Where is The Myerside Project?

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After a flurry of activity and community meetings to show off professional renderings from commercial developers, the last few months have been quiet as those developers work through the process with town staff before getting in front of the LPA.

It was in August of 2023 when we first saw the plans for a new Myerside Boutique Hotel.

Where is that project today?

Beverly Milligan and Rolland Weinmann have owned the 1.03 acre piece of property along School Street and Estero Boulevard since 2015. Before Ian arrived, The Cottages at Myerside consisted of 7 cottages with 12 units, a pool, tiki bar and volleyball court.

Also before Ian Milligan and Weinmann were in the process of giving Myerside a much needed face-lift.

After lengthy battles with the previous Fort Myers Beach Town Manager, that bordered on a personal vendetta against them, Milligan and Weinmann received approval from the Town Council to rezone their property from Residential Conservation to Commercial Planned Development. The council approved a master concept plan that protected the existing cottages and approved hotel, retail, and restaurant uses, including the consumption of alcohol. The intent of this CPD was to create a small boutique resort which ensured the preservation of the historic cottages while legitimizing existing non-conformities.

Then Hurricane Ian came through. Only 1 of the 7 cottages is still standing.

That history brings us to their future proposed plans for the property. After Milligan and Weinmann, along with Ken Gallander from The Neighborhood Company, unveiled those plans to the community in August of 2023, the application was submitted to town staff for review in November of 2023.

“The Myerside” is a proposal for a 45-unit hotel with an additional 4 work/live dwellings and 8,500 square feet of commercial space. Under the current zoning regulations, Myerside can build up to 30 lodging units by right and is going through the CPD process to ask for more.

If approved as is, at it’s highest point, the hotel would be 4 stories which would be 45 ft high ground to roof. For a comparison on height, the library, which is across the street, sits at 60 ft high.
On January 23, 2024 town staff provided a 3-page letter deeming the application insufficient. Here are a few of the items town staff wants corrected or more information on:

Under Zoning:
– The sale or consumption of alcohol so close to the Beach School.
– The types of buffers they will construct on three sides of their property.
– The dimensions of the parking spaces, the number of ADA parking spaces and drive aisle widths.
– A revised traffic study based on a 45-unit hotel not a 42-unit hotel and based on 8,500 square feet of retail space not 10,000 square feet.
– A landscaping plan.
– The size of a dumpster.

Under Public Works:
– Details on increased utility demands from the existing project to the proposed project.
– 81 parking spaces are required and 56 are proposed.
– Where the dumpster should be located.

The Myerside team told Beach Talk Radio News they expect to have their responses to the town’s review in today and are hoping to get before the LPA in April.

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. I can see how it must be so frustrating for the Myerside team. In 2012 they took Myerside resorts LITERALLY from a bunch of crack houses next to a school, to a cute little resort that fit in with all the other buildings in town. Then they got hit with red tide, which effectively wiped out a whole season of rentals. After that we had Covid, and like every other hospitality business in the world it had a major impact on their business. Just as they started to recover from Covid, we had Hurricane Ian which destroyed all but one of their buildings.

    I just don’t understand why Town Council won’t give their own community a break. We have long term residents who are trying once AGAIN to build a business and create revenue for a town that is in desperate need of new infrastructure.

    Instead, they seem to be finding ways to prevent or hinder small business development, while encouraging places like Margheritaville and Lani Kai.

    Town Council should be finding ways to encourage their own long standing residents to invest in Fort Myers Beach. Instead, it seems like they just want to tie them up in red tape until another major property developer comes in and builds another massive resort.

    Just my opinion …

      • Agree. Also another concern besides being built in a highly congested area is safety of the students and staff of Beach Elementary. Another busy commercial venture serving alcohol instead of supporting the local community ability to provide families certainly reflects the greed that outweighs common sense. We need affordable housing to ensure future generations will benefit from the quality education continues here on the island. Many who have attended over the years have participated in the wonderful programs, Kiwanis clues, beach clean-ups, ECT benefiting this town through responsible stewardship, historical preservation, protection of habitat, serving humanity by learning to care for neighbors. Impossible to do when neighborhoods are flipped into playgrounds for the wealthy. Those who seek profit over the well-being of today’s children & health of society, haven’t learned the lesson about tomorrow’s leadership needing a village to thrive in. Diversity, equality, accountability and compassion are crucial to raise responsibile citizens willing to invest in long term solutions with everyone’s success in mind. Accumulating wealth for ego driven selfish gain for temporary membership to elitè vacation clubs only devalues those who make sacrifices to share the riches of living in partnership with paradise. I pray Rolland & Myerside clan understand the importance of balanced exchange in regards to respecting our 7 mile islands survival. Only those determined to pass forward these principles can maintain the quality of life they seek long term if able to live & work locally to protect it daily.

        • “serving alcohol instead of supporting the local community”

          Serving alcohol does not negate being able to support the local community. Really going for a stretch here.

  2. Love the look! But I don’t see a 4th floor unless it’s only in the back. If so, it needs to be lopped off. I don’t understand why alcohol was approved before, but not now.

  3. After reading the issues under the zoning and under public works we can all see why the people who want to rebuild get so frustrated. ☹️

  4. Love the look! It would be great if this had a little market/bodega under the hotel in the commercial space for essentials and a bit of produce. That would be a great benefit to the area!

  5. We live across the street and support this proposal. It is a reasonable height and it would be nice to have dining available within our neighborhood. Since this isn’t on the beach side of Estero, it doesn’t obstruct views.

  6. This is one of the most reasonable projects being submitted. They are asking for more keeping but much more in line with the current requirements. This makes it a more palatable ask.

    • wait what ??
      someone is actually listening to the building height limits, it’s amazing hopefully everything gets worked out and we approve this project

  7. Interesting that they previously received approval for consumption of alcohol on the property and now under zoning it’s being questioned.

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