CAPE CORAL, Fla - Cape Coral's Community Redevelopment Agency is working on a 20-year plan to overhaul the downtown area, but business owners say they want to see some changes now.
Wednesday morning, business owners met with a member of the CRA to hear some immediate plans to get more people to visit downtown Cape Coral.
"One of the basic problems is that it's not very attractive," said Patty Barker, a realtor at Dockside Properties.
The CRA is working to change the aesthetics.
"It's an old town. It needs to be re-created. It needs to be a town people come to," said Rich Greer, Commissioner of the CRA.
Greer says the CRA has big plans in the next 20 years, including lots of new construction.
But businesses in the area want to see some changes within the next few months.
Greer met with them Wednesday and outlined an immediate solution that focuses specifically on Cape Coral Parkway between Del Prado Boulevard and Coronado.
The plan is simple and cost effectve: re-paint buildings, plant trees, add awnings, and sidewalks to encourage more foot traffic.
"It allows everyone to create a better environment. A nicer downtown. A place we all want to go," Greer said.
The CRA will use tax incremental funds to offer property owners facade grants to pay for exterior renovations.
Realtor Patty Barker says by changing the aesthetics, it brings beauty to the area, which increases property value and that encourage people to buy.
"It turns an area pretty desolate, to where people really want to be," she said.
New pizzeria shop Fat Fredo's just had their grand opening.
Located on Cape Coral Parkway, so far business is good.
"We've been doing a lot better than we expected," said Nick Dopp, manager of the shop.
Dopp and other businesses hope making these changes now will give the area a new look by the time season starts in the fall.
Some of the other changes include turning Four Freedoms Park into a beach and repaving Cape Coral Parkway.
Both those projects have been in the works for a while and get underway this summer.