|Lee County, Florida|
|• Total||20.0 sq mi (52 km2)|
|• Land||20.0 sq mi (52 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||13 ft (4 m)|
|• Total||18,176 °|
|• Density||290.44/sq mi (112.14/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0282257|
Estero is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Florida. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 18,176. It is the home of Germain Arena, which hosts the home games for the Florida Everblades ECHL ice hockey team. Florida Gulf Coast University is also located just outside of the Estero Planning District.
Estero is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Estero is located at (26.432237, -81.809447).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 20.0 square miles (52 km2), of which, 20.0 square miles (52 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.24%) is water.
Historically and culturally, the heart of Estero is the spring-fed Estero River, which flows to Estero Bay. Some of the earliest European settlers of the area (notably the Alvarez, Fernandez, Johnson, and Soto families) were fishing families that lived on Mound Key, a mangrove-ringed island that dominates Estero Bay. During the early 20th century, these families moved upriver to the settlement which came to be known as Estero. Estero is also the location of a utopian community called the Koreshan Unity, which is now preserved as the Koreshan State Historic Site. Until the 1970s, most settlement and development in Estero was near the river.
The only governing body exclusive to the community of Estero is the fire department. The fire department was created in 1964 and petitioned the State of Florida for Special District classification in 1976 (Florida State Statute 76-408). The boundaries of the Estero Fire Department are typically referred to as Estero. The borders of Estero include Estero Bay to the west; the city of Bonita Springs to the south; San Carlos Park and Three Oaks to the north; and Collier County to the east.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,503 people, 4,608 households, and 3,336 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 450.7 people per square mile (174.1/km²). There were 7,345 housing units at an average density of 348.4/sq mi (134.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.43% White, 0.64% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.19% of the population.
There were 4,608 households, out of which 10.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 2.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.31.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 9.2% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 14.1% from 25 to 44, 31.1% from 45 to 64, and 40.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $43,734, and the median income for a family was $51,227. Males had a median income of $38,886 versus $27,883 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $30,521. About 1.9% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
On May 7, 2013, Hertz Corporation announced it was moving its corporate headquarters and about 750 jobs from Park Ridge, New Jersey (its current HQs) and Tulsa, Oklahoma (where Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group was based before Hertz's purchase of same in 2012) to Estero. Hertz will be building a $75 million building at the northeast corner of US 41 and Williams Road on a currently vacant and cleared parcel there that already contains a retention pond. The land is immediately south of Corkscrew Village and about a mile north of Coconut Point Mall.
Estero's fire protection is provided by Estero Fire Rescue. Founded in 1964, Estero Fire Rescue operates 4 fire stations and one administrative complex. In addition to fire protection, Estero Fire Rescue provides emergency medical services consisting of Advanced Life Support (ALS), vehicle extrication, hazardous materials mitigation, fire prevention and public education. Daily staffing includes members of Florida Task Force 6, a regional Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) capable of providing technical rescue for structural collapse, trench, high-angle rope, swift water/flood and confined space rescue.
Apparatus include 1 battalion chief, 2 engine companies, 2 ladder companies, 1 truck company, 1 rescue unit, 3 brush trucks, 1 water tanker and 1 air and light unit. 5 apparatus are staffed around the clock with 17 firefighters. All staffed apparatus are equipped with Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment and paramedics which provide quick emergency care.
Estero Fire Rescue is a State of Florida Independent Special District and is governed by a five member commission board. The Board of Fire Commissioners (BOFC) oversee the organization by setting policy and establishing an operating budget by collecting taxes based on property value assessments. In addition the BOFC is responsible for hiring a Fire Chief to manage the daily operations of the organization.
Estero was established and incorporated by the followers of Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed, who proposed a theory that we live on the inside of the Earth's outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth. This theory, which he called Koreshan Unity, drew followers to purchase and occupy a 320-acre (1.29 km2) tract in 1894. They were business-oriented and lived communally, prospering enough to found its own political party ("The Progressive Liberty Party") and incorporate the town on September 1,1904 as Estero. The 1908 death of Dr. Teed (who claimed to be immortal) was a critical blow to the group's faith, whose membership dwindled into the 1960s. The Foundation remains as "The College of Life Foundation," which contributed (for example) at least $25,000 to the Gulf Shore Playhouse in or around 2007. The Koreshans' original tract is now owned by Florida as the Koreshan State Historic Site. Estero is now an unincorporated area of Lee County.
- Estero, FL Population Growth and Population Statistics - CLRSearch
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Map of Estero Planning District
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- American FactFinder - Search
- Donors' page for the Gulf Shore Playhouse, showing College of Life Foundation donation as of 21 April 2008
- Lee County Government
- Estero Chamber of Commerce
- Estero High School
- History of Estero's founding by Koreshans
- Estero, Florida Community Organizations