Fort Myers Midtown Gaining Momentum
Posted by Mark Washburn on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 1:19:54 PM By Mark Washburn / June 5, 2017 Comment
Major plans for a Midtown development in Fort Myers gain momentum as the city council seeks out additional public comment surrounding a massive growth plan. The proposal currently calls for a major shift in density, proposed to drastically impact the city’s tax base. Proposed changes to current law include allowing for developers to make use of double the density without adding to certain public amenities or gaining special approval, thereby bypassing public hearings. In return, it’s expected that the downtown tax base and downtown area could be doubled. Plans call for transforming the midtown area from its current status into a mixed-use area, drawing in prospective residents with new housing and entertainment options, close to work. Recently, Fort Myers city councilors agreed to give Midtown more time, pushing back against consultants who wanted the plan approved quickly, and then passed to the state for review. Concerns from some locals range from the height of possible structures to the density, plus the freedom that would be extended to developers compared to the rules that must currently be followed. While those issues are more closely studied, one big idea already in the works is a plan to renovate a Midtown railway station. The new Collaboratory facility of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation includes a large addition marked for community events, office space and the regional headquarters of the foundation. Construction is on track for a completion by summer of next year. Some area leaders are hoping the remaking of the old depot will encourage more investors to come to Midtown, especially those that will entice young families and millennials to settle in the area. As developers eye new projects, city councilors have given the growth plan a new date of early August before they will make any new decisions. Until then, proponents of development continue to generate new possible ideas for transforming the Fort Myers Midtown neighborhood.
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