Bumper-to-bumper traffic and construction all around every corner are signs of a booming area.
The U.S. Census Bureau said the Fort Myers and Cape Coral area is the seventh fastest growing metro area in the country.
But is there enough room for everyone?
“I think growth is good as long as it’s monitored,” said Frank Ross, a 30-year resident in the area. “We hit a lot of room here to expand outwards; keep some of this beautiful infrastructure here and just not tear it down and go upwards.”
Other residents agree.
“This downtown area, it’s unbelievable in the last five years,” Jim Dundas said. “This place is crowded every day, and being crowded is not a bad thing.”
Local resident Martin Drexel said he’s looking forward to the future.
“We are finally stepping up,” Drexel said. “It’s been many years. We’re going to be the next Fort Lauderdale and Miami here right in southwest Fort Myers.”
Lee County projects its population to reach one million people by the year 2040.
The Villages in Central Florida is the fastest growing metro area in the nation. Orlando is No. 9 on the list.
Realtor Greg Taylor said we won’t become Miami, but we will see tens of thousands more people on our streets and in our new construction.
“Growth is inevitable,” Taylor said. “There’s no way to it, and I think the best thing that we can do is plan for it responsibly, so that things are controlled. And that we do things right, things that are going to improve the lives for all of us here in Southwest Florida.”