Mixed-Use Moves Ahead In Fort Myers
In some parts of Florida, loud concerns are being voiced regarding overbuilding by developers and stagnation of home sales.
But in Fort Myers, Fla., Stock Development is bucking the trend and is well under way on construction of Phase 1 of Paseo, a mixed use and master planned single-family and multifamily development located near Interstate 75.
|Photo at right: Subcontractor A to Z Underground uses a PC50MR during utility installation operations.|
The project, which is being developed on a 350-acre site, will eventually consist of two phases including a total of 1,200 units. Phase 1, currently under construction, includes not only a variety of residences (casitas, townhomes and flats) but also the project's Village Center. The site layout features a significant amount of green space as well as a number of lakes and ponds.
Phase 2, which will be developed in the future, lies to the north of Phase 1. It is connected to Phase 1 by a 600-foot-long bridge which spans an area of wetlands. This phase will eventually be the site of about 250 estate homes of 3,500 to 4,500 square feet apiece.
The Paseo project benefits from its own Community Development District (CCD), a special unit of local government which will maintain the community's common areas. The Paseo CCD will have oversight of the community's surface water management program, water and sewer facilities, roads, landscaping, and other required infrastructure and facilities.
Charlie Conrad, Stock Development's regional construction manager for Lee and Charlotte Counties, is serving as project manager at Paseo.
The Village Center
A centerpiece of Paseo will be its 26,000-square-foot Village Center. Pro-Frame Contracting, Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, is serving as the shell contractor on this portion of the project, with Wendy Carter as superintendent. When completed early in 2008, this two-story facility will include not only a pool, gym and spa but also a theater, restaurants and other facilities. Volleyball, basketball, bocce ball and tennis courts are also part of the master plan.
The Village Center structure utilizes poured concrete slabs on the ground level and a lightweight concrete roof. Exterior walls are of concrete block, with the blocks' cells being steel reinforced and filled with concrete to meet current standards for withstanding storm-force winds.
One of the features of Paseo is that it borders natural preserves and protected wetlands. The developer has given particular attention to protecting those natural areas, even going so far as to construct a major concrete bridge between Phases 1 and 2 to carry vehicular traffic over one of the wetlands.
This new concrete bridge, with eight spans and a total length of 600 feet, spans Six Mile Slough, a protected wetland area. It is constructed on concrete piles. Thomas Marine Construction, Fort Myers, handled construction of the bridge, which features decorative stone work on its side rails.
Not surprisingly, landscape construction is a key part of a project such as this one.
Among the highlights of the landscaping plan are approximately 15 ponds and lakes, including a large lake in front of the Village Center. This lake, which partially surrounds the community's pool, includes a fishing pier.
Plantings are also a key part of the overall project, and landscape contractors such as Tropics North Landscaping, Miami, are handling placement of numerous trees, shrubs and other landscape elements.
"Overall, we believe this will be a development that is unique, new and different," says Conrad. And in today's challenging Florida market, that may prove to be a key to success.