CRA Adopts Strategic Plan
At the July 27, 2022 Board of Commissioners meeting, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) adopted a new strategic plan.
The CRA organized a two-day public workshop on July 21 and July 22, 2022 for the purpose of drafting a strategic plan. The workshop was held at the Riverside Community Center and included representatives from the CRA Board, CRA Advisory Committee, CRA staff and other city staff, and interested citizens. This diverse group of participants worked together at round table seating to prepare the plan. The city live-streamed the program to enable citizens to view the proceedings online. The retreat was facilitated by Dr. Bob Lee, President of Local Government Advisors, Inc. and MPA Program Coordinator/Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
During the workshop participants learned details about the CRA structure and administration, CRA initiatives, and current CRA projects. They worked in groups to undergo an assessment of the CRA’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats/challenges (SWOT/C).
Over the two days participants discussing and preparing a vision statement, mission statement, set of core values, and strategic goals for the CRA’s strategic plan.
“It was laudable how all tables of participants worked together to collectively prepare this plan,” said Executive Director, Fort Myers CRA, Michele Hylton-Terry. “We know this plan that will be used throughout the year will help us be a better organization and deliver positive results for our city and community while fostering a positive environment for our staff and board.”
According to Hylton-Terry, the vision statement is an aspirational statement that communicates what the CRA wants to be and be known for in the future. The mission statement is an action statement that communicates how the CRA intends to achieve that vision. The core values are intended to guide all stakeholders in terms of what values they will use in implementing the CRA’s strategic plan, and the strategic goals are broad multi-year initiatives that directly supports the mission statement.
It was recommended that the report be formally presented to the CRA Board at a public meeting where the public will have an opportunity to comment on the contents and language provided for the Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Strategic Goals. A final version will be incorporated into a final strategic plan
In terms of budgeting, CRA staff will be able to develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Applicable, Realistic, Time-bound) objectives that support each strategic goal provided in the strategic plan.
“The SMART objectives will correlate directly with the revenues and expenses outlined in the budget, giving the reader a clearer understanding on the categories and numbers within the budget,” said Hylton-Terry. “These objectives can also be incorporated into the CRA’s annual employee evaluation process to ensure that employees are focusing their attention on CRA objectives from the annual budget resulting in employees working on matters that have been prioritized to support the CRA’s strategic goals.”
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR CITY OF FORT MYERS COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY:
VISION STATEMENT: A vibrant and prosperous community free of slum and blight.
MISSION STATEMENT: Provide equitable, impactful incentives, while implementing redevelopment plans that enable revitalization and foster engagement and opportunities for stakeholders, using sound fiscal practices and professional staff to improve quality of life for our diverse community.
CORE VALUES: Integrity Respect Excellence Teamwork Curiosity
1. Implement redevelopment plans in a timely and cost-effective manner.
2. Engage stakeholders by marketing and promoting the city’s CRA programs.
3. Adopt sound fiscal practices in the administration of the CRA’s financial decisions.
4. Recruit, train, retain, and competitively compensate professional staff to provide the highest level of service.
5. Provide meaningful and impactful incentives designed to spur development.
6. Create programs or partner with/refer to other agencies to provide training for both continuing education and trades.
Note: Goal # 6 was slightly edited by the Dr. Lee in this rewrite (see bold language that was added) to provide that the CRA will focus on the goal without having to be the actual provider. Remember, one of the CRA weaknesses was having too many priorities.
Fort Myers CRA
Phyllis R. Calloway, J.D. Promoted to Enterprise Center Director
Dr. Phyllis R. LeFlore-Calloway, J.D. has been promoted to director of the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center (SWFEC).
Since October 2021, Dr. LeFlore-Calloway had served as assistant director for the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and in that capacity she was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center (SWFEC). The SWFEC is one of two divisions of the Community Redevelopment Agency and Executive Director Michele Hylton-Terry will continue to work with Ms. Calloway to ensure that the new incubator curriculum and programming developed over the past year prepares entrepreneurs for success as they both “work in their business” and “work on their business,”
SWFEC is a light industrial business incubator dedicated to assisting start-up or early state businesses. Its programs, workshops and seminars help to educate business owners in a wide range of subjects. The Center also provides businesses a physical location from which to operate with added technical assistance to owners to help them build a strong and long-lasting business. It serves all types of business owners; anyone who can produce a product or deliver a service needed by the growing Southwest Florida market.
SWFEC offers collaborative office space, dedicated teams, mentors, professional advisors, best practices methodologies, with the goal of assisting new businesses the opportunity to launch their dreams in the market without having to expend and over-stretch personal resources.
Phyllis R. Calloway, J.D.
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center
3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Photo courtesy of Ken Rochon
First Street Pocket Park: CRA to Negotiate Lease
At their July 27 regular meeting, the CRA Board of Commissioners approved staff moving forward with negotiations to create a pocket park at 2208 First Street with the owner, AMA First Capital LLC.
The property had been home to one of the Downtown’s oldest buildings, which was demolished several years ago. Since the owner has determined that they will not be redeveloping the site in the near future, they are interested in leasing the property to the CRA to be used as a public amenity (pocket park).
Following the negotiated lease, local resident Debra Gillen will provide funds for the park. The CRA will manage the creation and maintenance of the pocket park.
Preliminary design – not finalized.
Fort Myers CRA
Rendering of future message sign.
Quality Life Center of SWFL
3210 Dr. MLK, Jr. Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Contact (CRA Grants):
Fort Myers CRA
Commercial Property Grants
Quality Life Center of SWFL
Approved for Commercial Property Improvement Grant
Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida has been approved for a City of Fort Myers Commercial Property Improvement Grant.
The $9,750 grant will be used to fund the replacement of the electronic message center mounted on the northwest corner of the building. The vendor submitting the lowest quote, AdSystems, will provide the new sign. This matching grant will replace the current inoperable sign that cannot be repaired.
Quality Life Center is a non-profit organization providing after-school and summer academic and enrichment programming for at-rish children and youth in grades K-12.
Downtown Planter Project Expanded to River Basin
Commissioners have a approved the addition of decorative planters around the City’s River Basin on Hendry Street and Edwards Drive.
Local resident Debra Gillen has generously provided funding for this extension to the planter box project she funded along First Street.
The First Street planters have brought an added dimension to the historic brick-lined downtown. When the project was first introduced, several meetings were held, including meetings with business owners on First street who caught the vision of creating a unified and cohesive look along the street. Interior PlantScapes installed and regularly maintain the First Street planters, which are holding up well in their five months of enhancement of the downtown streets.
Fort Myers CRA
Dr. MLK, Jr. Blvd. Area
Residential Paint Program
A new Residential Paint Program has been approved for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. area to encourage residential single family and 2-unit multifamily owner-occupied homes. The new program will enhance the community, which translates into enhancing the tax base. The CRA’s mission, according to FS 163.335(2), states, “… and that salvageable slum and blighted areas can be considered and rehabilitated through appropriate public action as herein authorized and the cooperation and voluntary action of the owners and tenants of property in such areas.”
This incentive program will be available in the next fiscal year. It will provide up to $5,000 per approved home. Executive Director Hylton-Terry is proposing $100,000 be dedicated to the line item in the Fiscal Year 2023 proposed budget.
Fort Myers CRA
This incentive program allows eligible property owners the opportunity of pressure washing and painting an existing building. CRA staff will curate multiple vendors to perform the work on a rotating basis.
• The structure must be in the Dr. MLK, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area.
• The property shall have no existing code violations, and the owner shall not be named in any outstanding enforcement liens.
• Single-family and Duplex owner-occupied homes are eligible.
Development Agreement Approved
The development agreement for the Staybridge Suites project has been approved. The hotel will be located at 2465 Second Street in the Downtown redevelopment area.
The project will consist of a five-story, limited service extended-stay facility with a total of 100 rooms. Its quality construction will be similar to the Holiday Inn previously proposed. The Staybridge Suites will include amenities such as kitchenettes, a swimming pool, meeting space, and outside social amenity areas. Ample off-site parking will be available via 71 designated hotel spaces at the southeast corner of Second Street and Royal Palm Avenue, similar to the Holiday Inn proposal.
On June 23, 2021, the CRA Board of Commissioners approved a tax increment rebate request in the not-to-exceed amount of $3.3 million, disbursed at 85% of increment revenue generated each year until the $3.3 million award is satisfied, or until the area sunsets in 2044.
Fort Myers CRA
Business Spotlight: Aquarium and Reef Center
Aquarium and Reef Center is located at 1920 Boy Scout Drive in the Cleveland Avenue redevelopment area (across from Page Field). They are a marine and freshwater aquarium shop that carries a complete line of aquarium products. Aquarium and Reef Center has been serving Southwest Florida for over 15 years. In addition to their Fort Myers location, they have opened a second location in Cape Coral.
• They offer their customers a combined 50+ years of aquarium knowledge.
• They offer a complete line of aquariums, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, corals, anemones, inverts, filters, food, feeders, live plants, live sand, gravel, red sea products, kessils, reptiles, and live feeders.
Online Presence: www.areefcenter.com or
Aquarium and Reef Center
1920 Boy Scout Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33904
Visit our website
Business Spotlight: DanaTyler Home
DanaTyler Home is located at 2279 First Street in the Downtown redevelopment area. They opened May 3, 2022, and offer home décor and furniture, complimentary in-home styling, and color consulting. The owner is Dana Klein and the Fort Myers Store Manager is Rani Florack. The company chose to convert from DanaTyler Jewelry to DanaTyler Home because they felt that it would be a good change of pace for their customers. As a store, they are happy to be located right in the middle of downtown Fort Myers and are excited to serve the customer with whatever they can do to make them happy!
• “What keeps us motivated, however, is that we love to help customers find their missing piece to bring everything together.”
–Fort Myers Store Manager Rani Florack
• As they just opened, every few weeks they get new products in. Their customers keep returning to their store to see what’s new, and for their great hospitality.
• This location is the perfect location, located in downtown Fort Myers with a lot of foot traffic.
Online Presence: www.facebook.com/DanaTylerHOME, www.instagram.com/danatylerhome,
Website still in progress
2279 First Street
Fort Myers, FL, 33901
Saturday, July 30, 2022
6 pm – 9 pm
Stacie Krupa Fine Art Gallery
2150 West First Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Stacie Krupa Fine Art
Grand Opening July 30
You are cordially invited to the Grand Opening of Stacie Krupa Fine Art on Saturday, July 30!
Artist and Owner Stacie Krupa, MFA, will offer fine art originals including paintings, drawings, commissions, and murals at her new Downtown Fort Myers River District location.
Informal Open House Meetings
East Fort Myers Revitalization Area
Master Plan Open House
August 3 & 4
Your opinion matters! Plan to attend one of two informal open house meetings at Riverside Community Center, located at 3061 East Riverside Drive, on August 3 & 4.
LaRue Planning is working with the City of Fort Myers Community Development department and the Community Redevelopment Agency to create a new East Fort Myers Master Plan.
Located just east of the Downtown area and north of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area, East Fort Myers is a 1,039 acre (1.62 sq. mile) neighborhood bounded by Billy’s Creek to the south and west, the Caloosahatchee River to the north, and Prospect Avenue (city limits) to the east.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Miller.
East Fort Myers Revitalization Area Master Plan Open House
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
4:30 pm to 7 pm
Thursday, August 4, 2022
2 pm to 5 pm
Riverside Community Center
3061 East Riverside Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Jim LaRue Planning
Stay connected and learn more about your CRA!
Click the Video and the Image Links Below:
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
Sent by email@example.com powered by