FORT MYERS, Fla. - Rooms with a view? How does a new hotel in downtown
Fort Myers sound? That's what some officials are hoping for. A developer from California is stepping up with a plan for a 12 story one overlooking the river front.
This is the fourth proposed hotel since the late nineties. City officials hope this one becomes a reality.
Anthony Tritto has lived in Fort Myers for more than 28 years.
"I think of a small, quaint little area," said Tritto.
But the view from his Dean Street apartment could change. A hotel developer is considering the area by the Harborside Convention Center off Edwards and Bay Streets. The plan is to build a 12 story, 250 room Sheraton.
"It would be nice to have more stuff down here but not at the expense of not being able to see the water," explained Tritto. "That's one of the reasons why i live down here."
Neighbor Sarah Blanchette, agrees, "It'd be a great view for whoever is staying at the hotel but it wouldn't be such a great view for all of us."
City leaders discussed the proposal at a workshop on Tuesday. The hotel would cost about $52 million and the city would need to come up with $8 million to upgrade Harborside.
"I would give it a better than 50/50 chance," said Don Paight, executive director of the Downtown Redevelopment Agency. "With the experience of the developer and the current markets maybe as much as a 75 or 80 percent chance."
While construction is far from starting, officials say the project is more promising than the previous one that folded in October.
"The other one backed out not because he didn't like the project but because he got two other projects approved prior to ours," explained Paight. "He still said he liked it but his company wasn't big enough to do three hotels at one time."
But Tritto isn't buying it.
"I definitely think it's going to obstruct people's views," said Tritto.
with another hotel already downtown, he's not sure this one serves a purpose.
Council will hear the next stage of the plan in March. In May, the developer is expected to decide if he wants to move forward.