New hotels, mall, parking planned on FMB

Posted at 7:44 AM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 07:44:28-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. -- Another makeover is in store for Fort Myers Beach! And developers say the project could be a major boost to the local economy. 

A developer unveiled major plans for the island that include multiple hotels, a mall, parking structures, and more. 

However, some residents are concerned that it may be too much for the island. 

The group, called Grand Resorts-Fort Myers Beach, outlined the redevelopment of a large area near the Skybridge and Times Square. 

It would include big name hotels like, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott, and Hampton Inn, they say they've already got lined up. 

The builders say they would be helping other businesses and visitors by adding a parking structure, public boardwalk on the beach and a seawall. 

Builders say the ideas won't change the popular island's personality.

"Just because there is a change on the beach to the architecture... that shouldn't change the small town feel. That should actually be an enhancement to what is there today," John Dammerman, Grand Resorts, said. 

He says they also plan to ease traffic coming on and going off the island by adding roundabouts. 

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Anita Cereceda says the redevelopment project will require a lot more discussion and input from the public, especially with all the road construction on Estero Boulevard. 

"We could focus on all the negative elements that could possibly happen, or we can focus on what could possibly happen in a positive way, and that's what I'm choosing to do," Mayor Anita Cereceda said. 

The project is project to cost upwards of $250 million. 

The builders hope to start late next year if they get approved. 

There will be another meeting about the proposed project on December 14th at Chapel by the Sea on Fort Myers Beach at 5:30. The public will be able to have their voices heard at that meeting. 

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