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Continued controversy over future of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 05:10:58-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — More specifics are in place in the Fort Myers Yacht Basin, months after Texas developer Suntex Marinas started the process to renovate it.

The marina met with people who live in the basin earlier this month and stated that they wouldn't be forcing any residents out, but people like Marcia Schwalm, owner of Rumors Hair Design, aren't convinced.

She signed her lease fourteen years ago to the day, on August 30th. And now, thirty years later, the lease is up and set to expire - the city telling her that it won't be renewed.

“I knew it was going to happen so I wasn’t surprised," says Schwalm.

She's one of many from the Yacht Basin who have talked with us over the year, concerned about the plans from Suntex.

The marina presented a terms sheet to outline their plan for the Basin, which states that they would be pouring at least $30 million into the property, and emphasizing that existing tenants would be allowed to stay.

Sawyer Smith is a Fort Myers-based attorney representing Suntex, who told Fox 4 that the tenants will be taken care of.

“Once a lease is in place between Suntex and the City of Fort Myers, we will reach out to the current occupants and execute new leases," says Smith.

But with her lease gone, Marcia is worried about the future of her floating business and what it could mean in new hands.

“This is a historical marina - the city needs to keep possession of the marina," says Schwalm.

The Yacht Basin residents will be having a meeting Wednesday night at 6:30 in front of the Pier 1 office, and Downtown City Council member Lin Bochette is expected to attend.