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A WALKABLE CITY: Rooftop at Riverside, among other Downtown Bonita attractions boost economy and foot traffic

Posted at 2:39 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 14:39:20-04

Rooftop at Riverside is a food truck park in the heart of Downtown Bonita Springs. It's been open since January, so FOX 4 checked in to see if it's functioning the way City Council imagined.

"It used to be tumbleweeds out here," Chris Magnus, the owner of Rooftop at Riverside said.

But not anymore. City leaders have been working for years to revitalize Downtown Bonita Springs, bring foot traffic to the area, and boost up the economy.

"Council has had this vision to make Bonita Springs a walk-able multi-modal location and we're seeing everything come out of the ground. Now we've got Rooftop open, SugarShack Downtown will be coming around the corner. We have a lot of support for the Rail Trails project that's coming through Bonita Springs," Magnus said.

TheBonita Estero Rail Trail is a nearly 15 mile path connecting pedestrians to other parts of Lee County, and SugarShack Downtown is a live music restaurant. Both are within a half mile of Rooftop, all contributing to more foot traffic through the city.

Zoey Lester owns a truck in the park at only 19 years old.

"My idea was to have somewhere that someone could eat and feel completely safe, where they're not going to get sick or have a bad experience," Lester said.

Her food truck was created with people who have Celiac's Disease in mind.

"I think we're in a really good area. In the downtown Bonita area we get a lot of foot traffic through here," she said.

A city on it's way to more multi modality, is on it's way there with some help of neat and creatively modeled restaurants.

"The city's put a ton of money into revitalizing our road and our infrastructure, in making it a great space for our community. With all of that, we're seeing a ton more people walking in all times of the day," Magnus said.