The robust rebound of island businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian continues with two SanCap Chamber condominium complex ribbon-cuttings on Sanibel Island this week:Loggerhead Cay at 979 E. Gulf Drive, on Feb. 5, and Sandpiper Beach at 1919 Olde Middle Gulf Drive on Feb. 6.
“As our traditional season comes into full swing, we are seeing more and more business members reopening their doors to welcome our seasonal guests,” said John Lai, president and CEO of SanCap Chamber. “This week we were thrilled to welcome two more condo communities.”
The bulk of Loggerhead Cay’s 168 units have been restored after Ian required gutting all the first-floor units, the office, and nine units on the second floor. Currently, 75 rental units are available with more opening up weekly. Roofs on all five buildings and the clubhouse have been replaced.
“The pool, shuffleboard courts, sitting area, grills, and shell washing stations are all open,” said board president Phil Pilibosian. “Our tennis and pickleball courts are being completely replaced and upgraded to a five-layer cushion surface that is less stressful on the knees, plus designated pickle ball courts. They all will be ready for use in March.”
First opened in fall 1974, Loggerhead Cay this year celebrates its 50th anniversary as a family-oriented condo and vacation rental destination. Following Ian, owner occupancy began Dec. 16, and rentals were available by Dec. 30.
“We support the community by sharing our lessons learned with other complexes like ours, which helped them avoid some of the pitfalls we experienced,” said Pilibosian. “The community, in turn, has participated in our ongoing fundraising bricks campaign to help pay for landscaping costs.”
Sandpiper Beach, an island fixture since 1978, officially opens to owners and renters March 2. Out of its 27 condominiums, 22 rent to guests with a seven-day rental minimum. The secluded beachfront community has private access to the beach.
“We have 13 acres of lush vegetation, both new and existing, that nestles up to Gulfside City Park,” said Heidi Johnson, vice president of reconstruction for the Sandpiper Beach Condo Association board of directors. “The community offers a heated pool, tennis and pickleball courts, and shuffleboard. All areas will be available with the exception of direct access to the beach. Our boardwalk permit is hung up at DEP [Department of Environmental Protection]. All criteria have been met; we are just waiting on approval. After permitting, the boardwalk will be completed in approximately 30 days.”
The condo complex suffered roof damage to two buildings and first-floor beach-storage closets, plus minor flooding to second-floor units. The board of directors has built stronger with new hurricane- resistant roofing, doors, and windows, plus fully replanted landscape, new signage, and gathering spots such as a new grilling station.
“We feel that by supporting local businesses, we can help the islands through this difficult time,” said Johnson. “We are new members of the chamber and look forward to a strong relationship, sharing what is best about Sanibel Island.”
ABOUT SANIBEL & CAPTIVA ISLANDS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website, sanibel-captiva.org, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit sanibel-captiva.org or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].