Fort Myers redevelopment hits major milestones
Downtown Fort Myers redevelopment is hitting some major milestones. Not only is a center piece of the project nearly complete, but there are also plans in place for downtown landmarks that have long stood empty. Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Downtown Fort Myers redevelopment is hitting some major milestones.
Not only is a center piece of the project nearly complete, but there are also plans in place for downtown landmarks that have long stood empty.
A center piece of the redevelopment, the water basin, has been fully dug and filled with water.
It brings a scenic water body closer to the heart of downtown.
"By the end of this year, that should be a fully competed project and ready for restaurants and a hotel to move in," says downtown redevelopment director Don Paight.
Another milestone -- the hotel -- says Paight is almost in place too.
He's expecting a proposal from a developer out of Sarasota this week.
The proposal will include specifics like the size of the hotel, the flag or the name of the hotel the developer will be working with and the quality level of the hotel.
Paight says the hotel would get the city back in the convention business, brininging about 500 people a week to the area.
"...And that will help attract the restaurants and the businesses that we hope to bring into the water front," adds Paight.
Other projects are taking off too.
The old "Peter's La Cuisine" building on Bay street, empty for 5 years, is undergoing renovations to become "Firestone's," a grill, martini and sky bar.
"We thought that downtown was expanding, and we wanted to be apart of the new growth," says Mike McGuigan of the Edison Restaurant Group.
The old Amtel Embassador Hotel, empty for 4 years, now has a contract to become a senior living community.
And proposals are in on the old Hall of 50 States building as well.
"The mere number of pieces that have been purchased or are under contract or in the planning stages is a testament to the fact that the economy's picking up again." says Paight.
This year alone, private investors have dumped $100 million into downtown Fort Myers.
That's the highest level of investment ever.