key Projects

Cleveland Avenue

City Center 41

City center 41 after picture

After Picture

City Center 41 before picture

Before Picture

The City Center 41, on the corner of Braman and Cleveland avenues. was awarded a $50,000 Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Landscape Façade Matching Grant to upgrade the former Bingo Plaza. Construction included a new building façade and enhancing the landscaping in the parking lot along Cleveland Avenue. In August 2011, City Center’s grant was increased by $5,000 to design a pilot landscape area on the property. Total private investment was $1,895,000 and resulted in an estimated 50 new permanent jobs.

Cleveland Avenue Medians Beautification

medians after picture

After Picture

Medians before picture

Before Picture

The CRA and the City of Fort Myers have worked together to revitalize and improve the look of Cleveland Avenue (U.S. 41). The CRA provided a $194,200 funding match for a $100,000 FDOT Beautification Grant for the design, installation, and maintenance of median landscaping from Colonial to Boy Scout Drive, including the area under the Colonial overpass. This was the last remaining mile of U.S. 41 in Lee County that was not landscaped. Beautiful, colorful plants and trees have replaced the grassy areas and provide more enjoyable landscaping in the center of the roadway, as well as the large area below the Colonial Boulevard overpass. Now that the project has been finished, the CRA will provide maintenance for the landscaping.

Cleveland Avenue Nutrient Bank

nutrient after picture

After Picture

Nutrient before picture

Before Picture

The Cleveland Avenue Offsite Stormwater Credits Program offers an additional incentive to developers and businesses that are located in the Cleveland Avenue redevelopment area. The CRA contributed $1.3 million to build additional water quality treatment above and beyond what was required for the Fort Myers Country Club (FMCC), and in exchange, the CRA was granted the ability to offer offsite stormwater credits as an added incentive to redevelopment within the Cleveland Avenue redevelopment areas. The Grand Central Luxury Apartments project, a 2ó2-unit market-rate apartment complex with an estimated value of $50 million, is the first project to use stormwater treatment credits. In addition to the apartment complex, Grand Central is where the new Krispy Kreme doughnut shop will be located, along with AT&T, Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, other retail and Suncoast Express Wash Inc., a state-of-the-art car wash.

Edison Mall Bus Transfer Station

Bus station after picture

After Picture

bus station before picture

Before Picture

The Edison Mall Transfer Station is a $1.25 million public transit transfer station that serves nearly 250,000 passengers a year, centered in the busiest north/south and east/west corridors in Lee County, Florida (U.S. 41 & Colonial Boulevard). The facility is located on mall property owned by the Simon Property Group and it contains eight bus bays, restrooms, Wi-Fi, a route map and information center, and covered seating areas. The project was a collaborative effort between the Florida Department of Transportation, Lee County Transit, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency and one of the largest mall developers in the country, the Simon Property Group. The CRA worked with Simon Property Group and LeeTran to secure a ground lease for the Edison Mall Transfer Station. The Transfer Station will increase mall access for workers and shoppers, thereby activating employment options and more shopping dollars spent, and is also a crucial crossroads Lee-Tran location bringing commuters from outlying communities into the heart of Fort Myers. 

El Dorado Furniture

el dorado after picture

After Picture

el dorado before picture

Before Picture

The CRA awarded a $70,000 Landscape Façade Matching Grant to renovate a large portion of Colonial Plaza, a 12.51 acre shopping center, located at a key intersection along U.S. 41. The new owner, Ata Center, LLC, invested approximately $11 million to turn this aging 1970s shopping center from an eyesore to a crown jewel, creating an estimated 50 new jobs in the process. Along with all of the interior improvements, the new owners added new architectural elements to the building and landscaped pedestrian islands to enhance the visibility and aesthetics of the shopping center. Total private investment is estimated at approximately $10,670,850.

Enterprise Car Rentals & Sales

enterprise after picture

After Picture

enterprise before picture

Before Picture

Operator of Enterprise Car Rentals & Sales, Enterprise Holdings was awarded a $50,000 CRA Landscape Façade Matching Grant for landscape and exterior building improvements for its new retail car sales, rentals and corporate office location northwest of the Cleveland Avenue-Boy Scout Drive intersection. Work included removing deteriorated building materials, improving the building’s façade, new signage, parking lot improvements, outdoor courtyard and employee dining area, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements, and enhanced landscaping.

Grand Central

Grand central after picture

After Picture

grand central before picture

Before Picture

This former abandoned mobile home park has been transformed into a 280-unit, market-rate apartment complex with 15,000 sq. ft. of commercial space along Cleveland Avenue. The commercial development includes Krispy Kreme, Jimmy John’s, AT&T, and a $5 million luxury car wash, all of which are open for business. Grand Central was the first Cleveland Avenue project to use Nutrient Bank Stormwater Credits in lieu of building its own system. It is located at 4944 S. Cleveland Avenue.

The project created 453 total jobs, generated $16,783,794 of household earnings, added $31,207,234 of value to the regional economy, and increase regional demand by $59,628,854. (Wagner Consulting Group Economic Study)

It was selected for a Fort Myers Community Redevelopment (CRA) tax rebate, which will be issued with a rate of 95% for Years 1 and 2 and a rate of 77% for Years 3-12, not exceeding a total of $4,450,000.

Grand Central’s developer Aileron Investment Management has also agreed to sell the back portion of their land to the City of Fort Myers to construct much-needed parking lot for the Sam Fleishman Regional Sports Complex.

The complex opened in 2020.

Infinite Professional Center

infinite after picture

After Picture

infinite before picture

Before Picture

Formerly known as Lee Executive Center, Infinite was awarded a $50,000 CRA Landscape Façade Matching Grant for building façade improvements; landscape/irrigation enhancement; parking lot repair, resurfacing and striping; stucco repair and painting; damaged exterior doors replacement; and improved signage. As a result, the owners offered free office space to a limited number new start-up businesses selected on a competitive basis.

Grace Professional Building

kagan after picture

After Picture

Kagan before picture

Before Picture

Grace Professional Building was chosen as a pilot project in Cleveland Avenue for the Façade and Landscape grant programs. This building was formerly the Barnett Bank building at the corner of Grace and Cleveland avenues prior to being purchased by Dr. John Kagan who was in the process of completing nearly $2 million worth of improvements and additions. Grace Professional Building was approved for a $50,000 Façade Matching Grant; a Landscape Matching Grant was also approved, for a total of award of $110,000. The project has produced three new permanent jobs.

Page Field Center/”Chuck E. Cheese”

chuck e cheese after picture

After Picture

chuck e cheese before picture

Before Picture

Jay Peak was awarded $50,000 in CRA Landscape Façade Matching Grant funds for their Page Field Center project, located on Cleveland Avenue across from Page Field Commons. The property was home to Chuck E. Cheese, a provider of games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment for families with children of all ages from toddlers to big kids. Grant funds were used to purchase and install new plant materials and an irrigation system. 40 new permanent jobs were created as a result.

South Trail Shopping Center/Save-A-Lot Grocery Supermarket

save a lot after picture

After Picture

save a lot before picture

Before Picture

Three CRA grants were awarded that centered around the rehabilitation of the South Trails Shopping Center, located at 3257 Cleveland Avenue:

  • Century Asset Management, LLC, was awarded a $10,000 Development Assistance Grant, and a
  • $50,000 Landscape Façade Matching Grant for improvements to the lighting, landscaping and façade of the center
  • Savers LaBelle was awarded a $50,000 Landscape Façade Matching Grant for the Save-a-Lot grocery store to be opened in a portion of the old Publix space

Save-A-Lot opened this flagship store in January 2011. The grocery store alone was estimate to have created 80 new jobs, in addition to providing surrounding residents with a nearby spot to purchase groceries. The surrounding retail shops produced an additional 40 new, permanent jobs. Total private investment was $296,000.