FORT MYERS, Fla. — Plans for a multimillion-dollar hotel in downtown Fort Myers are one step closer to reality.
The City Council on Monday voted to approve the lease for the 12-story building that is to include a 210-spot parking garage. Groundbreaking could happen as early as April, those involved with the project said.
Mayor Randy Henderson hailed the development, long in the making, as a much-needed boost for the city. Residents in attendance at the council meeting clapped as the council’s vote was announced.
“I feel probably as happy as I’ve been in the 16, almost 17 years that I’ve served,” Henderson said.
Henderson envisions the hotel becoming an “economic engine” that supports the Harborside Events Center.
“It also speaks to those in the city, those citizens, that have said, ‘Please let’s get a hotel going in downtown,'” Henderson said.
Joe Collier, the president of Mainsail Development, expressed relief as the council gave the green light to his project.
“We knew it was so far along that we have been working in the background anyways,” Collier said. “The city cashed our check for $500,000 a while back, so we are in this thing.”
He also vowed to see the hotel through to completion.
“We’re not going to be another one of the developers that did not perform,” Collier said. “That would not be good reputationally for us. We’ve never done that.”