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Hertz moving in, nearby businesses say newcomers are welcome

May 8, 2013


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Estero and Bonita Springs businesses surrounding Hertz’s new home look to benefit from having the rental car agency as a neighbor.

The company will build its $50 million, 300,000-square-foot global headquarters at the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Williams Road.

“This definitely adds cache for Estero and the surrounding areas and elevates our retail attractiveness,” said Tara Beauchesne, spokeswoman for Coconut Point. “We welcome Hertz, their employees and families to our little corner of paradise.”

Heather Mundt, a manager at the mall’s Evelyn & Arthur clothing boutique, was also upbeat about the news. “It’s going to bring business here, jobs to the county and make it easier to rent cars,” she said.

Coconut Point Ford employees had a meeting Tuesday morning to discuss Hertz’s decision to build across the street.

Manager Bobby Collins said his dealership has posted a record number of car sales in each of the past three years. Internet inquiries and car services are also posting record numbers, he said. Part of the Hertz plan is to bring a car dealership and a rental site to the property.

“We embrace the competition,” Collins said. “We understand they are going to bring 700 employees. We look forward to them being future Ford owners. Anytime there’s growth and new companies coming in, it can do nothing but good.”

Estero Council of Community Leaders Chairman Nick Batos is excited about Hertz coming to Estero. “Nothing like this has occurred before. It will create so many jobs at one time. It’ll also diversify the base,” he said.

He believes Hertz and, if approved, Lee Memorial Health System’s hospital less than 2 miles south off U.S. 41, will attract more development.

Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson said he believes the arrival of Hertz will be the beginning of a trend.

“Southwest Florida is perfect for these corporate headquarters because of the lifestyle that we offer, because of the tax structure, because of our business-friendly nature,” he said. “It changes the character and the perception nationally when this group of people come down here.”

Bonita City Manager Carl Schwing noted Hertz and its 700 employees will be a 10-minute drive from his city’s northern boundary.

“Those folks are going to be shopping our stores. They’re going to be buying our homes. They’re going to be eating in our restaurants,” he said.

Staff writer Chris Umpierre contributed to this report.

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