Coral Ridge breaks ground on event center
By springtime, Coral Ridge Funeral Home & Cemetery at 1630 Pine Island Road won’t just be a place for people to gather during solemn times. It will be for happy occasions, too.
On Wednesday, ground was broken at the cemetery for a new funeral home and event center which is scheduled to open next May.
The Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral presented the event, and local dignitaries and first responders and representatives of the area’s veterans service organizations were also there.
Among those who spoke were Mayor Joe Coviello, Donna Germain, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Bill Johnson Jr., executive director of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association. Harney Point VFW presented the colors.
“This is a wonderful project and I’m happy to see it get started,” Germain said. “Me and Chuck met seven years ago after my grandmother passed away and the compassion he and his staff offered to our family is immeasurable.”
“To have a place to bring our loved ones when that time comes, it means so much to so many people,” Johnson said.
The location will offer traditional funerals, military services, memorial services, special event celebrations, burials, entombments and cremation services.
The facility will be 8,500 square feet and reflect the culture and history of Cape Coral with vibrant tropical tones.
The facility, which is already under construction, will also allow Coral Ridge to hold life celebrations, weddings and private gatherings, making it a premier funeral and event facility in Cape Coral, said Chuck Warren, director of operations.
Coviello said the opening also signifies the continued growth of the city, with a population set to reach 200,000.
“We see a lot of growth and positive things happening. I’m pleased to be a part of that. This is part of that growth and progress as we build out,” said Coviello, who praised Warren for his commitment to veterans and the city. “His expansion is a testament to the work they do and what they mean to our community.”
For Warren it was an emotional experience as he broke up a little before saying, “It’s been a long time coming,” as it took six years for this to come to fruition.
The current building is among the oldest in the city, predating the city itself. It was the Ranch House Hotel when built in 1947.
Coral Ridge opened in 1965. It now stands on 70 acres, including the 30 acres fully developed and the five it will take for the new facility.