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Significant project moves forward

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  • | 11:00 a.m. August 26, 2016
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The city of Fort Myers, amid an already robust recovery in downtown projects, took a big step forward Aug. 22: The city council approved lease terms with a Tampa development firm behind a new proposed hotel next to the Harborside Event Center.

“It's not a done deal,” Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson tells Coffee Talk, “but this was a significant action.”

The Fort Myers City Council signed an agreement with Tampa-based Mainsail Lodging and Development that calls for a 99-year lease with two 10-year extensions. Henderson says Mainsail can now begin design and planning work on what could be a 225-room full-service hotel, with a parking garage.

Mainsail manages niche hotel and resort properties in the Marriott Autograph Collection, in addition to the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa's Hyde Park. The firm is also working on a new resort project on Anna Maria Island.

The lease and project are still subject to public meetings, with citizen input, before the development moves to the next stage. But Henderson points out that getting this far is a big deal, considering a hotel for that site, next to a convention center, has been talked about for 30 or 40 years. Past projects failed for a variety of reasons, mostly going back to a lack of funding.

“The timing of this now,” Henderson says, “seems really strong.”


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