City of Palms Post- May 2017
Luminary Hotel & Co.

Coming to Fort Myers in 2019: Luminary Hotel & Co.

More than 200 people filled the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers to be among the first to know the name of the new downtown hotel.  The name Luminary Hotel & Co. was unveiled at the ceremony.

Opening early 2019, Luminary Hotel & Co. will feature a signature restaurant, rooftop lounge, culinary theater, and spacious pool area overlooking the Caloosahatchee River, as well as a local diner and retail space at street level.
“The city’s history is a celebration of the pioneer spirit, so we’re weaving those captivating stories into the design of the Luminary Hotel,” said Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Lodging & Development. “Fort Myers is really something special and we’re thrilled to be a part of the transformation taking place downtown.”

Mayor Randy Henderson, Officer Chad Thornton, Chief Derrick Diggs

Thornton Named Employee of the Year

Chad Thornton, an 18-year officer with the Fort Myers Police Department, has been named the City’s Employee of the Year.  Thornton’s peers nominated him because of exemplary performance as he negotiated a peaceful resolution to a potential suicide on the Edison Bridge.

“The male was agitated and wouldn’t speak to anyone,” explained FMPD Chief Derrick Diggs.  “After consistent attempts and a never-give-up attitude… Officer Thornton gained his trust through understanding, and being supportive and encouraging.”

The City of Fort Myers’ Employee Recognition Program was implemented in 2011 to recognize employees who have made significant contributions, realized outstanding accomplishments, and provided excellent customer service. 

Easter Parade- Dunbar Prancing Majorettes

A Fort Myers Tradition: The Dunbar Easter Parade

The 73rd annual Dunbar Easter parade marched down Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. on Easter Sunday. The theme of this year’s parade was "Bringing the Community Together." Thousands of residents lined the boulevard to join the fun and watch floats, bands, dance troupes and more.

The parade was started in 1945 By  Evelyn Sams Canady, a third grade teacher who wanted to make sure the children of the Dunbar neighborhood all had an opportunity to receive Easter candy. Canady also helped to found Dunbar High School and the Dr. Ella Piper Center.
(Photo Courtesy: Jerry Miller)

South Atlantic Line Railroad Depot

Train Depot Begins Transformation

Hundreds gathered at the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad depot on April 27 to kick off construction of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s new headquarters, tech hub, and “collaboratory.”

The depot was built in the 1920s and closed in 1971 when the Seaboard Coast Line ceased travel to Fort Myers.  More recently, the Spanish mission-style building was home to the Southwest Florida Museum of History.

The SWFCF headquarters is the second major construction project in Fort Myers’ midtown neighborhood. The new Fire Station One, located just south of the depot, opened in December, 2016. The two buildings will anchor a three-year project to revive midtown. Plans include upgrading utilities and streetscaping to help the midtown neighborhood become an extension of Fort Myers’ vibrant downtown.

Midtown Redevopment

Development Decision Rescheduled

After a marathon meeting, Fort Myers City Council has decided to delay the vote on midtown and downtown redevelopment until August 7.  During that time, the City will seek public input on proposed changes to zoning regulations and the land development code in the midtown and downtown neighborhoods.

The City’s goal is to extend the downtown southward and create affordable housing options in the midtown area. Adding more homes in midtown will provide more year-round patrons for downtown businesses. The added residents will also help increase tax revenues and create more funding for police, parks, public art, recreation, and other city services.

Burn Ban Issued

Temporary Burn Ban Issued

The City of Fort Myers has issued a temporary burn ban within the city limits until extreme drought conditions improve.  Campfires, bonfires, fire pits and trash burning are off-limits during the ban. Other banned activities include setting fire to forest, grassland, wildland, marsh, vegetation, or land, including agriculture and pile burning.  Don’t worry about your barbecue grill—outdoor cooking is allowed as long as your grill or outdoor cooker contains the flames, fire, and heat.

S.T.A.R.S. Complex

Join the "Sunrise Club" at S.T.A.R.S.

From April 28 until the end of the school year, students of Dunbar, Fort Myers, and Cypress Lake middle schools will be able to take advantage of a free new program at the Dr. Ann Murphy Knight S.T.A.R.S. Complex. The S.T.A.R.S. Middle School Sunrise Club will provide a safe environment for students from 7:00-8:30 a.m. on school days.

Students will be able to work on homework using the S.T.A.R.S. wireless internet on school-issued tablets or in the S.T.A.R.S. computer lab.  Students can also receive on-site tutoring in trouble subjects before school.

S.T.A.R.S. Middle School Sunrise Club students will be eligible for transportation to Dunbar, Fort Myers, and Cypress lake middle schools through the Lee County School District’s buses. For more information, call 239-321-7545.

Kids to Parks Day May 20th

Celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th

Join us on Saturday May 20th for the annual Kids to Parks Day celebration at Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers!  Enjoy music, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts, public works vehicles and more from 10 am until 2 pm.

Kids to Parks Day is a national day of outdoor play organized by National Park Trust. Last year's event at Centennial Park was enjoyed by about 2,500 people, and nationwide more than 731,000 participants enjoyed 1,130 park events across the country!

Fort Myers Country Club

Junior Golfers Get Skills at "The Fort"

Fort Myers Country Club is offering a pair of five-day junior golf clinics this summer. The clinics will teach juniors (ages 6-13) fundamentals of golf, including rules, etiquette, chipping, putting, and the full swing.  City of Fort Myers Golf Professionals Rich Lamb, Todd Brown, and Kari Phenix will teach the five-day clinics, which are limited to 40 juniors each.

Session dates are June 5 - 9 and July 31 - August 4, 2017.  The 75-minute clinics will start at 9:15 a.m. daily. Registration for a five-day session costs $60 and includes refreshments and range balls.  Beginners are welcome to borrow clubs at no cost if needed. 

To register for a summer junior golf clinic, download the registration form on our website.

FMPD Community Safety Day

FMPD Visits "Community Safety Day"

The Fort Myers Police Department recently participated in a Community Safety Day at Reflection Isles. Events included K-9 and SWAT demonstrations and tours of the Mobile Community Outreach Police Station (MCOPS).  Residents also learned safety tips from the FMPD Crime Prevention Practitioner.

FMPD can visit your workplace or community to provide safety presentations. Popular topics include burglary prevention, personal safety, identity theft, workplace security, auto theft prevention, and how to avoid fraud, scams, and cons.  Call the FMPD at  239-321-7700 to find out more.

Connect with Your "Nextdoor" Neighbors

Have you joined the City of Fort Myers and Fort Myers Police Department on yet? Nextdoor is a free and private social network for neighborhoods. On Nextdoor, neighbors can ask questions, get to know one another, exchange local advice and recommendations and share important safety information.
In addition to getting important announcements from the City and FMPD, neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to do the following:

  • Find trustworthy local resources, such as babysitters, plumbers and dentists
  • Report suspicious activity and local crime through virtual neighborhood watch
  • Organize neighborhood events, such as garage sales and block parties
  • Get assistance to find lost pets and missing packages

…and more! Visit to learn more and get started.

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