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Now fenced off after demo, Hancock Bridge Plaza future coming more into shape

After years of abandoned buildings at Hancock Bridge and Cleveland Avenue, former shopping center now flattened
Future of North Fort Myers will be built on housing
Posted at 7:52 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 19:52:09-05

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — We often hear about the development of Downtown Fort Myers, Midtown and Dunbar, but what about North Fort Myers?

Well District 4 Commissioner Brian Hamman said as long as he is in representing that district, North Fort Myers wouldn't be left behind and he would do whatever he can to get people to invest in that community.

A major step in development was the demolishing of the old Hancock Bridge Square Plaza.

An area some consider abandoned, forgotten and neglected is set to look different in the future, and it's all based on bringing people to the area via housing.

"The Hancock Square building specifically has been an eyesore in North Fort Myers," Commissioner Hamman said."It was one of the reasons that many other property owners around it wouldn't improve their properties because they said if I have to be next to that why would I need to spend money on my property."

The building that was built back in 1984 is now gone. The plot of land cost Mast Capital $12.8 million to transition the 14 acres of land from a shopping center into apartments with 320 units.

Commissioner Hamman couldn't give Fox 4's Briana Brownlee an exact timeline on the project, but he said construction should start soon. He hopes when the units are built businesses will start to boom.

"Those people whose going to live in those apartments will start shopping at those businesses, they will support the restaurants and ultimately it will lead to more jobs in North Fort Myers," Commissioner Hamman said.

He added for businesses to strive quality housing must be built. Commissioner Hamman couldn't give the exact details of other projects, but he did give some insight on what else is set to come to the area.

"There is a lot of vacant property right on theCaloosahatchee River that somebody has put in a rezoning application for,"Commissioner Hamman said. "I can't get into the details or merits of it because I'm going to have to vote on it but that's another new development."

He also mentioned the apartments being built near the Merchants Crossing area near the movie theater. Commissioner Hamman emphasized that housing is key for North Fort Myers to get people in the area to support the businesses.