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Cape Coral breaks ground on downtown project

Posted at 7:50 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 20:05:07-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Cape Coral City officials broke ground on a downtown redevelopment project, Thursday, despite pushback on certain parts of the plan.

The 14 million dollar Streetscape project on SE 47th Terrace was met with controversy early on, when business owners realized it would eliminate street parking. The city will expand sidewalks on the street, hoping to enhance foot traffic. However, some business owners, like Kerry Krieg, owner of Merrick Seafood, worry their customers won't have anywhere to park. "If customers aren't able to get to our front door, that's going to affect the way we stay in business, how we support our employees," she said.

Longtime business owner in the Cape Elmer Tabor agreed, and felt the project was rushed. "I'm excited to see it, I think a lot of downtown is excited, but I don't think the city paid enough attention to impact as far as parking was concerned."

At the groundbreaking, Cape Mayor Joe Coviello said if parking becomes an issue, the city is open to looking into solutions. "Once the project is complete, we'll re-evaluate the possibility of needing a parking structure. That's something we'll look at as we finish the project," he said.