It looks as if the development of Bayside Park will be the first of the three big Fort Myers Beach projects to see shovels in the ground. The town is now accepting bids from contractors to renovate and remodel the park.
Bayside Park is located between Nervous Nellie’s and Snug Harbor. The area now has an old Gazebo, which at times is used by the homeless and a non-functioning fountain.
The town is looking for contractors to work on the landscaping and electrical. The town will be installing a new stage for bands, hardscape paving, shade structures, motorized trellises and landscaping. A pre-bid meeting will be held at Bayside Park on First Street at 9 a.m. on June 29.
There’s also expected to be some type of memorial for veterans in the park at some point. A committee has been set up to see how that can be accomplished. A group of veterans, led by Forest Critser, have volunteered to help with the design of a Veteran’s Memorial. As soon as they make a recommendation, it will go before the council for approval and then be forwarded to the design team.
The town was originally planning to build a 3-story structure on the property to accommodate about 100 residents of the mooring field with laundry facilities, showers and office space. That plan was thwarted after residents and businesses in the area objected to the building which would have blocked the view of the water.
The project is expected to take 4 months once it begins and cost approximately $1.5 million. The town has borrowed $10 million for three major projects: redeveloping Bayside Park and Times Square and upgrading the Bay Oaks facility. Times Square has been pushed back to 2022 and there’s been no recent update on when the Bay Oaks project might begin.