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Destination Cape Coral

October 9, 2015
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Thanks to action by the Cape Coral City Council this week, our city took another step forward in its quest to become a "destination" in Southwest Florida.

By unanimous vote, the elected board approved a project called The Resort at Tranquility Lake, planned as a "five-star, luxury resort for class A-motor coach owners." It is to be built on 188 acres on the southwest corner of Durden Road and Burnt Store Road in the northwest Cape two miles south of the Lee-Charlotte County line.

The Planned Development Project's revised letter of intent calls for 275 "guest sites," including cabin villa sites, totalling 39.5 acres, as well as tracts for various amenities, a 98-acre lake, common areas, administrative offices and clubhouse, and a two-acre commercial component proposed to include retail stores, rental shops, restaurants, a bait shop, veterinarian office and kennel.

The target market are those who drive motor coaches - referred to as "condos on wheels" - costing between $400,000 and $2.5 million.

Despite some early concerns expressed by nearby property owners, the project now has the unanimous support of the 800-member Northwest Neighborhood Association, its president told Council Monday night.

Development is planned in six phases with groundbreaking projected for next year.

We join Council and the association in support of the project. If it is developed as proposed - something city staff assured Council will happen as the necessary safeguards are included in the order - it will provide a desirable visitor option currently unavailable in the city.

This, in fact, is the type of development that puts communities on the map.

Proponents have compared the project to two earlier endeavors that looked at the Cape's potential and invested millions on the premise that "this side of the river" had an unrealized opportunity to attract an upscale demographic with money to spend.

Tarpon Point and Cape Harbour, were, in fact, game changers for the city with much more still to come.

Also perking, for the southwest Cape at Tarpon Point, is a 35,000-square-foot conference center on par in terms of size with the Harbourside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

The $10 million project, to be constructed at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village and approved by Council in August, not only will add a destination facility long-sought by the city, it - like The Resort at Tranquility Lake - will bring in "new money."

That's the very definition of economic development.

Estimated "new dollars" from the conference center alone?

Some $100,000 more in bed tax money, an additional $22,735 in property tax revenues with a total regional benefit of $33.44 million in its first three years.

Did we mention that all of these market-driven projects have been, or will be, private-sector funded?

That's win-win for the city and its taxpayers, both.

It's good to see the city moving forward and it's even better to see it moving forward based on private investment. Capitalism works.

-Breeze editorial



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