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TPI returns for final vote

May 16, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

TPI Hospitality will return to the Fort Myers Beach Town Hall Monday, May 21.

It will be the day Town Council will vote officially to approve or deny the resort-beach club complex.

TPI-FMB got a 5-0 vote at its first hearing following a two-day, 14-hour discussion between town staff, the applicant team and Town Council members, along with numerous public comments on the project. The 5-0 vote sent the project on to its second hearing, at which the language of the changes will be cleaned up.

Consensus on the first hearing came after several compromises were met.

At the April 9 and 10 meeting, council came ready to review a 290-room resort hotel on the bay side of the property, located at the base of the bridge. The plan included a 55-foot tall buildings, a business center, two pedestrian bridges, a hotel gift shop in the Ocean Jewel/Chamber of Commerce building, the public restaurant and the beach club capable of holding 900 people.

During the presentation, TPI-FMB developer Tom Torgerson offered up a scaled-down version: 254 rooms, no business center, and only one pedestrian bridge.

Without the business center, a new view corridor opened up for pedestrians walking to the beach.

The deal was further sweetened when Council Member Joanne Shamp asked the developer to "give" the Ocean Jewel property to the town as a trade for the added density - and Torgerson said yes.

Council Member Dennis Boback wanted to see the total height scaled down as far as possible. The developer team committed to a total height of 50 feet, and promised to see if the height could be further reduced by the second hearing.

Torgerson also told the council he was finalizing the purchase of another piece of property at 17365 San Carlos Blvd., off-island, where he planned to build an apartment complex in the future. In the meantime, he said he'd turn it into an overflow parking lot for the resort, in case the 370 parking spaces planned for the ground level were not sufficient.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall.



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