The long awaited development proposal involving several prime Fort Myers Beach parcels has been released to the public.
Minnesota developer and Fort Myers Beach resident Tom Torgerson has named the massive project “Grand Resorts” and if permitted, the hotel, shopping and resort project will radically change the area around Estero Blvd. and Crescent St. near the foot of the San Carlos Bridge. Included in the proposal:
*Four beachfront hotels, totaling 562 rooms and all affiliated with national franchises including Hilton, Marriot, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn.
*a promenade of shops and eateries—nine food and beverage joints in all — parallels the hotel strip, offering “signature” (non-franchised) brands.
*a 2000 foot long beachfront boardwalk with ten public beach access points and a new, higher seawall running the entire length of the development.
*a 1500 car parking garage.
*a roundabout at the base of the bridge and a redesign/rerouting of Estero Blvd. which includes a pedestrian skywalk over the island’s main roadway.
*a pedestrian mall complete with a 1,000-seat convention center, a public fitness center and public spa.
Torgerson has spent the past two years acquiring several well-known properties in the area including the Pierview Hotel, Salty Crab, Mermaid Lounge and The Cigar Hut. As planned for now, Lee County and the town of Fort Myers Beach would need to allow the use of three government owned properties, the Crescent Beach Family Park, Seafarer’s Mall and the Fifth Street and Canal Street right of ways.
At the center of the project would be the building of four beachfront hotels — a 176-unit Hilton resort, a 200-unit Holiday Inn resort, a 100-unit boutique Marriott resort, and an 86-unit Hampton Inn resort. Plans call for such things as beachfront pools and cocktail lounges to accompany them, and behind them at street level would be opportunities for retail shops and restaurants.
The project is slated to cost $250 million dollars and could provide as many as 500 new jobs. Within 10 years, the economic impact for the town could be as high as of $1.6 billion.
The developer has scheduled several public meetings to present plans for the new project and field questions from area residents.
Both the Lee County Board Of Commissioners and the town of Fort Myers Beach council must approve the development before construction can start.
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FMB Resort-4