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New restaurant, skybar in the works for the South Cape

By Staff | Jun 6, 2019

A planned four-story building in the South Cape Coral next door to a fast-food restaurant could be the key to unlock the South Cape’s potential.

What is now an empty lot on Cape Coral Parkway could soon be developed to include a restaurant, office space and a rooftop bar.

Maastricht Engineering, the designers of the proposed office building, along with LAI Design Group, presented its concept during Tuesday’s Community Redevelopment Agency meeting.

Because of the new zoning and permitting rules in the city, the proposal does not need Cape Coral City Council approval, since there are no special exceptions or variances.

The four-story structure is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

“It’s exciting to see a building of that caliber going up in Cape Coral. We have a central downtown area that’s getting bigger and better every year,” said City Manager John Szerlag. “Our goal is to increase the amount of commercial development as opposed to single family residential.”

To be located near the Wendy’s, the first floor is slated to be a steak house, the second and third floors are earmarked as office space, and the top floor a skybar.

The steakhouse, Prime 239, will feature “fresh-cut steaks, a wide whiskey selection and a refined, bewitching atmosphere,” a release from the developer states.

The rooftop bar, Skybar 26, will feature indoor and outdoor spaces offering “exceptional views” of the Calooshatchee.

Szerlag said this particular commercial development is crucial to Cape Coral’s commercial base, which is sorely lacking.

“Residential is 92 percent of our tax base and 8 percent is commercial/residential. You want to have a mix of 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial,” Szerlag said. “This also creates jobs that we need desperately.”

“Any time there’s an opportunity for new business to come to Cape Coral, it’s a positive,” said District 1 Councilmember John Gunter.

Business owners share the excitement.

“That is setting the stage for a more active and design friendly downtown. That building is going to be different from anything we have downtown,” said Gloria Tate of Raso Realty. “Hopefully it will spark more creative design and new buildings.”

The project is scheduled to break ground this summer and open in the summer of 2020.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information contained in a press release issued by the development firm.