News-Press

Published: Feb 18, 2014 5:17 PM EST
Updated: Feb 18, 2014 11:28 PM EST


The deal to build a brand new hotel in downtown Fort Myers may soon be back on.

WINK News has obtained the latest renderings of a 250 room Sheraton hotel. The building would be attached to the Harborside Event Center.

"A hotel would change the game," said Jamie Stuart with the Blue Dahlia Salon.

Western National Capital Partners wants to build the nearly $53 million hotel.
Their plan also includes a multi-million dollar parking garage.

"I think the hotel itself is needed, is wanted and is phesable," said Stephen Goodman with Western National Capital Partners.

The company says more than a third of the project would be paid for without taxpayer money.

"Sourcing tax credits, subsidies, and getting money from the hotel brands," said Goodman.

In the agreement the city would have to provide land for the hotel and parking garage.
The city would also have to dish out nearly $10-million to update Harborside Event Center.
But city leaders tell WINK News, that's still much cheaper than the demands from the previous developer--who backed out last year.

"This case the developer is willing to take on those expenses and the risk of doing development as the cost of doing business," said Don Paight.

WINK News also spoke to small business owners downtown, who say the hotel would need to integrate in to the small town atmosphere.

"We need anchor, something like that to bring people down here to draw them," said Jamie Stuart with the Blue Dahlia Salon.

"If it is done well and they respect the community and enhance the area they are working on, I think the two can marry each other very well," said Karen Allegretti with Market Earth.