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Parking, a Park, a Past Business: Fort Myers leaders discuss changes for all 3

The workshop hosted many issues the city is working through, but no final decisions were made.
Posted at 7:42 AM, Jun 11, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — There were 11 items on the city of Fort Myers city council work session agenda that addressed ongoing city projects. But as your Ft Myers Community Correspondent, I know 3 of the most important issues to you are parking downtown, the future of the City of Palms Park, and the future for the old News-Press newspaper site.

Downtown Ft Myers Fort Myers parking paid parking parking kiosk
New parking kiosks were introduced in 2024 to replace old coin meters and improve the parking experience and accessibility to street parking in downtown Ft Myers.

First, there is the downtown parking issue. The council discussed the distribution of kiosks and their distance from parking spaces.

One of the sticking points is parking for downtown employees of businesses. The city decided to lease a parking lot, that could come with a flat 30-dollar parking permit.

They also talked about the impact of not charging for parking after 5:00pm — that change would cost the city $225,000.

No final decisions were made.

News-Press Building Ft Myers newspaper
There have been a lot of ideas for the old News-Press newspaper headquarters throughout the years, including turning it into a new police headquarters.

Next: the old News-Press site, which has been empty for years. The city manager said ongoing discussions with a developer the city has worked with before should lead to a proposal before the end of July.

Past Coverage: Newspaper site to become affordable housing

City of Palms Park Ft Myers
When it opened in 1993, the City of Palms Park in Ft Myers was the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. The 8,200 seat facility also hosted baseball and softball for Florida Southwestern State College, but has been the subject of redevelopment talks for some time.

And finally, the City of Palms Park re-negotiations. Representatives from the United Soccer League explained the safety net the city would have for providing a 40 million dollar bond for the project. Councilman Fred Burson raised concerns about how the city would be repaid. USL representatives say they would consider getting insurance to cover this debt, should the league go out of business.

That's all from Ft Myers for now. Keep following FOX 4!