CAPE CORAL, Fla. Construction of a new retail, office and housing development seven years in the making is delayed again.
Developer Robbie Lee pushed back the start date for work on Village Square improvements that were supposed to begin this month. Lee, who’s getting a major chunk of his funding for the project from overseas, needs more time to set up special accounts to legally transfer the money, he said.
Still, he expects to start demolition within the next 90 days on the site along Southwest 47th Terrace between Southeast Eighth Court and Southeast Ninth Place.
“We’re filling out our demo permits as we speak,” Lee said.
The $140 million project will include restaurants, stores, office and six stories of apartments and condos. The city initially green-lighted the development in 2010, but the economic recession proved its first stumbling block.
The city asked Lee in 2014 to prove it was viable. He secured funding in 2015, and construction was expected to begin in May 2016. The city granted him a one-year extension, and with May 2017 almost over and no shovels in the ground, the city has approved Lee’s request for still more time.
But Lee insists he remains on track to begin construction soon.
“Everything that the city set up and lined up for us, we accomplished,” he said.
The project will create jobs and boost the economy, Lee said. It’s those reasons that Cape Coral resident Patrick Robbins cited as he expressed his support.
“If he’s got it together now, why not give him the green light and pull for it?” Robbins said.