CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The Cape Coral City Council wrapped up a marathon, 12-hour meeting by approving one multi-million dollar project and rejecting another. The council officially killed a plan to bring a national swimming complex to the city but voted yes to a new development in the downtown area of Cape Coral.
The council chambers were nearly empty when council members finally rejected the swim center idea by a 5-3 vote at 2:45 a.m. It's a project that could have brought national swimming events, hotels and a convention center to Cape Coral. The council spent several hours discussing the language of an agreement that would have advanced the project to contract talks. But, several council members disagreed with potential a $25 million bill to the city for utilities and road improvements.
The final deal-killer was a request to essentially donate the 171-acre city-owned site to the National Swim Center Corporation. The non-profit organization could consider working with Lee County instead.
After the vote on the Aquatic Center, the council turned its attention to the Village Square project. Just before 5 a.m. the council approved the multi-use facility to be built along Cape Coral Parkway. The six floor building will include banks, restaurants, and 152 residential units. The $150 million project could break ground as early as this summer.
Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz said one point that helped the Village Square get approval was funding. He says the developer is bringing about 97% of the funding - unlike the National Swim Center Corp. which needed too much from the city.