Water shortages could delay Southwest Florida building development

Published: May 5, 2022 6:32 PM EDT
Updated: May 5, 2022 8:07 PM EDT

A major hurdle for Southwest Florida developers isn’t getting lower. Questions about the availability of freshwater could delay or even cancel some major projects in the region.

“We are taking ownership of this problem,” Kevin Anderson the Mayor of Fort Myers said. “We’re taking responsibility for solving the problem. And we are not going to hide from it.”

But does the Mayor think this will deter developers from wanting to build in this city?

“I don’t think it will deter them may be delay more than deter. I mean, we are an attractive area. And so many of them want to be here developing. And I think once they get back to their comfort level the demands can be met. And we’ll be back in business,” the Mayor answered.

The Montage at Midtown development is scheduled to break ground this year. Joe Bonora, President of Catalyst Development, learned about water concerns and said the project could be delayed.

According to Gulf Shore Business, the Montage at Midtown will be a 321-unit complex. Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency reports the Montage at Midtown will cost $72 million dollars.

Catalyst Development hasn’t completed its permitting process yet. Bonora says they were going to submit most of their paperwork tomorrow.

So, the Montage at Midtown can begin construction. But, the city cannot guarantee at this time they’re going to have running water when they’re done.

Catalyst Development remains confident in the city of Fort Myers. That’s because the city says they have a plan for this. Marty Lawing, the Fort Myers city manager, told Wink News exclusively yesterday, “They’re going to be drilling new wells,” and “all of the existing storage tanks are full of water.”