The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., the non-profit corporation that is responsible for the management and governance of the historic site and related properties, has received a 99 year lease from the City of Fort Myers which was given the original historic property in 1947 by Mina Edison and her foundation. To date, the non-profit known as Edison Ford has worked with federal, city, state, county, private donors and a foundation which was created to help get it started to raise almost $14 million in restoration and improvements. “With 10 years under our belt and lots of awards, we are ready to take on all operations, improvements and fundraising for the next 99 years,” say Chris Pendleton, President & CEO. “We have shown we can do it.”
The process of securing the 99 year lease has been a year-long process with CEO Chris Pendleton and Trustees working closely with Councilman Mike Flanders who initiated the project. Both Flanders and Mayor Henderson have expressed that it “makes sense to have the site run like a non-profit business and the past 10 years of administration by Edison Ford have shown that.” All members of City Council were in agreement and the lease amendment was passed unanimously on September 21, 2015. The new lease extends through September 30, 2114 for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. (known as Edison Ford).