A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening at Four Freedoms Park officially marked the opening of another public beach area in southeast Cape Coral.
The South Cape Beach is a 16,000-square-foot amenity intended for fun and sun, but not for swimming. The city's Community Redevelopment Agency contributed nearly $42,000 toward the project, which incorporated the existing picnic shelters and landscaping and added to it.
"I am just so pleased," CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen said at the ceremony.
Cape Coral dignitaries, city officials and residents celebrate the official opening of the South Cape Beach, located at Four Freedoms Park, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
"This is like the second beach in Cape Coral," he said.
The project was conceived as part of the CRA's new vision plan to spur downtown activity.
"Anything that brings people out to gather, bodies driving past stores and businesses," Jacobsen said. "This is an investment by the CRA into the public realm."
He added that the beach is an example of the partnership between the city and CRA.
"I was really glad to see it open," Councilmember Kevin McGrail said Thursday, adding that families have been watching and waiting for the fences to come down.
"The neighborhood's been trying to get into the water for a long time," he said.
MrGrail called the completed project a good addition to the recent improvements that have been made downtown, and he added that it helps establish the CRA's improvement area.
"This really sets the western edge of our CRA district," he said.
On Thursday, Cape resident Christine Eggspuehler was enjoying the beach with her 3-year-old daughter, Sedora. Catching the last of the day's sunlight, the two were building sandcastles.
"I'm excited about the whole transition," Eggspuehler said. "I'm glad they're actually adding something to Cape Coral."
Southwest Cape residents, she and her daughter regularly visit the Cape Coral Yacht Club.
"She loves the beach," Eggspuehler said, noting that the South Cape Beach is closer to home.
"This will make it a lot easier for us to go," she said.
Eggspuehler added that the park at Four Freedoms Park is much better, too.
"It's very kid friendly," she said.
Thursday's ribbon cutting was attended by city officials, local dignitaries and residents.