TPI Hospitality projects move forward
Two projects of TPI Hospitality, one on Fort Myers Beach, and the other off the island, are making strides in a positive manner.
John Gucciardo, spokesperson for TPI Hospitality, said they are looking to begin the renovation work on the Cigar Hut building, which is going to be incorporated in the Margaritaville Resort project. The renovation work is slated to start sometime in November.
“In mid-January you are going to start to see the demolition of the rest of the building and the construction to follow shortly thereafter,” he said.
The tentative opening and operating date of Margaritaville is scheduled for January 2022.
The group also experienced some positive news following the Sept. 25 rezoning hearing in front of the Lee County hearing examiner for the Beaches Gateway Village project.
The project would include 15 acres at the intersection of San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road, which rounds the 7-11. He explained that the parcel of land will have frontage on San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road.
Gucciardo said the hearing lasted for about an hour, which is pretty unusual for it to be that quick.
He anticipates a decision from the hearing examiner in about three to four weeks, which will then go forth before the Lee County Commissioners. Gucciardo said they are pretty confident they will receive a positive response from the hearing examiner.
If they receive the go ahead for the project, the next step Gucciardo said would be to confirm the development plans for the freestanding Homewood Suites hotel, the separate component of the parking facility that will service Margaritaville, as well as the residential piece for the rental housing.
He said they are still playing around with numbers to see if they can bring in low market rentals.
“We haven’t finalized the plan, but I would say between 90 to 150 rental units,” Gucciardo said.
The hope is to start construction on the Beaches Gateway Village project after the first of the year with the anticipation of it being completed before Margaritaville finishes.
“We have to make sure the parking facility is available for when it opens,” he said.
When TPI Hospitality was in the approval process with the Town Council of Fort Myers Beach they shared concern about adequate parking. Gucciardo said they added a condition that they provide 75 off-site parking spots.
“That is what we are doing, a supplement to parking on the island. It will primarily be used by Margaritaville employees and for people visiting the water park,” he said. “We will be providing shuttle operations for the employees. The proximity for that property is right around the block from the Lee Tran Park and Ride. We are working with Lee Tran to basically upgrade their trolley stop.”
TPI Hospitality is enhancing the trolley stop by putting in a full shelter, benches, garbage facility and bike rack at Beaches Gateway Villages.
“It helps to reduce some of the car traffic going out to the beach,” he said.
Gucciardo said things are moving along on the Margaritaville side, and they are starting to clear hurtles with the villages project.
“Keep a look out for coming soon signs,” he said.