Miami developer Jaxi Builders last month received a construction start extension from the Fort Myers’ Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) that will keep $3.2 million in tax benefits in place through midyear.
The Tax Increment Financing rebate pertains to a vacant 5.7-acre site on First Street, just outside the city’s downtown, where Jaxi plans to erect a trio of upscale condominium towers.
One, a planned 21-story tower with 34 units, also contains 1,388 square feet of commercial space. It was orginally scheduled to be completed last year.
Allure, designed to contain two 32-story towers with 292 residential units and 11,000 square feet of retail space, was supposed to deliver later this year.
Both projects front the Caloosahatchee River and are about a mile from the city’s downtown, but have languished from a lack of buyers. In addition, the two projects have been approved for 40 boats slips and have a “shovel ready” piling system in place on site.
In approving the extension, the Fort Myers CRA extended the start date for both projects to July 1. The original TIF agreement between Jaxi and the CRA dates to September 2016. In all, the two projects were slated to receive as much as $15 million in tax benefits over the course of a decade.
The extension comes as Jaxi has been marketing the 2583-2589 First St. property for sale for $16.2 million. Jaxi President Eduardo Cabellero could not be reached for comment on the extension.
LSI Cos.’ Chief Operating Officer and Partner Justin Thibaut, whom Jaxi hired to sell the land, says the site would appeal to both apartment or hotel developers.
“The TIF agreement is a pretty important document to have,” he says, adding the extension would be transferable to a buyer.
“It’s still not 100% certain whether Jaxi intends to build the project itself or sell the land to someone else,” Thibaut says. “I think we’re going to need to see what happens with other downtown sites.”