Immokalee is on the rise with projects in the pipeline

Banner welcomes visitors and returning residents. (Credit: WINK News)
Banner welcomes visitors and returning residents. (Credit: WINK News)

What was once seen as a rural agricultural community in Collier County is now becoming a prime spot for business.

The Immokalee Redevelopment Agency will present a report on the dramatic growth since Hurricane Irma as businesses are open, the streets are clean and an entire community is on the rise.

“It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight,” said Skip Haeger, who works and lives in Immokalee. “You have to go through and jump through a lot of hoops and hopefully some of the things that you propose actually get done.”

After living in Immokalee for nearly 30 years, Haeger knows it takes patience to see things change and in his mind, things have changed for the better.

Many, like Haeger, are proud to see what is happening in the place they call home. Including local Pastor Tavis Rios.

“It’s good to see businesses and housing,” Rios said. “Is lotta stuff coming up in Immokalee.”

A big project is on the way and set for 2023. Christie Betancourt, operations manager for the Immokalee Redevelopment Community Agency, said a Tiger Grant Fund awarded the community $16 million to build sidewalks from State Road 29 to the new Market Road. It is paved with a sidewalk on the side.

“We have partners great community outreach and I’m hoping I could get more community involvement to help me bring this community to where it needs to be,” Betancourt said.

She credits the outreach for many big projects, such as funds that came through for $3.5 million in 2015 to help control flooding throughout Immokalee.

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