Posted by Mark Washburn on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 8:32:30 AM By Mark Washburn / February 16, 2017 Comment
Some Fort Myers officials have a vision for downtown, and it involves adding more housing and retail options to the area. Already well known for hosting a unique blend of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and entertainment venues in the vibrant River District, the push is now on to make downtown an even more attractive location for young professionals to put down roots. Just last month a couple of public meetings drew in area residents to learn more about recent efforts to increase density in the downtown area, meaning more available shops and housing opportunities. The city’s already paid for a study of both downtown and midtown, with the results finding that thousands of additional units could be added to the area and even supported by existing infrastructure. To increase density downtown, though, the city would need to rework some of its existing plans and codes. While that could take time, some are pointing to already existing projects that could likely boost the success of such an undertaking, including plans for a convention center hotel downtown, redevelopment in the Gardner’s Park neighborhood and the renovations happening at Harborside Event Center. The Fort Myers River District is a hip destination for area residents and tourists alike, where tantalizing restaurants mix with live entertainment, shopping and fine artwork. With the allure of nearby historical attractions and the vibrancy of live theatre and imaginative destinations, the area easily blends the old with the new. From jewelry stores to barber shops, gourmet cuisine to neighborhood coffee shops, the River District is filled with places to go and experience. Now with a renewed emphasis on keeping younger residents downtown, city leaders are hoping to entice them to stay with the possibility of more available housing in the near future, along with more places to shop, dine and play.
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