Campo Felice sold, Fort Myers community will no longer be 55-plus

A $55 million sale of a building in downtown Fort Myers is putting hundreds of seniors out of needed services.

Emergency equipment inside of each room of Campo Felice is no longer functioning and restaurants inside of the building are closed.

Westside Capital Group, a Miami real estate company, bought the building Tuesday for $55 million in an off-market deal and also announced the changes.

A lot of the services people rely on, like safety features, valet and transportation, are gone.

And the biggest change will be that Campo Felice will no longer be a community for people 55 and over.

The 24-story tower at 2500 Edwards Street in downtown Fort Myers overlooks the yacht basin and the Caloosahatchee River.

Some residents will make the transition without amenities, but others say they won’t stick around.

“It’s hard to make a change like this,” said Sharon Poe, a Campo Felice resident.

Poe said she and her neighbors were told of the changes on Tuesday

“I couldn’t believe it and they were stopping it all right now,” Poe said.

Brent Poe said the changes won’t work for his mother, who is 86 years old, so he is scrambling to find her a new home.

“What I was shocked by was why didn’t they give notice? They could have given a couple of months’ notice just like they require and help these people relocate,” Brent Poe said.

Arlene Goldberg, 74, has lived at Campo Felice for three years.

“I think what happened yesterday was a bad day. I think it was more culture shock than anything else. It’s also a culture shock for me because we’re going from this to that and it’s totally different,” Goldberg said. “For me, this is a beautiful place to live and I love it here.”

She understands the frustration from some of her neighbors but she said the changes won’t force her out.

“I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay. I really don’t want to leave,” Goldberg said.

In a statement, a company spokesperson said:

“Campo Felice has suffered from financial distress, a dysfunctional business model and operational issues for several years, and that is now – happily – coming to an end. The new owner intends to transform Campo Felice into the highest quality residential building in all of Fort Myers. First and foremost, they are committed to making sure the property’s senior residents feel welcomed to stay. All obligations under their current leases will be honored in full, unless residents opt for a lease modification. The management team is currently setting up one-on-one meetings with each resident to discuss their leases, and make sure their needs are being met – and if they cannot be met, residents will be offered flexibility around lease terminations. In short, the new owner is fully committed to working with current residents, future residents and all other stakeholders in the community to ensure that all are satisfied with the outcome.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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