A deal to build a 225-room convention center hotel in downtown Fort Myers is getting closer to being realized, city officials say.
Sarasota developer John Meshad's JWM Management has proposed to build a hotel next to Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers, says Don Paight, executive director of the Fort Myers Redevelopment Agency.
Speaking to a gathering of the Real Estate Investment Society in Fort Myers recently, Paight says the deal would obligate the city to spend $10 million to upgrade the aging Harborside, the city-owned convention center.
It's not a done deal yet. “At this point we have an offer on the table,” Paight says.
Paight says Meshad has offered to finance and build the $47 million hotel, which will would stand 10 stories high over two floors of 200 parking spaces. “We will lease back the parking garage,” says Paight.
The city recently completed construction of a water basin that is designed to manage the storm water runoff from increased development downtown. An additional $2 million worth of infrastructure improvements by the city are needed to accommodate the hotel and renovations to Harborside. Paight says a combination of federal and state grants as well as funds from the bed tax could help complete the complex public-private deal and start the construction project early next year.