City of Palms Park, former Boston Red Sox spring home and current Florida SouthWestern College home field, would be torn down to make way for a new Fort Myers mixed-use development.
Under a plan considered by Fort Myers city council members, the 1992 ballpark would be torn down to make way for a mixed-use town center development that would include 600,000 square feet of office and commercial use and 4,000 residential units. The Fort Myers Midtown area, with City of Palms Park as a prime component, comprises some 240 acres south of the downtown area.
Lee County and Fort Myers have struggled with a use of City of Palms Park since the Red Sox moved to JetBlue Park for Grapefruit League spring training. Plans to convert the ballpark to a natatorium and a spring-training home for the Washington Nationals ultimately failed because of a lack of country funding, with the facility underutilized as home to the Florida SouthWestern College Bucs baseball year and other youth tournaments.
We are not talking about anything happening quickly. From the News-Press:
The plan includes three new public parking structures, as well as space for art galleries, a new museum and a community playhouse.
The initial development phase could occur within the next four to six years, the plan shows. It would include the development of the town center in place of the ballpark, as well as housing production and transportation improvement.
The final phase of the plan is scheduled to take place in six to seven years, the plan shows.
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