Business owner leaves North Fort Myers shopping center, hopes for better things to come

The Hancock Square shopping center off a bustling US-41 feels more like a ghost town, now that the owner of The Old Sewing Boutique has packed up and moved on.

“The plaza just started to dry up and disrepair happened. The place just didn’t look appealing to anyone, so we were losing business every year,” said owner, Wendy Fahl.

Fahl was hopeful North Fort Myers would be transformed when the new owner, Luis Dominguez, took over.

“When they first purchased, they came in and gave us a grand plans of a beautiful, positive place that they were going to build, so I was hanging on because I wanted to be a part of that,” she said.

But the opposite happened.

“Office Depot left, the Redken school left, so probably two major anchors pulled out of that area,” said Fahl.

The owner of the plaza said in January that he was going to file for rezoning of the property this year. We reached out to him Tuesday, but he did not return our calls.

The most recent document we could find for the property was a permit filed back in 2008.

Lee County said, also in January, that fixing the plaza is the key to redeveloping the area.

So, after years of broken promises, Fahl determined it was time to turn the page.

She moved into a brand new store front off Six Mile Cypress last month. But her hopes remain high.

“It’s an opportunity for businesses,” she said, “so I’m still positive about the area.”

That life may one day be restored in this concrete graveyard.

The County said in a statement: “There have been no recent applications filed regarding this property.”

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Briana Harvath
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