City - News

Posted on: July 12, 2017

USF School of Architecture and Community Design to assist City with new development strategy

Midtown and Downtown Aerial

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design will assist the City of Fort Myers in developing an integrated redevelopment strategy for the City’s core.  The project, approved by City Council at the June 19 meeting, will examine current development regulations in Downtown Fort Myers and the Gardner’s Park neighborhood. It will also investigate how the Midtown area can accommodate and promote future growth and development.

The goal of the project is to cultivate an integrated strategy for urban design, long-range planning, and regulatory revisions in downtown and midtown Fort Myers. Through an intensive planning process and community member involvement, this effort will lead to a growth strategy that is appropriate, feasible and sustainable into the future.

The project will be jointly funded by the City and the Community Redevelopment Agency.

The USF team will review the City’s Downtown and Midtown Comprehensive Plans, as well as the Gardner’s Park Vision Plan and portions of the Land Development Code. The process will include local residents and other stakeholders as well as City staff.  The team will also engage local residents and stakeholders as it crafts a redevelopment plan for the Midtown area.

“Updating the Downtown and Midtown plans will provide several benefits to our community,” explains City Manager Saeed Kazemi.  “More varieties of housing in these areas will help downtown business owners and their employees. It will also expand the City’s tax base, which can help fund public services like police and fire protection, recreation, and public art. Finally, the right plan will encourage well-managed development.”

The project team will be led by Theodore Trent Green, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design.  Green’s areas of expertise include urban and community design planning, economic development and community revitalization, housing and residential development strategies, and development regulations.  His architectural and urban design experience includes projects in Boston, Kansas City (Mo.) and Richmond (Va.), as well as Florida cities including Miami, East Tampa, Winter Haven, and Clearwater.

Planning will begin in July with the creation of a community-based steering committee. Public input meetings are anticipated in early to mid-August.

For more information about the City’s development strategy, please contact Steven Belden, AICP, Director of Community Development, at (239) 321-7902 or

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