Fort Myers High Rise Sites Finally Seeing Some Action

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Downtown Fort Myers is starting to stir up a little action.

In the past few months, developers have purchased two sites long thought to be potential high-rise developments:

• Developer Andy Messick paid $325,000 for the 2.2-acre Billy’s Creek Condominium project. Messick already owned the Rock Lake motel next door so he has 7.3 acres to develop.

• The site of the foreclosed Cypress Club high-rise condominium project in downtown Fort Myers was purchased by Lynx/Zuckerman of Ft. Myers LLC for $2.3 million.

Meanwhile, Bob MacFarlane of The Pittman Group has a contract to buy the long-vacant Amtel Hotel – a booming Sheraton in the heyday of downtown 20 years ago. Pittman hopes to renovate it and turn it into an assisted living facility, and the Lee County Industrial Development Authority has approved a $47 million bond to finance the deal.

Still, not much has actually happened yet as developers try to figure out exactly what will work in a chancy economic environment.

“It’s not like it’s an easy thing to do,” said commercial real estate agent Steve Luta, who’s working with Messick on a plan to redevelop the Billy’s Creek property. “It’s got to make economic sense.”

So what do you think? What would you like to see in Downtown Fort Myers?