Times Square Facelift Moving Forward

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Fort Myers Beach town council members seem to like the current design put forward by design engineer DRMP and they also agree that delaying the project one year is the best course of action for everyone involved. Here’s why…

If all goes according to plan, the multi-million dollar facelift to downtown Fort Myers Beach will begin after the 2022 busy season. The delay will give the town time to pursue grant funds, and give businesses in the square additional time to recover from a Red-Tide COVID one-two punch.

Once construction begins, the project is expected to take a total of 8 months. Whether construction is done in 8 straight months or in two 4-month stretches has not been decided yet.

On Thursday the Fort Myers Beach Town Council heard from design engineer DRMP about the project which has completed 90% of the design. The council gave town staff the green light to continue to the next step, after asking a few questions that did not warrant changes big enough to slow the project.

There will be some type of clock in Times Square. Whether it’s a new clock or the current clock is still undecided. The sail that some people feel block the view isn’t off the table, but according to Town Manager Roger Hernstadt can easily be removed during the bidding process.

Each restaurant will get new pergolas which will replace their umbrellas. To make sure they line up consistently in the square some restaurants may lose a little serving space, but that will be less than 10%, according to DRMP. The pergolas will be ten feet off the ground.

Sandcast clay pavers will be installed, which will be strong enough to handle a fire truck, and have a soft feel on bare feet. It’s the same product already installed on Old San Carlos.

The plan is to save as many of the palm trees as possible, but there’s no guarantee once they’re removed from the ground to be moved, that they can be saved. If they cannot be saved, they will be replaced.

There will be a moveable FMB Logo sign that the council believes everyone will use as an area to take selfies. If you know the Times Square area, the sign would sit near the poinsettia Christmas Tree. That sign could also be used for other community events.

There will be a covered stage in the area where the Sunset Celebration tent is now set up every weekend.

And, as always, there’s the challenge of the lighting. There has to be a balance between keeping people safe and protecting the turtles. DRMP worked with a lighting manufacturer so the lighting is FWC compliant. The color of the lights will change. During turtle season they will be the amber, turtle-friendly lights. During turtle off-season, they can be changed to be brighter.

Mayor Ray Murphy sort of joked to the DRMP representative, asking him if he was available to help the town with the Estero Boulevard lighting challenge. That got a chuckle from everyone at the meeting.

7 COMMENTS

  1. What kind of sunset celebration would it be if the sun and sky are blocked by the huge sail; its is an Illogical idea and waste of money. You can see real sailboats on the water. What the heck is the point of a giant fake one. I really always loved the aqua pavers on the square. It is so seaside unique and fresh and cool looking. Is it really necessary to replace all of them with something with a warmer color? Cobblestone and brick in red and brown tones can be found all over northern part of the world. Our aqua and yellow is much prettier! If at all practical, I would vote to keep them and replace them with the same if needed. I don’t mind the umbrellas because you could move them or the chairs around the table to avoid sun directly in your eyes and to have some shade while you dine. It is also easy to put a couple of tables together. I don’t know if pergolas would allow that type of flexibility.
    Just my thoughts as you plan your renovation of the square. Thanks!

  2. I think the Sail concept is ridiculous. It blocks the view of the gulf from what I see. Absolutely waisting tax payers dollars. Let’s fix the lighting on Estero Blvd.

  3. Majority of people who saw this plan and responded on FB disliked the large sail, we aren’t a boat and the huge FMB sign! But moving forward with it. Why? They both are obtrusive and the sail will block the view of sunset while in the square. Don’t you just love when people push stuff that affects your business and not theirs. I’m all for beautifying but some of this is just not necessary.

  4. So in all the years of talking,negotiations whatever you call this.
    Never once was the possible loss of lease space ever discussed…
    Can you research exactly whose losing what??

  5. Good plan and it was helpful during the meeting to show the artist renderings as well as the computer generated, for a more accurate view of what it will look like. All the restaurants still retain their individuality and character, while giving a more appealing cleaned up look. The new pavers sound great.

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