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Thank you, Sanibel

By Staff | Mar 31, 2010

To the editor,

We would like to extend our hearty thanks to everyone involved in the recent grand opening of Centre Place and celebration of Community Housing & Resources’ 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Many islanders don’t realize that CHR was incorporated in 1979 and has been working ever since to meet the growing need for affordable housing on the island. It is a membership organization with a voluntary board of directors and serves as the city’s housing foundation.

The new neighborhood recently dedicated at Centre Place marks our entrance into affordable home ownership through our subsidiary, Coast & Islands Community Land Trust, and provides a way for qualified island workers who serve our community to live here. It took a lot of work by a lot of people to make this possible.

We thank the board members of both CHR and the Land Trust: Emilie Alfino, Armand Ball, Ric Base, Jill Dillon, JoAnne Fedele, Bob Fodor, Tom Gilhooley, Richard Johnson, Renee Lynch, Allen Myers, Mark Norman, Ray Pavelka, Lynn Ridlehoover, Tom Rothman, Jack Samler, Dennis Simon and Dorothy Simpson.

The City of Sanibel, Sanibel City Council, and Sanibel Planning Commission were instrumental in this project, as was the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Thanks also to Bank Of The Islands and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank for working with us on securing financing. In addition, three local attorneys are helping our home purchasers free of charge and we thank them: Tim Murty, Jason Maughan and David Platt. Barrier Island Title Services will be providing closing services at a reduced cost, and we thank them as well.

Sanibel’s newspapers – the Island Reporter, Islander and Island Sun – did a great job keeping islanders informed. Jenny Evans of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Native Nursery helped beautify Centre Place; we couldn’t have done it without her.

We are grateful also to the patient neighbors of our Centre Place location and particularly to Billy Kirkland and everyone at Billy’s Rentals bike shop, who went above and beyond the definition of “neighborly,” allowing us ingress, egress and parking, all with a smile.

Project manager Kennedy Construction, Inc., and architect Edgar Burton made certain Centre Place turned out to be the beautiful neighborhood it is, and the island’s beloved Hammerheads were on hand to help when they could.

None of this would have happened without our CHR staff: Executive Director Scott Marcelais, Administrative Manager Patti Bohm, and Administrative Assistant Cyndie Hoggatt. They’re always there for us and for the people of Sanibel.

The saying, “It takes a village,” is said about raising children but it applies here as well. It’s communities like Sanibel that lead the way with projects like affordable housing, which now includes the possibility of affordable home ownership like that showcased at Centre Place.

So, thank you, Sanibel. This is your achievement.

Michael Cuscaden, President, Community Housing & Resources

Phillip Marks, President, Coast & Islands Community Land Trust