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McCollum Hall:
Now on the National Register of Historic Places!

On April 18, 2022, the National Park Service officially listed McCollum Hall, located at 2701 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., on the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

McCollum Hall was popular from the 1930s through the 1950s as a Chitlin’ Circuit venue where famous black entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King, and others performed.

Fort Myers CRA
[email protected]

2022 Edison Awards Held in Downtown Fort Myers

The 2022 Edison Awards™ were celebrated April 20-22 in Fort Myers, Florida. The city has a rich history of innovation and is a natural fit to continue the Edison Awards mission: To serve as a leader in globally recognizing, honoring and fostering innovation and innovators to create a positive impact on the world.

The 2022 Edison Awards showcased some of the world’s top innovation leaders and new products from around the globe. The event was hosted at the beautiful Luminary Hotel and the Caloosa Sound Convention Center located in the Fort Myers River District. Hundreds of the world’s top innovators descended on Fort Myers to participate in the event and experience the Southwest Florida culture and local attractions.

The North Law Firm, P.A., Sponsored student bus transportation to the event. Special thanks go to Joe North and Benita North,

Fort Myers CRA is a proud sponsor of this prestigious award program.

2022 Edison Awards

Local Resident Donates Downtown Planters

Local Resident Deb Gillen has expressed her love for the Downtown River District by providing funding for new planters as beautification along First Street.

Ms. Gillen approached the CRA in 2021 and expressed her desire to help enhance the lovely downtown streets. 32 planters were placed along First Street in locations selected by local businesses.

Denise Croon joins CRA Staff

Denise Croon had joined the CRA office as Sr. Administrative Assistance. Ms. Croon has transferred from the City’s Yacht Basin, where many citizens may know her by her former role as Interim Dock Master. Ms. Croon has been with the City for over 18 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the CRA.

Ms. Croon is responsible for organizing and coordinating departmental activities, and providing administrative support for the office. She performs highly responsible administrative work, including implementation and management of projects, programs and special events for the department. Other duties include handling tasks related to budget and fiscal operations, all aspects of procurement, payroll, performance evaluations, special projects, and providing administrative assistance to the department head.

Please take the time to welcome her aboard!

Fort Myers CRA
[email protected]

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River District Farmers Market Moves Back to Centennial Park May 5!

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) announces that the River District Farmers Market will return to Centennial Park on May 5, 2022.

“We are excited to move back under the bridge on May 5,” said Jean Baer, River District Market Manager, co-owner of Local Roots. “With the beautiful renovations to the park, we know this weekly market can once again thrive and be a bonus for downtown residents and businesses. This will be a permanent move back to Centennial Park under the bridge. According to Baer, they have been working on securing additional vendors to their lineup including flowers, produce, a new food truck, honey, key lime pies, fish dips and more.

Vendors include:

• Currie’s BBQ
• My Exotic Fruits
• Cruz Produce
• Dynasty Guacamole
• Bobby’s Seafood
• Jimmy’s Java
• Heritage Honey
• Stamper Cheese
• Aux Delices French Bakery
• Fisherman’s Daughter
• Painted Lady Confections

• Mimi’s Bagels
• Tigertoes Herbs and Teas
• Sage and Indigo Juices
• Sophie’s Crafts
• Empanadas By Us
• Angela’s Tamales
• Mexican Crafts
• Heart to Hand paintings
• Island Harmony CBD
• European Bakery

The River District Farmers Market is open Thursdays year round from 9 am – 1 pm.

Jean Baer, Market Manager
Local Roots, LLC and

Visit our website

Business Spotlight: Kkutz Barbershop

Kkutz Barbershop is located in the Cleveland Avenue redevelopment area, at 2705 Cleveland Avenue, Unit 102.They are in a prime location across the street from Lee Memorial Hospital, next to Jimmy John’s sandwich shop. Owner Kenny Vincent opened the shop in November 2021, “Kkutz Barbershop is considered one of the best and most popular barbershops in Fort Myers…rated 5 out of 5 stars by 27 unique and verified visitors,” according to

Online Presence:

Kkutz Barbershop
2705 Cleveland Avenue, Unit 102
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Visit our website

Business Spotlight: Belgian Yummies

Belgium Yummies is located in the Downtown redevelopment area, at 2269 First Street. They are located in the arcade by Florida Repertory Theatre, offering Belgian handmade ice cream and confectionaries to the public as well as catering events. Their wholesale business was established in 2015, and this River District location is a new retail shop that opened on January 29, 2022. “We are proud to offer our dessert options to discerning restaurants, hotels, resorts, and any others interested in offering our highest-quality Frozen desserts to their guests,” states owner Carlo Pannekoecke, a Belgium native who has lived in Southwest Florida for the past 7 years. “We chose to locate our contact store in the River District because it’s just a great location for all the Downtown events.”

Online Presence: or

Belgian Yummies
2269 First Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Visit our website

Southwest Florida Enterprise Center (SWFEC)

Save the Date!
B2B Networking Luncheon May 18
“Credit Building and You”

On May 18, the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center will host their monthly Business to Business Networking Luncheon with guest speaker, Juan Henriquez, Vice President and Financial Center Manager of First Citizens Bank. Learn about how both the personal and business credit reporting landscape can affect your business, from what information is used, to how to establish and build strong credit histories. Credit reporting can impact the ability to access financing for your business, so be sure to sign up for the luncheon today!

Credit Building and You – May 18, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center
3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Ste. 6
RSVP: [email protected] with your full name, business name, and number of seats

Reserve Your Seat!

Lowe’s Home Improvement Center and Habitat for Humanity Take Time With Train to Gain Students from Southwest Florida Enterprise Center

Train To Gain students meet with Lowe’s Home Improvement representatives on location at the store.

SWFEC partnered again this year with the Lee County School District to train students who have already met the testing requirements for graduation and who have a desire to enter the workforce directly after high school or would like these specific skills before moving forward with educational opportunities. Students are completing pre-construction classes such as, construction math, understanding plans and drawings, as well as how to use hand and power tools, just to name a few. The students have visited Lowe’s as well as an on-site visit to a project Habitat Home where the students received hands-on experience while working on a new construction.

Train To Gain students meet with Habitat for Humanity representatives on location at a home receiving improvements.

Save the Date!
Job Fair 2022
May 19

On May 19, the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center is hosting a Job Fair in recognition of students who will complete the Pre-Construction Train to Gain Program.

The Job Fair is open to the community, so here’s your chance to start your career with the following companies:

• Lee County School District
• Ford Drywall & Stucco
• SWFL Impact Partners
• Goodwill Industries
• B&I Construction
• Skanska

RSVP Required by May 13!

Job Fair 2022 – May 19, 5 pm – 7 pm
RSVP by May 13, 2022
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center
3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Ste. 6
RSVP: Email Jasmine Clark at [email protected]


Stay connected and learn more about your CRA!

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is an agency of the City of Fort Myers. Office hours: M – F 7:30 PM – 4:30 PM | 1400 Jackson Street, Suite 102, Fort Myers, FL 33901

[email protected]

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