Shell Factory & Nature Park in North Fort Myers arranges $2.5 million loan to keep from closing

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - A 76-year-old roadside tourist attraction in southwest Florida has a new lease on life, thanks to a $2.5 million loan from a group of supporters.

The loan for the Shell Factory & Nature Park closed Friday.

The Shell Factory's owner and his 85 employees faced possible foreclosure on the sprawling property.

The iconic southwest Florida tourist attraction hit a brick wall this spring, even as its parking lots were full of customers: A $1.2 million mortgage note had come due.

The News-Press reports that Lender Branch Banking & Trust wasn't willing to extend the repayment period and filed notice of its intent to sue.

Although the attraction was recovering from the recession and was current on its mortgage payments, the owner said he couldn't meet the balloon payment in time.
 

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