IMMOKALEE, Fla - Immokalee's downtown business district will soon have a new look. Collier County commissioners approved the contract for a new First Street Plaza this week.
City leaders say this new plaza will be one of the biggest projects downtown Immokalee has seen.
It will be built at the intersection of Main Street and First Street. The hope is that the new plaza will bring more tourists into Immokalee and ultimately more money to local businesses.
Paul Myers is visiting Immokalee from Chicago, staying at the casino for this weekends Rib Fest.
"My experience and I don't live here, but driving from the hotel to the casino, there's nothing that really makes me want to stop downtown."
County and city leaders are hoping that mindset will change. Plans to revitalize Immokalee's downtown business district with a new cultural plaza are finally underway after more than two years in the works.
"It would be nice, you have the casino that brings a lot of people in, but we need jobs, we're still not getting enough jobs in this town," says Tom Grant.
Grant has lived in Immokalee for 41 years and works just down the street from the site of the new plaza.
The hope is that the new plaza, complete with landscaping, benches and a fountain will serve as a gateway for Immokalee, showcasing the different cultures the city has to offer visitors.
"I think it would be great. Anything to add to the downtown area," says Myers.
The project is being paid for through grant money. The architect says they will begin working on the design soon. Once that is complete there will be a bidding process for a builder. Then, construction will begin.