Projects Around Town
Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Redevelopment
Plans to redevelop the nearly 15-acre Bay Oaks Recreational Campus at 2731 Oak Street have been under discussion by Town Council and the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board (BORCAB) since 2018, with several opportunities for community input. DRMP, Inc., was contracted by Town Council as the design firm.
The redevelopment is planned to include a new building for a variety of youth and adult programs and activities, an amphitheater, and welcome center, along with space for multiple uses and other new recreational amenities. Redevelopment of the grounds are to include large and small ball fields with lighting, improved entrance and exit for pedestrians and vehicles, revamped walking trail, and outdoor basketball, pickleball and tennis courts. Space for a future active recreation facility and a standalone amphitheater is also included in site plans for the grounds.
This project is being conducted in partnership with improvements to two other iconic areas of FMB - Bayside Park and Times Square. In November 2020, Town Councilors finalized a $10 million loan secured through First Florida Integrity Bank to fund all three projects. Council approved the loan with the understanding that grants would be sought to contribute to the cost of these three large projects.
In November 2021, the Town was notified that it had received a $1 million federal grant from the National Park Service (NPS) - Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the Bay Oaks project. The LWCF provides funding to the federal agencies and the states. In the State of Florida, NPS/LWCF partners with the Department of Environmental Protection - Division of State Lands and its Land and Recreation Grants Program. The funding will be available starting January 1, 2022, and is predicated by a match from the Town.
- Town Council and BORCAB discussion January 11, 2021
- Site Plans (60%) August 2021
- Current draft design November 2021
Aerial view of Bay Oaks
Bayside Park Redesign
Redevelopment plans for Bayside Park have been under discussion for the past few years by Town Council. The park is near the downtown area of Fort Myers Beach in a residential and commercial area on the bay at the end of Old San Carlos Boulevard. The design firm DRMP, Inc., was contracted by Town Council in 2019 to design improvements to the park.
Designs have undergone several revisions based on feedback from Town Council and community members. Town Council voted to approve the design that was presented by DRMP in January of 2021. Flexible space has been allocated in the plans for a veterans tribute with input in process by community members and veterans.
In November 2021, authorization was given by Town Council to the Town Manager to execute contract documents with Wright Construction to perform the redevelopment work. Construction is expected to cost $885,346 including a contingency of $44,267.30. A start date will be set during the process of executing the contract documents.
This project is being conducted in partnership with improvements to two other iconic areas of FMB - Bay Oaks Recreational Campus and Times Square. In November 2020, Town Councilors finalized a $10 million loan secured through First Florida Integrity Bank to fund all three projects. Council approved the loan with the understanding that grants would be sought to contribute to the cost of these three large projects.
Big Carlos Pass Bridge Project by Lee County
The Lee County Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of assessing improvements needed to the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on Estero Boulevard (County Road 865) on the south end of the Town/Estero Island, with preliminary plans to make improvements.
Connecticut Street Sidewalks
The Florida Department of Transportation started a project in the Fall of 2020 to construct sidewalk and drainage on the east side of Connecticut Street from Estero Boulevard to Shell Mound Boulevard. This project was completed in March of 2021.
Estero Boulevard improvement project - reFresh Estero Boulevard
Since 2007, the Lee County Department of Transportation and the Town of Fort Myers Beach have been working together to first develop plans and then reconstruct Estero Boulevard from Crescent Street to Big Carlos Pass. The two major goals of this project have been to improve safety for ALL users (motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians), and improve drainage on Estero Boulevard.
- Find current updates on a website specifically devoted to this project.
- Watch presentation by reFresh Estero representatives to Town Council on September 16, 2021 (Presentation starts at 2 minutes)
Estero Boulevard lighting project
On February 16, 2021, Town Council approved a $185,000 contract with REDD, Inc., DBA Town Lighting Engineers, to address longstanding safety and wildlife-friendly lighting concerns on Estero Boulevard. FPL representatives also attended that meeting to help Town Councilors understand the level of support that can be expected from FPL for this project.
- Watch the stakeholder group kickoff meeting from Wednesday, March 24.
- Watch the stakeholder group's second meeting on Wednesday, May 12
- Watch REDD, Inc.'s presentation to the Public Safety Committee on May 18
- YouTube Video Read about the Town's need to balance safety lighting with turtle-safe lighting.
- Read the stakeholder feedback report from REDD, Inc., June 7 2021
- Watch June 9 Town Council Management and Planning session that includes update from REDD, Inc. (Presentation starts at 22 minutes:33 seconds.)
- Lighting recommendations draft document presented at joint meeting of the Public Safety Committee/Marine Resources Task Force, July 26, 2021
- Joint meeting of Public Safety Committee/Marine Resources Task Force July 26, 2021
- Town Lighting Engineers presentation to Town Council at the September 16, 2021, Management and Planning session
- Watch the Town Lighting Engineers' presentation to Town Council at the September 16, 2021, Management and Planning session (Presentation starts at 43 minutes:41 seconds)
TPI Hospitality is in the process of building a Margaritaville Resort on Estero Boulevard in the downtown district of Fort Myers Beach. A groundbreaking was held on August 13, 2021, with construction expected to last for two years.
- Keep up on the progress of construction on the TPI-Fort Myers Beach Facebook page
- Watch a video of the design of the resort
- Town action related to Margaritaville
Matanzas Pass Bridge base traffic and landscaping
Lee County Government is planning improvements to streets, stoplights, traffic flows, and landscaping at the base of the Matanzas Pass Bridge on the north end of Estero Island. Federal Department of Transportation (FDOT) funding will be used for this project. County officials briefed Town Council on a couple occasions in 2020 with preliminary designs expected in 2021. Public hearings and the bidding process will follow with construction expected to begin in 2022.
- FDOT project description
- FDOT newsletter article March 2020
- Presentation by Lee County officials to town Council on October 19, 2020
- Presentation by Lee County officials to Town Council on March 2, 2020.
- Seafarer's alternative rendering presented by Lee County and adopted by Town Council on March 2, 2020
- Watch an update given to Town Council on September 16, 2021, by Florida Department of Transportation officials (Presentation starts at 9 minutes:6 seconds)
Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field Upgrade
The upgrade that the Town is seeking is to provide an additional 19 moorings west of Matanzas Pass Bridge which will accommodate vessels up to 85 feet in length.
The Town is responsible to apply for and obtain all permits and funding authorizations for the proposed expansion, and for selecting the contractor and construction oversight. Numerous state and federal agencies are involved in this process, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC.)
This permitting and funding authorization process began in 2020 and is expected to take about 12 months to complete. The bidding process for a contractor to perform the work will follow. Once a contractor has been selected, construction is expected to take about six weeks.
Starting October 1, 2021, administrative management of services for Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field changed from Estero Bay Hotel Company dba Matanzas Inn to Town staff. Town staff will manage the administrative functions of Mooring Field from leased office space (Unit G109) in nearby Harbor House, at 450 Old San Carlos Boulevard. Matanzas Inn will continue to provide and maintain restrooms, the dock, trash, water and laundry.
This change came about after several months of discussion and planning by Town Councilors, Town staff and members of the Anchorage Advisory Committee about the future expansion and management of Mooring Field. Town Councilors authorized the change at the August 2, 2021, Town Council meeting by approving a modified lease agreement with Matanzas Inn. This action provides for continuity of services while the Town explores options for the future.
Traffic signal at intersection of San Carlos and Estero Boulevards
A new traffic signal at the intersection of San Carlos and Estero Boulevards was installed in the Downtown District in November 2021. Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC, was contracted by the Town to complete the work. The Local Agency Program (LAP) through the Florida Department of Transportation was the funding source for this project that cost approximately $776,511. This was the Town's first project using LAP funding. LAP certification was acquired by the Town in 2020.
Times Square Redesign
Waterline replacement project "reFresh Estero Boulevard"
The reFresh waterlines program is a replacement of existing water mains with a new and more efficient water main system that began in 2014 and is ongoing in cooperation with Lee County and the Town. The reFresh waterlines team is coordinating with Lee County Utilities to replace sanitary sewer in some areas of the project.