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Downtown Village Square edges forward

By Staff | Dec 19, 2019

The long-awaited $150 million Downtown Village Square project appears to getting set in motion.

The developer, Island Development, is currently removing the old car wash and bank building, with the permits for the first building expected in March.

Annette Barbaccia, president of AMB Planning Consultants in North Fort Myers, said things are proceeding according to plan.

“They are taking down the Fifth Third Bank and car wash, and by March they will have building plans for one of the buildings going up,” Barbaccia said. “It’s good to see progress.”

Developers are working on the building plans for Building B in the complex which will be a six-story mixed use building that will front Cape Coral Parkway. Building plans will be submitted by March 31, 2020.

Once the plans for that are approved, which should happen by July, the first building, Building B, will be started. It is expected to be complete by summer 2021, Barbaccia said.

A third building, where there currently is an ice cream shop, will remain until the next phase of the project. That ice cream shop could end up being a tenant in one of the buildings, Barbaccia said.

Downtown Village Square is a 3.94-acre development on five parcels, four on Cape Coral Parkway and one on Southeast 47th Terrace.

The project is expected to feature 152 multi-family units, more than 251,000 square feet of commercial space, a public square, a 938-space parking garage, and 2,000 square feet of space for the police and city offices.

Barbaccia said three of the buildings will be similar six-story structures. Behind them will be a pedestrian walkway, and behind that on 47th Terrace, will be a parking garage and two residential towers, as well as a seven-story building next to that.

Barbaccia said the project would have gone as planned without the recent streetscape project on Southeast 47th Terrace that was completed in January.

“The fact is that it will cost more money to be consistent with their paver scheme compared to what the original plan was. But it’s good to have it there because it’s a benefit to have a streetscape,” Barbaccia said. “It won’t really change anything.”

One of the costlier items will be the removal of an LCEC power pole in the northwest side, which Barbaccia said will cost about $400,000.

Downtown Village Square, which is expected to help transform downtown, has been in the works since 2010. However, the developers sought no less than seven extensions, the last one happening in March, where members of the Cape Coral City Council expressed that their patience was beginning to wear thin and concern there was not enough money to bring the project to fruition.

The developers will be put to a strict schedule, with deadlines to be met for each phase of development.

“We’re meeting those guidelines, which is why we’re demolishing the buildings by the end of the month,” said Barbaccia, adding this will be a three- to four-year project.