CJL - Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc.


Archive for the ‘Lee County’ Category


Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc. won the distinction as one of the Top 3 Architectural Firms in Southwest Florida. We are honored to have been chosen one of the “Best of Business” and would like to thank Gulfshore Business Magazine, their readers, our clients, friends and supporters for their votes!!!



On July 13, 2013, CJL Architects won two Aurora Awards and one Grand Aurora at the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) in Orlando, Florida which salutes Professionals whose work sets the standard of excellence in the Industry. Our projects receiving an Aurora Award included The Center for Specialized Surgery, and the Favalli Orthodontics & Pediatric Dental Office.

The Center for Specialized Surgery received an Aurora Award and a Grand Aurora for a new ambulatory surgery center – healthcare project. The project was constructed by Stevens Construction under a Design-Build Contract with CJL Architects providing the Architectural and Interior Design services.

The Favalli Orthodontics & Pediatric Dental Office also received an Aurora Award for a healthcare project. CJL Architects provided the Architectural Design; Wegman Design Group provided Interior Design services; and the project was constructed by Stevens Construction.

The Aurora Awards is the regions most recognized and prestigious awards program which takes place annually and is open to architects, interior designers, builders, landscape architects and merchandisers who have completed projects located within a 12-state Southeastern United States region including the Eastern Caribbean.

*CJL Architects have received 4 Aurora and 2 Grand Aurora Awards for projects since 2011.


On October 20th at the 2012 Lee Builders Association Industry Awards program, CJL Architects received 4-Merit Awards for design excellence for the following projects: Cayo de Estero Shoppes – Best Commercial Retail Project; Grace Baptist Church – Best Renovation Project; The Center for Specialized Surgery – Best Healthcare Project; and Unity of Fort Myers – Best Un-Built Design for a Church Project. In addition to these awards, The Center for Specialized Surgery also received a Summit Award as the Best Healthcare Project in the Design-Build category which CJL Architects partnered with Stevens Construction by providing Architectural and Interior Design for the project.

CJL Architects then received the top honor as the 2012 Architectural Firm of the Year recognizing excellent performance in the following categories: Achievement of Goals & Specific Practices; Client Relations; Internal Office Working Relations; Professional Certifications & Advanced Training; Community Responsibilities; and Awards.

*This is the second year in a row we have won this most prestigious award and the third such award received in the last 4 years.


Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc. is pleased to announce the completion of construction of the Cayo de Estero Shoppes in Estero. Located on US 41, the two building, commercial retail center, totals 20,310 square feet of multi-tenant lease space targeting locally-owned “boutique-type” shops.

Intermittent use of classical-proportioned columns and decorative wall medallions; using peaked tile-roof “towers” at some of the building corners; changing the wall heights, projections and recesses; and varying the positioning of horizontal banding and decorative trim elements all help create both diversity and unified rhythm within the façade.

Accentuating storefront entries and large display widows with canvas awnings and painted metal trellises provided effective shading, thereby reducing glare and solar heat-gain through the glass, while also creating a more customer-appropriate pedestrian scale.

Surety Construction from Bonita Springs, was the General Contractor for the project.


Christopher J. Lee Architects are pleased to announce that construction has begun on the new Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida surgery center located at 2565 Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.

Designed to be a “landmark” for patient recognition, the “Contemporary” design style employs colorful painted stucco forms, expressive shapes and massing, offset planes, and repetitive patterns which create diversity and continuity within the modern theme. By incorporating curved forms in both plan and elevation, and integrating layered wall planes and surfaces at varying heights extending above the roof plan help to create visual interest while expressing the essence of this modern medical/surgical facility.

When completed, this 11,200 square foot State of Florida licensed ambulatory surgery center will house three (3) operating rooms with essential life-support and functional facilities. Stevens Construction from Fort Myers is the General Contractor for the project.

Located in Fort Myers since 1992, Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc. specializes in providing quality services in commercial architecture including designs for many privately owned medical offices and dental facilities, and over 10 facility projects licensed under the State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and recently received a 2011 Lee BIA Summit Award for Best Non-Built Healthcare Design for this project.


On October 15th the 2011 Lee BIA Awards were held at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa.

Chris and his staff took home five awards including Architectural Firm of the Year!

The awards received were as follows:

*Architectural Firm of the Year

*Best Architectural Project—Healthcare for ‘Collins Vision Medical Office’

*Best Architectural Project—Healthcare for ‘Eye Specialists’ Laser & Surgery Center’

*Best Non-Built Design Product—Healthcare for ‘Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida Surgery Center’

*Merit Award: Non-Built Design Project—Healthcare for ‘Favalli Orthodontics & Pediatric Dental Office’

The Summit Awards were created by the Commercial Contractors Council of the Lee BIA in 2006 and provide an opportunity to recognize and celebrate excellence in the commercial building industry. This unique local awards program pays tribute to the Lee Building Industry Association members who have obtained an outstanding level of success and professionalism in commercial building, planning and design during 2010 and 2011.


Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (www.leebuilderscare.org), raised more than $29,000 at the second annual BBQ, Bands and Brew event held April 3 at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. The money raised will provide emergency construction services to elderly homeowners or those suffering with disabilities. This year’s total is nearly doubled the amount raised during the 2010 inaugural event.

Chris was part of the Brew Crew this year.


Doctors and contractors alike say they’re looking forward to constructing new medical office space in Lee County now that sky-high impact fees are a thing of the past.

But one real estate broker who specializes in the medical field said the anticipated boom may not materialize.

On Dec. 7, the county commission voted to cut medical office impact fees – charged to compensate for the costs of growth – by 70 percent to $7,400 per 1,000 cubic feet for two years.

Commissioners said they hope the cuts, which will cost $1 million to $2 million, will stimulate the building of medical space – which is weak but still the last man standing in the county’s devastated commercial construction industry.

“I do think it’ll make a difference,” said Mark Stevens, owner of Mark Stevens Construction in Fort Myers, which mainly builds medical offices. “I know a couple physicians who have been hesitating on whether to build.”

He hopes the new construction cut, and a similar one for expansion of existing medical space, will result in more doctors deciding to build.

With the rest of the commercial construction industry flat on its back, the stakes are high for builders, Stevens said. “Three years ago, 40 percent of our revenues were medical related; this year it’s over 90 percent.”

One doctor who built a new office without the benefit of the impact fee cuts said he doesn’t regret acting when he did, but still thinks the cuts will make it easier for other physicians to do the same.

“Some on the fence of it will act sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Michael Collins, who is scheduled to move into his new office Dec. 28.

But making the decision when he did had advantages as well, he said: rock bottom financing interest rates plus property and labor costs that prevailed a year ago allowed him to build a bigger and much higher profile location – visible from Six Mile Cypress Parkway a quarter mile south of Daniels Parkway.

He also was able to design his own building to suit his needs: an efficient floor plan plus a warmer, more welcoming feel to soothe patients’ anxieties.

In addition, Collins, an eye surgeon, will be able to add an optical department that sells glasses and contacts, along with a hearing specialist.

He marveled that the new office, built by Stevens Construction, was built ahead of schedule, within budget, in seven months – unheard of during the frenzied growth that preceded the commercial construction industry’s crash three years ago.

But one industry expert said he’s not sure the new rules will change things as much as builders and doctors hope.

“I don’t think that, in and of itself, it is going to suddenly spur a lot of medical office development,” said broker Mark Alexander, senior medical office adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Fort Myers.

It will, however, “level the playing field” for building owners who want to lease space to doctors, he said. That’s because in the past owners were hit with medical impact fees when they built out the interior for a doctor’s office.

Alexander said he still thinks reducing the fees is the right thing to do because they were too high to begin with.

“It begs the question, ‘Why did medical (fees) get so juiced up in the first place?'” he said. “My humble opinion is that is where there was the least resistance.”

With relatively few doctors, plus the public perception that they can afford higher costs, he said, “There were not too many people who are going to complain when you boost long-term medical fees.”

By the numbers

70 percent: Reduction of impact fees mandated by the Lee County commission for medical office space.

$7,400: The cost per 1,000 square feet for impact fees now assessed for a medical office building now that fees have been reduced.

17 percent: Impact fees’ contribution to the construction cost for a typical medical building in Lee County before the cuts.

24 percent: Typical impact fees’ contribution to the costs of changing the use of a building to medical use before the cuts.

(Article Courtesy of the News Press)

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