’s Auto now stands, at Cape Coral and Coronado Pkwys. Cape Coral’s first permanent resident was Kenny Schwartz, the Rosens’ general manager. Cape Coral’s first four homes were completed in May 1958, on Riverside and Flamingo Drives.

Development continued through the early 1960s, mostly on Redfish Point, south of Cape Coral Parkway. By 1963, the population was 2,850; 1,300 buildings had been finished or were under construction; 80 mi (130 km) of road had been built, and 160 mi (260 km) of canals had been dug.[citation needed] The public yacht club, a golf course, medical clinic and shopping center were up and running. A major addition for Cape Coral was the construction of the 3,400 feet (1,000 m) long Cape Coral Bridge across the Caloosahatchee River, which opened in early 1964. Before the bridge, a trip to Fort Myers was more than 20 mi (32 km) via Del Prado Boulevard and over the Edison Bridge (Florida) to cross the river.

The city incorporated in August 1970, and its population continued to grow rapidly until the real estate slowdown that gripped the region beginning in 2008.

Cape Coral is a city located in Lee County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. Founded in 1957 and developed as a planned community, the city’s population has grown to 194,016 as of the 2020 Census, a rise of 26% from the 2010 Census, making it the 117th most populous city in the United States.

With an area of 120 square miles (310 km2), Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and Miami in both population and area. It is the largest and principal city in the Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city has over 400 mi (640 km) of navigable waterways, more than any other city on earth.

The city features a borderline tropical savanna climate, bordering on a tropical monsoon climate. The area averages 355 days of sunshine each year, but experiences precipitation on 145 days per year.

While the summers are very warm, humid, and rainy, the winters in Cape Coral are dry with moderate temperatures. The city receives about 56 inches of rain each year, the majority of which falls from June to September. During the summer months, afternoon rains are heavy yet brief. The city is affected by the annual hurricane season, which begins officially on June 1 and continues through November.

Secondary Schools
Cape Coral has continuously expanded public and private school systems with high performance standards. Cape Coral is part of the Lee County School District, which is operated by the Lee County Board of Education. As of 2009, the Board of Education operated 8 elementary, 6 middle, and 5 high schools in the Cape.

There are four public high schools in Cape Coral: Cape Coral High School, built in the late 1970s; Mariner High School, which opened in 1987; Ida S. Baker High School, founded in 2004 and named after one of the early principals of Cape Coral High School, which opened in 2005; and the newest, Island Coast High School, which opened its doors for the 2008, 2009 school year.

In addition, the City of Cape Coral has created a municipal charter school system consisting of two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The charter schools use the Core Knowledge and Cambridge Curricula. Since the system is public, there is no tuition. The municipal charter schools are available exclusively to children who live in Cape Coral.

Higher Education
The main campus of Florida SouthWestern State College is located immediately east of Cape Coral in Fort Myers. The college offers associate and bachelor’s degrees, plus technical training in fields such as allied health programs, computer networking & programming, business administration, paralegal, criminal justice and fire science. 2009 enrollment was more than 16,000 students on four campuses.

One of Florida’s youngest state universities, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), opened in 1997 in nearby Fort Myers and now serves more than 12,000 students. FGCU has established a Cape Coral satellite facility, which provides Cape students with a growing offering of core courses. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, including an executive master’s program, a college of business and engineering and biotechnology programs.

Other colleges and universities serving the area are Hodges University, Southwest Florida College and Rasmussen College.

Cape Coral is also home to the Cape Coral Technical College,[29] a postsecondary educational institution operated by the Lee County public school system. It provides training in medical, computer and food-science fields. Employer-specific training, both on and off-site, is available through Business and Industry Services of Lee County which maintains an office in Cape Coral.

Libraries
Library Services include:

Cape Coral is a part of Lee County and it contains two of the thirteen branches provided by this system. This library system has over 1.5 million items available to patrons and circulates over 6 million items per year. A patron account with the Lee County Library System grants access to digital resources such as Libby, hoopla, Overdrive, Mango, and Rosetta Stone.

Cape Coral Lee County Public Library: The Cape Coral Lee County Public Library is a part of the Lee County Library System. The library is located in southwest Cape Coral and can be found at 921 S.W. 39th Terrace Cape Coral, FL 33914. In 2001, 2002, this expansion to the library opened at this location with 175,000 books, 40,000 square feet, and 60 computers. This location provides access to the system’s online catalog, e-sources, circulating materials, public computers for library card holders and visitors, meeting rooms, study rooms, printers and copiers, and a butterfly garden.

Northwest Regional Library: The Northwest regional Library is a part of the Lee County Library System. The library is located in northwest Cape Coral and can be found at 519 Chiquita Blvd. N. Cape Coral, FL 33993. This location opened on December 12, 2009. It is located between Mariner High School and Mariner Middle School. The facility is 41,000 square feet and holds over 70,000 items. This location provides access to the system’s online catalog, e-sources, circulating materials, public computers for library card holders and visitors, meeting rooms, study rooms, configurable rooms, and printers and copiers.

Bridges
Cape Coral is connected to the south side of the Caloosahatchee River by two bridges. The 3,400 feet (1,000 m) long Cape Coral Bridge connects Cape Coral Parkway to College Parkway in McGregor. The Midpoint Memorial Bridge connects Veterans Parkway to Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. A number of other bridges span the Caloosahatchee River just east of Cape Coral in adjoining North Fort Myers.

Public transport
Public transit services in Cape Coral are provided by LeeTran. LeeTran operates 18 fixed-route bus services, including six within Cape Coral.

Airports
Cape Coral is 14 miles (23 km) from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), which serves nearly ten million passengers annually. The airport’s new Midfield Terminal Complex opened in 2005, with three concourses and 28 gates. In 2010, eighteen national and two international airlines, as well as the two major cargo companies, served the airport.

In addition to Southwest Florida International Airport, Cape Coral is also served by Page Field, a general aviation airport in Fort Myers eight miles (13 km) from Cape Coral. Charlotte County Airport (PGD) is located in Punta Gorda, just 10 miles (16 km) north of Cape Coral.

Hospitals
Acute care is provided by Cape Coral Hospital.Trauma Services are provided by Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers or Tampa. In December 2012, the Lee County VA Healthcare Center opened on Diplomat Parkway, providing a large range of medical services to veterans.

Utilities

Reverse osmosis water purification plant in north Cape Coral
In 1977 Cape Coral, Florida became the first municipality in the United States to use the reverse osmosis process on a large scale with an initial operating capacity of 3,000,000 US gallons (11,000 m3) per day. By 1985, due to the rapid growth in population of Cape Coral, the city had the largest low pressure reverse osmosis plant in the world, capable of producing 15 MGD (56,780 m/day).

The City of Cape Coral operates water and sewer systems for the city. Sewage is collected and highly treated to produce reclaimed water, locally known as “rescued water”. Reclaimed water is distributed throughout the city through a dual water pipe system, and used for irrigation. Alternatively, reclaimed water can be discharged into the Caloosahatchee River.

The Cape was among the first in Florida to deploy the new 4.9 GHz pre-WiMax wireless channel authorized by the FCC in 2003 for exclusive Public Safety use.

SunSplash Water Park
Cape Coral is home to the SunSplash Water Park, a 14-acre water park which includes water slides, tubing, and more.

Beaches
The city’s only beach features a sandy beach and fishing pier on the Caloosahatchee River at the public Yacht Basin & Club. Although the City only has one beach, Cape Coral offers a variety of Gulf beaches within 15 miles, such as Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach.

Parks and golf courses
Cape Coral has over 30 recreational parks which includes playgrounds, open fields, pavilions, workout equipment, walking paths, and much more. The city is also home to 7 golf courses in which some include a shooting range and golf lessons.

Wildlife
The area is known by birding enthusiasts for a wide variety of wildlife and the largest population of burrowing owls in the state of Florida.

Several parks and ecological preserves allow observation of the local wildlife. Elevated nature trails wind through the mangroves at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.

Senior activities
Senior activities include: Lake Kennedy Senior Center Tony Rotino Senior Center Friendship Centers of Cape Coral.

Canals
Cape Coral’s 400-mile (640 km) canal system provides many residents with waterfront living with access to the Gulf of Mexico via the broad Caloosahatchee River and Matlacha Pass. The Parks and Recreation Department maintains three public boat launching facilities. The Gulf of Mexico provides access to smaller tropical islands, rookeries, and sports fishing grounds.

Museums and studios
Cape Coral’s cultural assets include the Historical Museum, the Art Studio, the Cape Coral Art League, and the Cultural Park Theater, a 187-seat performing arts facility that serves as home to community actors. In addition, there are several regional arts and performance venues in the immediate area, including the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

The Southwest Florida Military Museum located in downtown Cape Coral, features a wide collection of military artifacts from all points of the United States history.

Gator Mike’s
Mike Greenwell founded an amusement park named Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park that opened in February 1992. The facility changed ownership in April 2019, and it was renamed to Gator Mike’s Family Fun Park. The facility includes a mini-golf course, Go-Karts, zip lining, bungee jumping, and more.

Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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