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
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.”