MURDOCK — When it comes to real estate deals in Charlotte County, few ventures have created more of a stir than Murdock Village. Simply mention the roughly 870 acres of undeveloped land the county acquired through a controversial mix of financial bonding and eminent domain, and eyes begin to roll, tempers start to flare, and teeth begin to gnash.
By all accounts, Murdock Village was a risky deal that, in retrospect, never should have happened. To date, the property has cost taxpayers more than $100 million to acquire, according to official estimates, and has generated nothing but headaches in return. Once considered a lightning rod for economic growth with ambitious plans for an arts and entertainment district, as well as retail, commercial and residential development, Murdock Village remains vacant today, nearly 10 years after it was acquired — its future still uncertain as officials try to figure out how to jump-start the beleaguered project.
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