Bonita ‘ship’ may be torn down for new senior living facility

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BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- An iconic landmark may be setting sail for good.

A developer wants to tear down the big ship off of U.S. 41 and put in a senior housing facility for people 55 and older.

“I really like it, I think it would be a cool place if they did find a way to reopen it. It would be a cool bar or restaurant. Bonita is small and I think if you mention the ship people know what you’re talking about,” said resident Brittany Fuhr.

Some people say it’s an eyesore, while others say they love the ship and that it’s a part of the city’s character.

If rezoning and construction is approved, the developers plan to tear down the ship, expand the area from 13 acres to 17 acres and put in a brand new senior housing facility with 180 units and a dog park.

The ship has seen its fair share of businesses come and go since being built in 1995.

“The history of the ship has rather been unfortunate. There’s been a number of basically restaurants over the years that have tried to make it there and really weren’t able to,” said Carl Schwing, Bonita Springs City Manager.

It was even the target of vandals last year with graffiti spray painted on the ship.

City Council will consider a first reading for the ordinance on July 1. They’re expected to vote on July 15.

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