Thinking Big in Cape Coral

Spurred by a quickly expanding number of new residents, city leaders in Cape Coral are thinking “big” for the future, with aims at generating new ideas of how to keep the city attractive for years to come. Noted as one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas, Cape Coral has gained more than 70,000 new citizens in just the past decade-and-a-half, leaving leaders to figure out how to support the rapid growth. Currently just eight percent of Cape Coral properties are commercial, leaving residents to pick up much of the tax burden. While an affordable area to purchase a home, the city is now working to provide necessary businesses that residents want to see in terms of shopping, entertainment and culture. Because Cape Coral developed as a bedroom community, though, one of the biggest hurdles for the city is figuring out how to come up with the land for commercial development. With this in mind, however, a number of large-scale developments are already being earmarked. One large proposal is the Bimini Basin District, with plans of developing the area to allow for downtown mixed zoning, including entertainment, commercial and residential space. The idea is to help spur additional private development along the waterfront, creating a waterfront district similar to those found in other revitalized cities and communities across the nation. There is also the Seven Islands development, consisting of 48 acres of grass and trees in Northwest Cape Coral. This proposal also stands to combine commercial and residential services into one development. The city purchased the land in 2012 and is now tasked with coming up with a development for the future. Several different plans are currently under consideration. Yet still, another project consists of the Resort at Tranquility Lake, expected to bring commercial availability to the area with a high-priced RV destination including a clubhouse, cottages and cabins, plus recreational options. Thinking “big” about commercial development, Cape Coral leaders no doubt have their eye on the future, working to retain the area’s charm, while expanding to suit the needs of current and future residents for generations.

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