NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla.- The renaissance campaign in North Fort Myers is working to revitalize a rundown portion of Lee County.
With ‘for lease’ signs everywhere, “you have to admit, it isn’t very pretty to see the closed-down shops and stores,” said Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman.
But there have been some improvements, including the sale of the Lochmoor Country Club to a new owner, a farmers market on Fridays in Marinatown, and plans for a RaceTrac service station north of the Shell Factory, where Business 41 and U.S. 41 come together.
Redoing some of the shopping areas, could prove difficult.
“They probably have to be torn down, probably, and rebuilt in some fashion. You’d have to have investment dollars, and have businesses willing to go into those places,” said Dr. Robert Hooper.
The Civic Association has placed new billboards, touting opportunity north of the Caloosahatchee River. But even the biggest supporters admit, turning opportunity into a shopping and entertainment destination will take awhile.
“Think about downtown Fort Myers, and how beautiful it is today. It wasn’t fixed overnight. North Fort Myers isn’t going to be fixed up overnight either, but we’re going to keep at it, every single day,” said Hamman.
Lee County is planning to spend up to $50,000 to find out how to improve the image and economy in North Fort Myers. The county will hire a consultant next month to study the north side and will report back in about six months.