$700K original estimate more than triples for Edison Restaurant repairs

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

All eyes were on the Edison Restaurant Monday night as the city council decided to spend $2.62 million on repairs.

The decision to pass the budget amendment and spend the $2.62 million on Edison repairs came on Monday.

The hangup in the meeting? Despite this number being triple the initial 700k estimate, it is not the final number, and the amount of money could keep going up.

The council wants electrical and AC work done as soon as possible to prevent it from going even higher.

On his own time, you can find Stephen Hebden teeing off at the Edison Country Club, but in his professional career?

“The company that I used to work for, the structural group, specializes in failed concrete structures,” said Hebden.

That’s why when he stopped by his favorite golf course’s on-site restaurant, he noticed immediately that, structurally, things weren’t up to par.

“You can see where this concrete has fallen. And you could see where the cables have frayed and failed.” said Hebden, “I’m just hoping that the necessary people have looked at this and they’ve made the right assessments in order to make the correct repairs.”

The initial repair estimate was $700,000, but digging a little deeper, it ballooned to $2.62 million, making the money a sizable investment to improve the aging club.

“Been golfing at the Fort Myers Country Club since High School,” said golfer James Williams. “I think it’s great. If they can have something reasonably priced right here, if they want to improve the facility, that’s wonderful.”

In August 2023, the city council selected a bidder who wanted to keep this building in place and fix it up.

Now that they’re doing it, the council and Hebden share the belief you need to do it right, and it’ll just cost us.

“And the thing of it is, there’s no sense in painting the building if you have a structural impact. So you gotta get to the meat and potatoes before you deal with the salt and pepper,” said Hebden.

They found issues in the building from top to bottom; The kitchen is sinking, the rebar is rusted, and the AC is shot.

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