Hope wanes as downtown Fort Myers developer misses deadlines

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Visions of a Sheraton Hotel in downtown Fort Myers blur as the developer missed another deadline.

California developer Steve Goodman failed to transfer $350,000 to the city Monday after authorities extended a previous deadline on the good faith investment. Some leaders said there is still a chance the hotel will be built.

“We haven’t been able to get that confirmation yet from the developer,” said Don Paight of the redevelopment agency. “We’ve spent the last couple of years working on this project trying to pull it together and I still think it will come to fruition.”

The Sheraton Hotel would have 225 rooms and many hope it will bring visitors to downtown.

While some business owners were hoping for a boost from the proposed hotels, others say they have seen consistent increase.

“We’ve been steadily increasing foot traffic here and downtown for eight consistent years,” said John Kohn of a downtown pizza eatery. “I think if that project doesn’t go through it can be reexamined for something greater in the future.”

City officials may have to consider eventually opening the plot of land, currently a parking lot located next to Harborside Event Center, for offers from other developers.

Paight said he will get a hotel on the property even if he must work beyond retirement.



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