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Fort Myers revitalization project picks up another $2M in funding

A state senator and a state representative helped facilitate the latest round of funding for The Greater Dunbar Initiative.

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 6:00 a.m. September 8, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
A new round of funding will support the third phase of The Greater Dunbar Initiative.
A new round of funding will support the third phase of The Greater Dunbar Initiative.
Courtesy photo
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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The Greater Dunbar Initiative, a highly-anticipated revitalization project of the Dunbar community east of downtown Fort Myers, has received $2 million in federal funding.

The announcement comes nearly six months after the project received a separate $8 million federal grant

The Greater Dunbar Initiative, in total a $300 million project, is a “comprehensive transformation plan for the large-scale revitalization of the 37-acre, 199-unit Southward Village into a mixed-income community,” according to a statement. The project is designed to “improve existing affordable housing units for residents while expanding choices, creating market-rate amenities and adding new mixed-income housing” in the area. 

The funding was awarded to the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers. State Sen. Jonathan Martin, R-Fort Myers, and State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, presented the check to the Housing Authority Aug. 31 at its Fort Myers office. Officials present for the check delivery include Housing Authority staff and board members; Fort Myers Police Chief Jason Fields; and Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson. 

“Being a small part of an appropriation that will go toward providing brick-and-mortar housing for our seniors in need is incredibly rewarding,” Persons-Mulicka says in the statement. “This is why we serve in Tallahassee — so that we can fight for our community and bring home needed funds.”

The $2 million supports the third phase of The Greater Dunbar Initiative, which includes the construction of 80 senior housing units for low-income seniors ages 62 years and up and gives them access to case management services, social activities and ongoing classes.

“We are so thankful for Rep. Persons-Mulicka and Sen. Martin’s support of the Housing Authority and our revitalization plans for the Dunbar area. This truly wouldn’t be possible without their dedication to our local community,” Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers executive director Marcia Davis says in the release. “It is very important to all of us that seniors in our local community have quality, affordable housing options in their final stages of life, and these funds will help us provide that for them.”



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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