fmb-resort-revised-smallMinnesota based TPI Hospitality, which one year ago proposed a massive beachfront hotel, retail and entertainment development on Fort Myers Beach, which at the time was was named Grand Resorts, has returned to the town with plans for a smaller, scaled down development with a much smaller footprint.

The original plans called for three beachfront hotels with shopping and entertainment venues at street level, along with a multi-story parking garage on the east side of Estero Blvd.. The town’s main north-south artery would have been rerouted in the original plans, which met with fierce opposition from island residents and some town and county officials.

TPI Hospitality CEO Tom Torgerson, a seasonal resident of Fort Myers Beach, has assembled millions of dollars worth of parcels including Helmerich Plaza, the Pierview Hotel and Salty Crab properties, a parking lot at the intersection of Estero Blvd. and Fifth Street and a half acre of beachfront north of Canal St..

TPI’s new plan has been renamed Times Square Resort and in its new incarnation includes;

•    330 hotel rooms in buildings on the site of Helmerich Shopping Center, purchased by Torgerson last August for $7.2 million.

•    A proposal to purchase or otherwise acquire additional land for the hotels from Lee County, which owns the Seafarer’s Mall property needed for the project.

•    Hotels that will conform to the town’s envelope of three stories, not to exceed 40 feet.

•    Hotel buildings that will be elevated according to FEMA requirements.

•    Parking, buffered from the street view with landscape, covering the entire bay side properties, using the area under the elevated buildings as well as around them.

•    On Torgerson’s beachfront property opposite the Helmerich site, a beach club, restroom facilities, restaurant and bar, and lazy river-style water feature open for a fee to hotel guests and the public. The existing Cigar Hut building would be saved and repurposed as a town icon.

•    A public walkover, from the resort’s second floor on the bay side to the beach club, avoiding a traffic issue on Estero Boulevard.

•    A proposed vacation of the public beach access at Canal Street, providing for an alternate beach access on the developer’s beachfront property.



__________To move forward, Torgerson will need Fort Myers Beach council members to agree to grant variances in the building code regarding the density of hotel development in order to allow for the number of rooms that are planned.

A TPI spokesman says the new plans are a work in progress and subject to change.

TPI’s latest proposal is the first step in what could be a complex and tedious approval process involving Lee County and the town of Fort Myers Beach.