FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Royal Palm Towers building has been part of the downtown Fort Myers skyline for decades — but with that age, comes plenty of upkeep.
When Fox 4 first reported on the issues facing the Royal Palm, we spoke with residents on what they feel the building needs. Now, Fort Myers Housing Authority is giving answers.
$1.6 million of federal grant money is how much Fort Myers Housing Authority received for Ian recovery and other hazard concerns.
"1.6 doesn’t go very far," said Marcia Davis, the executive director of the Fort Myers Housing Authority.
Especially since majority is going to the Horizon's Apartments. However, Davis told Fox 4's Briana Brownlee a small chunk of the money will go to the Royal Palm Towers.
“We are taking care of the emergency health and safety items to make sure it’s a safe environment for them," Davis said.
“The main thing is the plumbing, it is a mess," said Douglas Hogg, a resident of the high rise.
Many residents told Fox 4 their main concern is plumbing, including Hogg who has lived in the complex for 24 years.
"The infrastructure is really challenging and as we find issues, we have several plumbing contractors out there constantly making sure we an keep these 60-year-old pipes together," Davis said.
She added there are a lot of capital needs for the Royal Palm Towers, and says with the hazard mitigation grant funding — money will go to the plumbing. However, she said it's only a temporary solution because the building is past its life cycle.
"That's why we are rebuilding Royal Palm Towers," Davis said.
The old high rise will be coming down and residents will be moved to a new high rise located on Lafayette Street.
Davis said the solution was decided back in 2019 after realizing the renovation costs are more than building new.
But some at the Royal Palm Towers tell Fox 4 the building isn't old, just a little tired.
“Majority of the residents love being here," Hogg said. "It stood up against the storm like it had every year.”
It will be a few years before the new Royal Palm Tower is built. Davis said the plan is for the new complex to be built first and then move the residents before tearing the old building down.