The vacant Ambassador Hotel in downtown Fort Myers may no longer remain vacant for long. There is a developer interested in buying the property and converting this into a retirement home for senior citizens.
Mr. Robert MacFarlane has presented his proposal to the city council last week. This interest has made city council want to go ahead with the proposal. Yet there is a slight catch as the developer is seeking assistance from the city in funding this development.
The former Ambassador Hotel has remained closed after just celebrating its 2nd anniversary. The property remained closed and was under scrutiny due to it being listed in the market for so long without any buyers.
Located along Edwards Drive and Fowler Streets, the former hotel structure can be visibly seen along the Edison Bridge along the Caloosahatchee riverfront. It also towers along the Fort Myers Yacht Club and have somewhat become a landmark downtown.
City official back then was committed on bringing the hotel back to life to encourage business conventions back into the city. During that time, there were no interested buyers for the property.
Yet last month, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency has received interest from a developer to renovate the old hotel. During that time, the building was surveyed to see if it was feasible to convert this into a retirement home.
The mayor of Fort Myers is optimistic about the project as the building is getting another opportunity. With this renovation, the city would also get an additional 300 parking spots to fill up the void.
Renovation does not come at any costs. Some of the repairs needed to be done in the property are replacing the windows, upgrading the old AC units, and repairing the plumbing in the building. The developer has estimated something around $25 million.
Mr. MacFarlane is hoping that he can get assistance from the city for this renovation to push through. The city would have to agree and make use of its future tax revenue to provide funding for this renovation proposal.
The mayor is unsure if the city council would agree to this. Should the council agree, this would benefit the city in the long run and change the image of downtown Fort Myers.
If his proposal gets approved, the developer hopes to close the deal by the end of the year. The only thing that Mr. MacFarlane can assure is that color of the building would no longer be salmon pink.