The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners unanimously approved conceptual plans for the city’s first pocket park at 2208 First St., next to The Franklin Shops.
The city received a private donation of more than $330 thousand to go toward beautification projects in February of this year.
It is called a pocket park, a type of mini-park first introduced in Europe that would sit along First Street in downtown Fort Myers, across from Ford’s Garage restaurant and surrounded by other downtown businesses and attractions.
The property was once home to a historic wood-frame building built in 1900 and later demolished in 2019 because of a termite infestation. The building housed many restaurants throughout its years, the last being the popular Ida’s Bon Appiteatery.
Elements for the park include permanent and other seating options with tables and chairs, a water fountain with a pet bowl station, and the ability for multi-purpose use for special events or temporary vendor spaces. The park will also incorporate decorative architecture, shaded green space with palms and other plants, and they will keep the mural along the Franklin shops first painted in 2021.
AMA First Capital LLC, which owns the property, determined that redevelopment of the site will not happen in the near future and agreed to lease the property to the CRA to be developed as a public amenity. The CRA’s 15-year lease was approved by the CRA Commissioners on Dec. 14, 2022.
A rendering of the landscape plan is here: