SWFL developer has lofty plans for Fort Myers’ Lofton Island

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Lofton Island plans.

What looks like an empty island will soon have pools, bars, villas and even a wedding venue. The hope is these big plans for Lofton Island will draw more people to downtown Fort Myers.

For years, the island was just a piece of land and nothing else, but it won’t be for much longer. You can thank property owner and developer Nils Richter and his two partners for that.

“We have a good plan, we have a good design team, we’re in the middle of permitting already,” said Richter.

They have got a friend in the mayor of Fort Myers too.

“I’m the luckiest guy in the city,” said Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson.

Mayor Anderson believes he’s the luckiest guy because during his first four years in office, the amphitheater will be completed, Centennial Park’s facelift will be complete, and Lofton Island will become a place people will want to visit.

Richter and his partners are turning the blank slate island into the ultimate Fort Myers day resort. They plan to build cabanas, two pools, a restaurant and bar, villas to stay in overnight, a wedding venue, and a beach.

“It’s what downtown is missing, right? The beach factor. We’re in Florida!” Richter said.

Richter hopes to make it easier for people in Southwest Florida to spend time in and around the water.

“We are going to run free electric water taxis back-and-forth, like probably on 15-minute increments depending on demand,” said Richter.

He is meeting the demand that people don’t have to get in their car to enjoy what Southwest Florida has to offer.

“Everything is walkable, that’s really the idea. Make a walkable city. Make it something where you can really live, play, and work all in the same spot,” Richter said.

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