Bonita Springs city leaders showcase plans to revitalize downtown

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BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- City leaders are meeting with the public to discuss a $16 million downtown revitalization project.

A second public workshop is being held Tuesday until 7 p.m. at the Bonita Springs Community Hall on Old U.S. 41. The public is welcome to weigh in on what they want to see.

“We’re trying to put together a plan, that will create natural incentives for the private sector to invest downtown,” said Bonita Springs City Manager Carl Schwing. “It’ll be a workshop style, kind of an open house, come in, see what you like, what you don’t like, leave us written comments and we’ll take that input into consideration.”

The project’s focus is on the area south of Terry Street, along the Imperial River and Old U.S. 41.

New artwork displaying the project shows a brighter, more colorful Bonita Springs, in an effort to bring back an “old Florida charm.”

Streets would be improved to allow for better water drainage, while more parking spots, roundabouts and landscaping would be added to downtown streets.

A new look was also designed for the Imperial River bridge, which would be widened and opened up to draw more foot traffic.

Some power lines along Old U.S 41 may even be moved underground.

Schwing says if the downtown area is more beautiful and more accessible, it will help boost the local economy.

“We’re seeing more interest in that downtown, we want to make sure that the private sector knows how great of a place that is.”

Of the $16 million needed for the project, half of it is being supplied by Lee County.

The project is expected to go before the Bonita Springs City Council for a vote in just a couple weeks. Schwing says if it gets approved, everything should be completed within the next three years.


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