CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Hundreds of jobs could be on the way to Cape Coral.
The future of the city lies in acres and acres of empty land. City leaders are meeting with the public to discuss ways to develop nearly one mile of vacant land in the northeast part of Cape Coral.
"This is up in the northeast part of the Cape where there are few businesses right now," said Christy Voght, Business Development coordinator for the City of Cape Coral. Voght calls the area "the zone."
"We wanted to create a zone people to take a look at it and get excited about it," she said. "The zone" is the one-mile area around Corbett Road and Diplomat Parkway East. This is where the new VA Clinic is being built.
Nearby there are many acres of vacant land. "The time is right for it to become developed," Voght said.
Tuesday night at a forum, city leaders discussed ideas to develop this area into a mecca. Think hotels, coffee shops, and more medical offices. "We also have several developers who have already come to us about some things they want to put in there," Voght told WINK News.
This could create up to a thousand new jobs for local people. Once it's complete, the new VA Clinic alone will employ several hundred. The city hopes this is just a starting point.
"This is a chance for things to keep going up and think big," Voght said.
Down the road at Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway, a similar plan was put into action several years ago. Today it's a bustling business center with homes all around. "We watched it grow every year," Jenny Lopez said.
Lopez works at Hair Cuttery inside the shopping center. She says her store and others in the area are doing well, bringing in more development to the northeast section of the city.
"A lot of the forcelosed homes are starting to be purchased again. A lot of families are coming back to the North Cape, so it's going to be great," Lopez said.
The city is so determined to get this area developed, they're even willing to customize an incentive plan with individual companies if they build in "the zone".