Published: Jan 04, 2011 10:18 PM EST
Updated: Jan 04, 2011 7:21 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A brand-new shopping space is opening its doors in downtown Fort Myers, and doing so in a unique way. Franklin Shops is home to an array of local retailers...and putting a modern spin on an old storefront.

The old downtown Franklin Hardware building on First and Broadway has an all-new look. It's now home to Franklin Shops, a storefront holding 27 different local retailers, and offering one-of-a-kind treasures around each corner.

"We have a lot of original pieces, whether it's jewelry, home accessories, handbags. We even have a leather boutique and we'll be having a swim boutique as well," Franklin Shops CEO Allison Campbell said Tuesday.

With 10,000 square feet of space, the shopping destination has plenty of room to grow. They're hoping to attract shoppers looking for unique goods, crafted and sold right in Southwest Florida.

"The Internet brings you a diversity of people but that's not necessarily local. It's nice to stay local and to be able to do business with your community," Franklin Shops retailer Elle Vail said.

Franklin Shops operates much like a department store- offering a venue to sell goods, without the headache of managing a business.

"We handle everything. The employees, loss and prevention. All the daily operations that are involved in operating a retail storefront," Campbell said.

In exchange, they take a small cut of commission and charge rent as low as $50 a month, depending the size of space.

"We've got something as small as an 18x18-inch box, or we can have something as big as 1,000 square feet. So really we're in a great position to work with entrepreneurs and business owners to serve them," Campbell said.

Franklin Shops officially opened on New Year's Eve. They plan to host a grand opening event in February.