If you want to keep up with Randy Henderson, you’d best be flying.
The mayor of Fort Myers and avid pilot recently rattled off the number of private-sector projects underway or on the drawing boards at a recent meeting of the Real Estate Investment Society.
Projects include new residential buildings such as Allure and The Place on First, a Marriott-flagged convention center hotel and a regional technology hub. Henderson says the city will issue a request for proposals soon for the City Pier on the Caloosahatchee River.
In all, Henderson estimates there is $600 million to $700 million worth of private investment in the pipeline. “That’s more in the next four years than in the past 10 years,” he says.
Developer Mainsail is planning build the 12-story convention hotel downtown. “They want to turn some dirt in the second quarter of this year,” Henderson says, noting that Harborside Event Center is also scheduled to be renovated.
The hotel will bring 240 parking spaces, welcome relief for the growing number of visitors to downtown shops, restaurants and events.
Scarcity of parking is a good sign despite the challenges, says Henderson. “We begged for a time we’d have a parking problem,” Henderson chuckles.