Cape Coral looks to establish a new community redevelopment area

Author: Adam Wright
Published: Updated:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. –  It’s your money and Lee County may soon be giving more of it to the City of Cape Coral to help revitalize the industrial middle part of the city just west of Del Prado Boulevard.

“There’s crime in there, more so than should be, a lot of the buildings are deteriorating,” Councilman Jim Burch told WINK News Monday.

At Monday’s city council meeting, the council reviewed a new assessment of the area that the city paid an independent consultant $19,000 to conduct.

The study shows that the industrial area of Cape Coral suffers from deteriorating roads, a lack of stormwater infrastructure, environmental and public health risks, vandalism and graffiti.

“Business is probably off a little bit in there because of some of those things, so yeah it’s got its challenges,” said Burch.

The study also shows that crime rates in the area are more than double that of the city average, and taxable property values have dropped more than 41 percent over the past five years, nearly four times the city average.

The city is now looking into establishing a new community redevelopment area (CRA).

“We restore the area, we make it a better area, we make it a much, much more profitable area, a much more lively area,” said Burch.

In order for the area to qualify to be a CRA, it must meet at least two out of 14 requirements. The area currently meets seven.

The City Council will vote on whether to move froward with the plan on December 15. If approved, it will then go to the county for final approval.
Cape Coral already has one CRA in the southeast part of town in the area surrounding Cape Coral Parkway.

Lee County currently provides Cape Coral about $250,000 a year for that CRA, but would not speculate how much the new one would cost. If it is approved, the county and city will meet to evaluate funding requirements.

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