Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency
Since 1984 the CRA has been at the forefront of local redevelopment efforts occurring in the most blighted areas and spaces in the City of Palms.
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First Street 1984
First Street Today
CRA Supported Projects
For questions or information about
these and other CRA-supported projects
call us at (239) 321-7100, or
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buck’s Backyard at McCollum Hall
Sections of the “Murals at Bucks Backyard/ McCollum Hall.”
A depiction of one of the orginal store and retails spaces at McCollum Hall. Center image: A reproduction of historic playbills that included various entertainment types from boxing to music events. Bottom image: the vibrancy and uplifting captures from photos of dancing taking place during an event at McCollum Hall.
McCollum Hall Murals are Nearly Complete
The Buck’s Backyard murals at McCollum Hall will be finished by the end of May and are awaiting your visit! 12 of the 17 panels were completed in March, with the remaining five undergoing finishing touches. View this masterpiece in person at McCollum Hall, 2717 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Taking a selfie? Share it online with these hashtags:#fortmyerscra #dunbar #mccollumhall #fortmyersmuralsociety #fortmyersfl
Developer Zeros-in On Additional Financing And Construction-Start Date For Mccollum Hall
Consistent with information shared previously, the developer informed CRA staff of a nearly $700,000 increase in construction costs, and a subsequent effort to secure an increase from their lender. The development schedule will be adjusted once a new appraisal and combined proforma and lending increase requests are finally processed and complete. Regarding the Section 108 loan, permission to advertise was approved by City Council at its May 17 regular meeting.
Towles Garden Townhome Community
“We envision the development of Towles Garden Townhomes as being the catalyst for the revitalization of the entire Dunbar/East Fort Myers community.”
– Frankie Jennings, CEO of FJ Services, Sales and Marketing, Inc. (FJSSM)
The Towles Garden Sales and Information Center has opened at 2774 First Street. The Center is a key element in the project’s success.
Some of the services offered are:
• Home Buyer Assistance (down payment support, mortgage subsidies, buydowns, and related programs)
• Home Ownership Counseling
• Credit Education/Repair
• MBE/DBE Sub-Contractor Sign-up
• Community Organizing and Outreach
Towles Garden Contractor Opportunities
Towles Garden Construction Contractor Workshop May 27
Opportunities are available for Contractors and Sub-Contractors in all phases of construction. A workshop will be held at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center (SWFEC) on Thursday, May 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Towles Garden Construction Contractor Workshop
May 27, 5:30 p.m., No Reservations Required
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center
3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Sponsored by FJ Services Sales & Marketing, Lee Ford, Business Development Coordinator for Towles Garden, in collaboration with Mike Love, Director of SWFEC.
Towles Garden Townhome Community is an affordable and attainable home development featuring 140 architecturally innovative multi-family townhomes and villas with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and “green space” common areas. It will be built on a 7.5-acre lot at the corner of Edison Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area. The project was approved for a tax increment rebate of $4.9 million by the CRA Board of Commissioners in December 2020. Developer Towles Garden LLC, proposes a $28.7 million investment of 67 affordable and 73 attainable townhomes, to be priced at $200,005 and $210,123 respectively. Units will range in size from 900-1,250 sq. ft.
Hampton Inn by Hilton
“We are expecting very soon to proceed with the 2nd floor slab and masonry.”
– Eric Collin, LEED AP, Firmco Construction LLC, Developer
Progress is being made on construction of Hampton Inn by Hilton in the Downtown redevelopment area! Several tasks have been completed: site preparation, utilities under the slab, the foundations and ground floor slab, and first floor masonry. The slab and masonry for the second floor will soon be underway. Estimated completion date is early 2022.
AC by Marriott Hotel
“Our parking agreement was approved for City Council … this allows us to talk with potential leaders, which we are in the process of doing.”
– David Fry, First Street Place, LLC, Developer
The project will move forward with the building design presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) over the summer, provided the developer has favorable conversations with lenders and investors over the next 30-60 days. If this proceeds as planned, ground breaking on the project will occur by the end of 2021.
Silver Hills at Fort Myers
“The project continues to go well. Our building structure is complete and the garage will be complete in the next week or two.”
– Seth Mendelsohn, President, Silver Hills Development
The project is going quite well despite construction material shortages. The developer stated that some of the delays are related to coordinating and working with Florida Power & Light to remove power lines and install power to the site. Also, stucco has been completed in the courtyard and along the back of the building. No stucco has been worked along First Street. Phase I of the project is expected to be open or substantially complete around mid-July 2021.
April 25, 2021, Construction Video of Silver Hills at Fort Myers Phase I (Courtesy of DeAngelis Diamond/Eagle Eyes UAS Drone Service)
The Wellington Academy
Wellington Academy exterior painting.
Wellington Academy Work Underway
Painting of the building exterior began on April 14 and are expected to be finished with the work at the end of April. Trees were trimmed in early of May, Drought tolerant plant installation will be timed with the beginning of rainy season since the facility does not have irrigation. In January, The Wellington Academy LLC was selected for a $15,000 Commercial Property Improvement Grant for paint and landscaping. It is located in the Cleveland Avenue redevelopment area.
Palmera on the River
Groundbreaking on the Horizon for Palmera on the River
“We anticipate breaking ground before the end of the year,” says Michael Mincberg, President, Soho Sight, LLC. At this point, the developer for the Palmera on the River project is still actively working through permitting with the City. Groundbreaking is expected to occur by the end of 2021.
Palmera on the River is a 7-story concrete block multi-family community project that will feature 221 apartments and a 334-space covered parking structure. Developer Soho Sight, LLC, will build on a 2-acre vacant lot, located at the foot of northbound Edison Bridge, that has been left undeveloped for several decades. This urban infill project will be the first residential tower to be constructed along East First Street since the Beau Rivage, Riviera, and St. Tropez high rises were completed a dozen years ago. This Downtown redevelopment area housing project was approved for a $9.535 million CRA tax increment rebate in December 2020.
West End at City Walk
Construction Photos Upper Row, Center Row, Lower Left courtesy of Nick Stewart/NPS Engineering & Consulting. Lower Right: West End at City Walk rendering.
“The first move-ins are scheduled for June 1st, and we expect the project to be complete by the end of July.”
– Joe Bonora, President & CEO
Catalyst Community Capital, Inc.
Approximately 80 leases are in place for the first building. Demand for West End at City Walk has been very strong, with 8-10 new leases per week being signed. Building two has received a coat of paint and window installation is underway.
Seaboard Waterside Apartments
“Floor plans have been adjusted to better reflect the post-pandemic market…
We anticipate breaking ground in early 2022.”
– Jerry Miller, Billy’s Creek Preserve, L.L.C
The architect is currently working on the design development plans. The floor plans have been adjusted as a result of the pandemic: units will now include home office space. Developer Billy’s Creek Preserve, L.L.C. is currently in discussions with lenders for construction financing. Several of the demolition permits have also been approved.
Seaboard Waterside Apartments, a two-building, six-story, 420-rental apartment complex to be built at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Seaboard Street, was approved for a total CRA tax increment rebate of $11.48 million in July 2019. The project will be built in two phases.
The latest Planned Urban Development (PUD) package was submitted to City of Fort Myers Planning Director Steve Belden on April 15.
Vantage Lofts, a 16-story loft style apartment development, is being built west of the Caloosahatchee Bridge on Carson Street, located between First and Second Street. It will offer 221 loft apartments with 5,000 square feet of retail space, including a 5-story parking garage.In 2019, the project was approved for a TIF rebate of $11.4 million. This project will provide needed housing and retail space, thereby contributing directly to the revitalization of the Fort Myers River District. It will bring young professionals to the Fort Myers area and promote new business growth once completed. The $63 million project is planned for completion in 2023.
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