CAPE CORAL, Fla. — More growth is coming to South Cape Coral. This week the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) gave an out-of-state developer the green light on the Village Square project - a project that’s been a decade in the making.
City leaders say the new development will bring more jobs, luxury apartments and more business to the South Cape. But, it could put the owner of a local ice cream shop out of business.
Ricardo Noguera, Cape Coral's Economic and Business Development Manager says within the next few years the 3.9 acres of land between Cape Coral Parkway and SW 47th Terrace will be completely transformed into a big money maker for the city.
“This project alone will create more than $1million a year in property taxes,” he said.
He says that’s in addition to $100,000 in sales tax to the city from retailers who move in. When it’s all said and done, the project will cost about $64 million. Noguera says on top of 280 luxury apartments and public parking, the area will become a hub for lots of workers.
“Opportunities to live and work near the bridge in the South Cape, and it will also serve to attract more office tenants and technology companies,” he said.
This also means people who’ve come to recognize the Packman mural when they get their regular ice cream fix will have to find it elsewhere.
Chris Cohen, owner of Sidecar Treats says he doesn’t know where he'll move to permanently.
“We’re going to need to at the very least temporarily relocate while construction is happening,” he said.
Cohen says his landlord hasn't told him when he has to move. He says it could be a couple months, or next year.
“It may be cheaper to just go out of business. We haven’t decided yet,” he said.
Noguera says Sidecar is welcome to move into the new development. Cohen hasn’t seen any actual numbers, but thinks he’ll be priced out of the area based on the grand plan.
“I'm sure in a new building, a showcase of downtown here will probably be astronomical rent. We’ve got to move a lot of ice cream cones to pay that rent,” he said.
The developer, Flaherty and Collins Properties plans to break ground by next spring and finish the project by the end of 2023. The apartment complex will also have a parking garage with 125 spots open to the public.