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Lehigh Acres is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Florida, United States. The US Census Bureau of 2010 had the CDP's population at 86,784. Lehigh Acres is a part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lehigh Acres is located at 26°36′30″N 81°38′21″W (26.608333, -81.639167). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 95.98 square miles (248.6 km2), of which 94.89 square miles (245.8 km2) is land and 1.09 square miles (2.8 km2) (1.14%) is water.
Lehigh Acres was developed in the mid-1950s by Chicago businessman Lee Ratner. Seeking a tax shelter, Ratner had sold his pest control business and faced the possibility of losing most of his earnings to the high capital gains tax of that era. Ratner heard that cattle was a good investment for people in his predicament, and he bought 18,000 acres (73 km²) of land in eastern Lee County and named it the Lucky Lee Ranch. After ranching for a while, and despite having no prior development experience, Ratner joined with Gerald H. Gould, a Florida advertising executive, Manuel Riskin, a Chicago CPA, and Edward Shapiro, a former Chicagoan who was in the real estate business in California, and began land sales at Lehigh Acres.
Gerald Gould was the president of the corporation that developed Lehigh Acres, which began in 1954. He remained as president until the company was sold in 1972.
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