THE DOWN­TOWN LOW­DOWN

THE RENAISANCE TAK­ING PLACE IN FORT MY­ERS RIVER DIS­TRICT PROM­ISES STRIK­ING AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL TOW­ERS, A BOARD­WALK ALONG RIVER AND EVEN AN IS­LAND PARK

Cape Coral Living - - FEATURES - BY KELLY MAD­DEN

Fort My­ers Mayor Randy Hen­der­son and sev­eral big-time de­vel­op­ers have been busy re­design­ing the down­town Fort My­ers’ River Dis­trict, mak­ing the cul­tural and his­toric cen­ter a more walk­a­ble and friendly place to live, work, play and visit.

When Fort My­ers Mayor Randy Hen­der­son talks about what’s go­ing on in the down­town River Dis­trict, he has a hard time con­tain­ing his en­thu­si­asm. There’s no ques­tion he likes what he sees re­gard­ing the de­vel­op­ment of key projects there, and ea­gerly talks about the over­all di­rec­tion of the river­front and ad­ja­cent ar­eas. Hen­der­son rat­tles off data about dozens of res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment projects un­der­way or in the plan­ning stages as if read­ing the info, un­til you re­al­ize it’s in his head. He has a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of just how crit­i­cal the de­vel­op­ment of the River Dis­trict is, and what it means to the suc­cess of Fort My­ers. The mayor is a firm be­liever in the di­rec­tion the city has taken and is ex­cited about the va­ri­ety of res­i­den­tial, ho­tel and other real es­tate projects com­ing on­line in the fu­ture. Al­ways giv­ing credit to the Fort My­ers City Coun­cil and the Down­town Com­mu­nity Re­de­vel­op­ment Agency (CRA), along with so many other en­ti­ties, Hen­der­son speaks with con­fi­dence about what has been ac­com­plished. “Back dur­ing the re­ces­sion years, around 2000, our city lead­ers were able to fore­see that it would not last for­ever, and moved for­ward with per­mit­ting and build­ing the in­fra­struc­ture that we would need …,” he says. “Road im­prove­ments, the wa­ter basin work, the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion needs—we all had the re­solve to make sure that when the down­town de­vel­op­ment came back, we were ready.”

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