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Major projects expected to break ground in 2016

By Staff | Dec 31, 2015

Several major commercial projects are expected to break ground in 2016 with dozens more anticipated throughout the new year.

“Commercial building permits are up 31 percent over last year and that trend is expected to continue,” said Audie Lewis, business recruiting specialist with the Economic Development office. “There are a lot of projects in the pipeline for 2016 and beyond, some of which are still confidential.”

The major projects to come out of the ground in the next 12 months include the conference center at the Westin Resort at Tarpon Point, the Super Walmart on Pine Island Road and the luxury RV Resort on Burnt Store Road.

Gulf Coast Village, an assisted living facility on Santa Barbara Boulevard, and a Neighborhood Walmart grocery on Pine Island Road at Hibiscus both recently broke ground for new construction as well.

“We’ve been talking to hoteliers and light manufacturers about new projects,” said Lewis. “There are a lot of medical related businesses getting ready and a ton of retail.”

The city is in the first phase of the development process for major projects like Bimini Basin in South Cape and the Seven Islands in Northwest Cape while private developers continue to finalize funding for the Village Square project on Cape Coral Parkway. Those projects, along with the Westin conference center, are considered life-changing developments for residents and tourism, not to mention hundreds of jobs.

“We are working with the architects to take it through the PDP (Planned Development Project) process and construction permits with the city,” said Tarpon Point Property General Manager Lauren Hagan. “We have to finish the construction drawings and hope to break ground sometime in the summer to be completed in the last quarter of 2017.”

The conference center will consist of 34,000 square feet with 12,500 of that being meeting rooms. It’s expected to bring 15,000 new visitors to Cape Coral each year as well as new jobs and additional revenue for the city tax base.

Commercial development not only brings higher paying jobs and tourism opportunities, but add value to the community and helps diversify the tax base by taking some of the load off residential property owners.

Expect more of the same in 2016 and beyond.