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Lehigh Acres

Trip Planner USA  /  Florida  /  Lehigh Acres
Lehigh Acres is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Florida, United States. The US Census Bureau of 2010 had the CDP's population at 86,784. Lehigh Acres is a part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.GeographyLehigh Acres is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 95.98sqmi. 94.89sqmi of it is land and 1.09sqmi of it is water.HistoryLehigh Acres was developed in the mid-1950s by Chicago businessman Lee Ratner. Seeking a tax shelter, Ratner had sold his pest control business and faced the possibility of losing most of his earnings to the high capital gains tax of that era. Ratner heard that cattle was a good investment for people in his predicament, and he bought 18,000 acres (73 km²) of land in eastern Lee County and named it the Lucky Lee Ranch. After ranching for a while, and despite having no prior development experience, Ratner joined with Gerald H. Gould, a Florida advertising executive, Manuel Riskin, a Chicago CPA, and Edward Shapiro, a former Chicagoan who was in the real estate business in California, and began land sales at Lehigh Acres.Gerald Gould was the president of the corporation that developed Lehigh Acres which began in business in 1954. He remained as president until the company was sold in 1972.Since the days of the Lucky Lee Ranch, the boundaries of Lehigh Acres have stretched to cover 61000acre, including the runways of the former Buckingham Army Airfield, a major Army Air Forces training base that was closed at the end of World War II. The pasture land where Ratner's cattle roamed and the since broken up runways where military flight crews trained has been divided into some 152,000 0.25acre and 0.5acre lots for housing, along over 1,400 miles of roads. Strips of land along major thoroughfares, such as Homestead Road and Lee Boulevard, were set aside for commerce. In 1997, nearly 90% of Lehigh Acres' lots remained vacant.
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