Dunbar residents invited to community engagement event on McCollum Hall future

Reporter: Annette Montgomery

On Saturday morning, neighbors in the City of Fort Myers, especially in Dunbar, are invited to give feedback on the future plans for McCollum Hall.

The plan is to rename the historic building and call it the THIRTY8 Collective, an homage to 1938, when the building was built.

The plan for McCollum Hall is to turn it into a food and market hall.

In the 50s and 60s, during segregation, performers like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington graced the stage.

But it’s been a long time since the historic building’s glory days.

The previous developers fell among financial issues and failed to restore it.

Neighbors in the area said it’s been hard to remain hopeful, but Leonard Burke, the managing partner for the new and current developers Alexander Goshen and Cornerstone Strategic Partners said they’re approaching the restoration differently, so they are confident in their success.

“Our hope for this project is to, kind of, be a draw or catalyst for not just the Dunbar community, but for the at-large community of Fort Myers, Lee County, and folks that are visiting the city,” Burke said. “They have a destination that they can come to enjoy, spend money, kind of, create some lasting memories, but more importantly, to just have a place where what that property stood for many years ago can be reinvigorated, but also with a new, more modern twist to it.”

The over 14,000-square foot food and market hall will also have a 26-unit multi-family residential community named THIRTY8 flats.

The community engagement event will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in front of the building at 2701 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

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