Leonardo Arms Project Underway


While the residents of Leonardo Arms wait for a major Fort Myers Beach renourishment project to begin in the Summer of 2023, they’ve had to take matters into their own hands. The erosion behind building #2 (of 3) at Leonard Arms has gotten so bad, a portion of the parking lot collapsed back in March.

The Leonardo Arms Community Association is building a temporary sandbag wall to help protect the area from any further damage and erosion. About 130 sandbags will be double stacked where the parking lot collapsed. There will also be a liner put down and some of the landscaping needed to be cut back. Leonardo Arms Community Association Manager Tim Baggett told Beach Talk Radio News that they are also working through the process to get a new seawall built.

The permit process with the State of Florida to get this temporary fix approved started back in November of 2021. The sandbags should all be in place this week just as the rainy season begins here in Southwest Florida. Baggett says they originaly requested approval for 204 sandbags but the state cut that back to 134 due to the possibility of turtles nesting in the area.

Leonardo Arms is trying to patch up the problem until the town’s big beach renourishment project which is slated to begin in the Summer of 2023. The temporary fix is being paid for by special assessments on Leonardo Arms residents, according to Councilman Jim Atterholt who spoke about the issue on Beach Talk Radio last Saturday.

The sand needed to be the same sand that can be put out on the beach during the renourishment.  Once the sandbags are no longer needed that sand will be dumped out onto the beach in that area. The sand and the bags cost about $160,000. There are 60 residents in building 2 of Leonardo Arms. They are 100 percent responsible for the cost because the project is to protect their parking lot. Once the sand is dumped on the beach, and benefits everyone, the cost can be spread out amongst the other Leonardo Arms residents.

It’s been one bit of bad luck after another for these residents. Last September they received an emergency permit from the town and dropped 6 truckloads of sand in the troubled spot. One month later, when a weather front moved in, all the sand was washed out into the Gulf.

There will be at least one more full hurricane season, regular Southwest Florida weather storms and high tides until the big $23 million beach renourishment project begins. That project will be funded by the state, the county and the town.

Leonard Arms building 2 President Gene Duffy told Coastal Engineering Consultants President Michael Poff, who’s in charge of the major renourishment project for the town, that their area needs to be first in line for the new sand. Duffy said, “we are one storm away from devastation. It’s at our front door. We’re going to get wiped out if we’re not first.” Whether that happens or not depends on where the project actually begins, whether it’s shorebird nesting season and where the lawsuit stands regarding ownership of the CWA.



  1. I’ve been renting at Leonardo arms for 7 years. It’s a very special place and owners and renters alike are hopeful for a successful outcome .

  2. Really appreciate the update it since I’m not there. You guys are doing a good job. I’m glad Leonard Arms had a temporary fix.


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