Newly discovered deeds create more issues for ‘Luminary Hotel’

A problem standing in the way of building a new hotel in downtown Fort Myers could be getting bigger.

Earlier this March, it was discovered that an old property deed where the new Luminary Hotel is being built doesn’t allow businesses there.

More: Newly discovered deed delays construction of ‘Luminary Hotel’

Now, there are five more deeds just like that one. At the time these six deeds were written up, Edwards Drive didn’t exist, yet the deeds clearly state this area could not be used for business purposes.

This left many family heirs, like Charles Powell, wanting answers from the city.

Powell is the great great nephew of Annie Powell Dean. Powell grew up hearing stories about how she loved wildlife and flowers.

“She always like to maintain a buffer between any of the things that she did, whether it was her house or home front, or whatever,” Powell said.

Powell said he wasn’t surprised that a deed from 1936 stated she wanted a land near the current Harbourside Event Center to be used for a park or a yacht basin.

“Otherwise, why would they have sold that properity? If it was intent to have it built on to begin with, why not keep it in the family?” Powell said.

Powell wasn’t aware of the deed until WINK News brought it to his attention. Powell said the city never reached out to his family about building the Luminary Hotel.

“Completely surprised that we had gotten to this point and this had never presented itself, and with the ease of locating the documents, no one presented the abstract,” said Fort Myers resident Paige Rausch.

Rausch discovered other downtown Fort Myers deeds from the 1930s. These deeds state the same thing, Edwards Drive should not be used for business.

“I honestly hope that the way our forefathers set this out to be a benefit to the city, that it’s resolved in a way that it is,” Rausch said.

Powell says this has nothing to do with money, it is just important that the deed is upheld.

“It’s all about family with us, that’s the way my brother and I was raised,” Powell said.

WINK News reached out to City Manager Saeed Kazemi for comment on these newly discovered deeds but never heard back.

Writer:Emily Ford