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Conference center plans move forward

By Staff | Jun 15, 2016

Construction of a new conference center at Tarpon Point took another step to becoming a reality Monday night when City Council approved several amendments to the project development zoning and deviation requests.

A portion of the property was rezoned commercial instead of multi-family residential in order to locate a parking lot to serve the conference center and the Westin Resort at Tarpon Point Village.

Along with the 35,000-square-foot conference center, the hotel will remodel some existing two-bedroom suites into one-bedroom units to increase its hotel room availability to 308, an increase of 40 rooms.

The amendments also formally removed the responsibility of repaving of Pelican Boulevard from the resort to Cape Coral Parkway from the Tarpon Point project, an obligation incurred by a previous owner.

The city now has an agreement with Lee County to help fund the repaving when the conference center is completed.

Asked when and how long the construction will take, representatives said they are ready to break ground as soon as permits are issued and completion is expected within 16 months.

The $10 million project is projected to create approximately 33 new jobs, bring in an estimated $100,000 more in bed tax money and an additional $22,735 in property tax revenues while adding a total regional benefit of $33.44 million in its first three years.

When proposed last summer, City Council agreed to provide a financial incentive of up to $200,000 from the city’s Economic Development Reserve Fund, a fund earmarked for major projects.

Other than the incentive, granted instead of a request for any impact fee deferral, the developers are wholly funding the project.