City gets green-light to start Luminary Hotel construction

The landscape of downtown Fort Myers will change forever once the Luminary Hotel gets built.

A newly-filed document says the city of Fort Myers can start construction on the hotel immediately.

The $91 million project has faced constant hurdles. A decades-old deed says a hotel can’t be built there, because the land can’t be used for business purposes. It’s an issue the city has yet to resolve.

“I don’t know that I would want to start construction on a property until I had title issues, legal issues, that have been finalized and dealt with,” said Joan Henry, an attorney with Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano P.A.

The city needs to file what’s called a “quiet title lawsuit” to fix the deed issues. But as of Thursday, that still hasn’t happened.

Henry says starting construction without it can be risky.

The city has said they feel confident they’ll resolve the issue, but in a recent interview with WINK News, the deed-holding family says the fight isn’t over.

“Other than the city and their own counsel, they’re the only one saying they’re in the green here, in the right. I guess we’re going to have to let the courts decide,” said Chuck Powell, with the deed-holding family.

Once construction starts, if the deed becomes an issue, that could cost taxpayers money.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
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