Downtown Fort Myers building to be demolished, make way for new businesses

A rotting roof, peeling paint and a whole lot of history.

In four days, 2208 First Street will come down. Mollie Turner knows this building quite well. In fact, she works next door.

“It’s a very old building. I grew up here so I remember it,” she said.

But she’s glad its days are over.

“It’s a mess and it’s really time for it to go. I don’t remember when it was occupied last to be honest with you,” she said.

A realtor familiar with the building says it needs to come down because of termite damage. And, as much as they want to salvage it, it’s not possible. Next year, a restaurant and retail space will open there.

Fort Myers native Ron Risselli thinks it’s great. “I’m all for it. I’m sure they’ll put a nicer building in its place…progress is a good thing. Today’s better than yesterday.”

Turner agrees.

“Any time that there’s new restaurants or retail brought in, it brings people downtown,” she said.

As far as impending construction?

“It will be interesting because there will be a lot of dust and dirt and construction and it’ll probably be dirty for a while, but I’m trusting the city has this under control,” said Turner.

And while this building, more than a century old, has a rich history, now’s the time to look ahead to the future.

First Street from Broadway to Hendry Street will close from 10 p.m. Tuesday until around 6 a.m. Wednesday while the demolition takes place.

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Briana Harvath
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