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Posted on: November 22, 2017

Downtown Hotel & Convention Center Project Poised to Move Forward

City Hall

The City of Fort Myers is partnering with Mainsail Lodging and Development to bring a visionary project to life in downtown Fort Myers.  The project has grown in size and scope since the original presentations and now it is poised to move forward.  

Based on several factors, each party is working together in order to make the project a reality.  The total cost of the project is $87 million.  The developer is bringing $63 million, and the city, along with the Community Redevelopment Agency, through various forms of incentives and Harborside Event Center renovation dollars, is providing the delta.  The key factors in the expansion of the project include; connecting the hotel to the convention center, a significant outdoor stage and amphitheater for public use, exterior enhancements to the City Pier building and dock, along with multiple enhancements to the hotel and street level retail. 

The project consists of a new 245 room full service hotel to be marketed under Marriott’s Autograph Collection, a 240 space parking garage (city-owned and city revenues), a newly renovated and modernized convention center (city-owned), an outdoor amphitheater (city-owned) in the park across from Harborside Event Center, and a restaurant, bar, and retail store in the City Pier building.  This will be marketed as the Oxbow.

Convention groups and locals will be able to enjoy a walkable offering of amenities, which include the aforementioned items, along with a hotel restaurant, street level diner, retail, rooftop bar, and additional meeting and function space.  It is important to note that the city will continue to own the land under the hotel on a ground lease, the city will own the Harborside Event Center, and the city will own the City Pier building which is also leased to the developer.  

The hotel and convention center will employ 250 people and the project will generate over 500 construction related jobs.  The hotel and associated projects are expected to bring in over $50 million in annual spending to the downtown area.

“We are developing a cutting-edge financial structure to continue to build a strong relationship between Mainsail, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, and the City of Fort Myers,” said City Manager, Saeed Kazemi.  “Mainsail has already invested $1.5 million  to prepare construction drawings, engineering reports, and to develop branding for the project.  In the mid and long term, this investment will immensely enhance the city’s economy, our resident’s quality of life, and our appeal to visitors near and far.  There are convention groups from around the country that are eager for a new and interesting place to bring their attendees, and Fort Myers is the perfect walkable city.  A uniquely branded hotel and modernized convention center are the catalyst for the future.”

The developer has stated that construction will start within 45-days of the City issuing the permit

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