Getting On The Same Page

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Times Square Business owners met this week to try to get on the same page with the town about details they’re concerned about in the upcoming redevelopment of Times Square. They followed up their own meeting with a get together with town staff to pass along their ideas and concerns.

Several of the items that came up at the business meeting were: public restrooms, a trash compactor that all the businesses could use, why the clock is being evicted, the new awnings each restaurant will be getting, a drop-off area for deliveries and Uber and Lyft drivers, the sails that cover the view of the skyline and how long the project would take.

When the business owners arrived at Town Hall for their meeting with staff, the expressed their appreciation that recommendations they made during an initial workshop were included in the design. Town Manger Roger Hernstadt told them now was the time to come to a consensus on what else they wanted make any other specific requests for the project.

The new look Times Square

Hernstadt also filled them in on a few specifics of the project. He said all lighting will be turtle compliant and drainage will be sloped toward the center of the former road. He then asked the group to get to a consensus on their issues and send him an e-mail which he would then take up with the town council. He also said he would challenge the design team to look into public bathrooms. As far as the trash compactor goes, Hernstadt asked if there were any volunteers who wanted one near their property.

The entire project is expected to take 8 months and it could begin right after Easter in 2021. Businesses will not be expected to close during construction and Hernstadt promised they would not lose water service.

The main issue is that the business owners need to come to a consensus on a timeline they’d like to suggest the project proceed with. There are two options. One is to work straight through (least costly). The other is to spread the work over two off-seasons in 4-month increments. Right now the business owners are pretty much split on that issue. The town council will make the final call on the timeline.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Leave time square, people r tired of the construction, never stops on ft myers beach! People don’t want it modern that’s what makes it unique leave it the way it is

  2. The business owners are the experts, not the design team or anyone who isn’t in Times Square day in and day out. As just a frequent “passer by” of Times Square, I think the sails are a maintenance nightmare and distraction. The embellishments out in front of the restaurants are great! As for coconut palms, they drop a lot of debris. Self cleaning palms are lovely and much less messy. We had a coconut palm existing on our property when we built our house in 2016. That is the only palm that is much maintenance, as our landscaper planted a number of varieties of self cleaning palms (including Royal Palms)

  3. Not a fan of the sails. Not only will they block views, but what about maintenance/cleaning/replacement? The sails will need to be kept in pristine condition because it will be the most visible part of the square, and that will be a large ongoing cost in materials and labor.

  4. The beauty we see on this island is due to the gulf views, palm trees, tropical vegetation, blue skies, pelicans, shore birds and nature. Why on earth would you want to block the beautiful views?! The sails will require regular maintenance and unnecessary costs … please lose the sails and keep the clock!

  5. The business owners desperately need to come together on specific recommendations and email their requests to Town Hall ASAP. It would seem best to begin the work immediately following season and allow the contractor to get it done all at once. Locals and tourists have already been bombarded with construction inconvenience for years and it would be wise to complete the Times Square construction in the least time possible and not overlap with the road project and Margaritaville construction. Spreading it out over two years just prolongs the agony.

  6. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember reading anywhere that the Times Square clock is being evicted. What’s “Times” Square without a clock?! Also, the beautifully unique Times Square area, yes, needs a little facelift, but do all the beautiful views really need to be blocked with sails? Maybe we need to go to Plan B on the design?

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