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City to host South Cape development workshop

By Staff | Sep 10, 2019

The City of Cape Coral’s Economic Development Office will hold a South Cape development workshop this Thursday from 8 a.m. until noon at Vineyard Community Church.

The EDO is promoting mixed-use and multi-family development in the old downtown, and it seeks to attract multi-family and mixed-use development in the South Cape Community Redevelopment Area by encouraging developments through the use of such things as potential tax increment financing and incentives.

“The idea is to draw more investment and rooftops in the South Cape, creating a more vibrant community,” said Economic Development Manager Ricardo Noguera. “We want more offices and retail to create a more daytime market.”

Noguera said the area has many restaurants, but lacks a variety of retail.

“We want the people who will be living there, and the people who are there now, to have more choices,” Noguera said. “They won’t have to jump in their car to go here and there.”

The last part is particularly important, particularly if residential gets built in Bimini Basin area near Four Freedoms Park. The walking element would be an appeal to those who go grocery shopping, where a large-sized market like Winn Dixie is located.

“Not many downtowns have a full-service supermarket like we have. There are opportunities where people can live there and walk and ride a bike to make it more pedestrian friendly,” Noguera said.

The city’s EDO will share development opportunities in the CRA and highlight some of the incentives that are available to developers. The event will feature presentations that include Keith Wolfe of Wolfe & Associates, which completed a study that identifies the need for more than 1,200 multi-family units per year in Cape Coral.

Local architect Art Castellanos will share information about a development scenario involving a mixed-use project on a 30,000-square- foot site

The city’s Department of Community Development Director Vincent Cautero also will share highlights of the new zoning designations to promote higher density development in CRA.

The city recently increased densities in the South Cape to 100 units per acre and heights up to 120 feet to enable developers to increase density and building heights.

Interested developers and the public are invited to attend the workshop, which Noguera hopes will attract those ready to invest in the South Cape where the city has made a number of improvements, both to utility infrastructure and to roadway “streetscsaping.”

“There are opportunities to help fill financial gaps with the use of tax increment financing for select developments in the CRA,” Noguera said. “Ultimately, the city seeks to establish a pedestrian-friendly South Cape with an assortment of restaurants and retail and new multi-family housing and office opportunities. The city and CRA plan to attract office development and employers to the South Cape with an assortment of incentives.”

Tax increment financing allows property tax money from improved properties to roll back to those properties for an agreed-upon time period. The CRA retains revenue from the taxable valuation before the improvement.

Vineyard Community Church is at 923 S.E. 47th Terrace.

For more information, please contact Noguera at 233-7427 or email RNoguera@capecoral.net.