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Fort Myers City Council approves agreement to develop Towels Garden

Posted at 10:05 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 22:05:21-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — At its Jan. 19 meeting, Fort Myers City Council approved the agreement with Towles Garden, LLC and Robert MacFarlane of MacFarlane Barney Development to build 140 affordable and attainable housing units in the East Fort Myers section of the Dunbar Community.

The single-family-owned residential units will range from 1,100–1,500 square feet, be pedestrian and kid-friendly, include a park with benches and pavilions for events, and provide a variety of styles and price ranges. The proposed entrance for the community will be located on Highland Avenue.

The City Council’s action places Fort Myers in the front ranks of cities promoting homeownership and all its implications for broad-based community economic development in minority and underserved communities. This long-awaited and much needed new construction will be the catalyst to stimulate other economic initiatives in the area.

“The site must include 51% affordable and 49% attainable residential units,” said MacFarlane, noting that ‘Affordable’ is 80% of the average median income levels of residents in the Fort Myers – Cape Coral area. “What makes the development affordable and attainable is the land donated from the City of Fort Myers, tax increment financing grants, PACE funding, down payment assistance, homebuyer assistance programs, permitting and impact fee reductions and more.”

“The key to this project’s success is the assistance we will provide individuals in accessing programs providing down payment support, credit repair, mortgage subsidies, buydowns, and related assistance,” said Mrs. Frankie Jennings, President and CEO of FJ Services, Sales and Marketing, Inc. “We want the community to know that this is not a ‘one-off’ project. We are looking to develop other sites in East Fort Myers to help build a brighter future for all.”

Jennings also acknowledged and thanked Fort Myers Councilman Johnny Streets, who started the Towles Garden initiative and led the efforts to return a dormant project to the front burners of the City’s community economic development priorities.