East Fort Myers
Economic Development/Marketing & Promotions
In July 2009, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) approved a banner program for Palm Beach Boulevard and two other commercial corridors. The banners will add color to the corridor and promote public attractions within East Fort Myers and other parts of the City. A total of 38 banners were installed along Palm Beach Boulevard between Seaboard and Prospect streets in the summer of 2010.
Development Assistance Grant
In August 2009, the CRA approved a Development Assistance Grant Program that provides up to $10,000 on a matching basis for pre-development expenses for new development or rehabilitation of existing structures. The CRA also established a Façade and Landscape Matching Grant Program to assist with exterior building improvements. This program provided up to $50,000 for qualified expenses. Partner-Partner, Inc., d/b/a Little Caesars Pizza, was awarded a Landscape Façade Matching Grant in the amount of $50,000. Funds were used to renovate a vacant building located on Palm Beach Boulevard. This partnership owned two other Little Caesars Pizza restaurants in the Fort Myers area, and opening this new location created 10 new jobs within the East Fort Myers community. The budget for the total renovation, both interior and exterior, was estimated to be $120,000. The façade, signage and landscape portion was $60,095.
Oasis High Rise, Towers 1&2
This high-rise project introduced 440 residential units in two towers with 32 stories each. They are located on the western edge of the East Fort Myers redevelopment area at 3000 Oasis Grand Boulevard. It is located on the Caloosahatchee Riverfront on the eastern side of Billy’s Creek, and they are within walking distance of the Downtown River District. This project did not have a development agreement with the CRA, however, they were built because the housing market had been proven through nearby high-rise projects which had received Tax Increment Rebates to build.
Palm Beach Boulevard Median Improvements
One of the CRA’s roles is to support local business. Merchants on Palm Beach Boulevard were distressed because vehicular access to their businesses was difficult due to long, unbroken medians. The CRA and the City of Fort Myers Public Works department worked with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to make median openings in 11 medians along with adjoining cutaways on the sides of this state road to make turning easier, in addition to adding decorative landscaping. The road work has improved access to businesses on both sides of the street, meaning that more dollars are spent at local businesses.