Downtown Fort Myers
DPZ worked with Genesis Group to complete a master plan for this 540-acre study area in downtown Fort Myers. While the previous master plan, prepared in 1986, had succeeded in spurring reinvestment in the downtown area, the following years saw dramatic changes in the local politics and demographics. To address this new reality more effectively, the City retained DPZ to prepare a fresh and cohesive development program that could be implemented through public and private partnerships.
The DPZ master plan reflects a new way of approaching urban planning and development, one that views the collaboration of public and private actions as a continuous and evolving process that begins months before the design team’s efforts and continues for years afterwards. The plan aims to identify general initiatives and specific projects that will maximize private investment while enhancing the public realm of downtown.
The master plan was used in conjunction with three separate documents: the SmartCode, the Fort Myers Retail Analysis, and the Downtown Fort Myers Streetscape Plan. The SmartCode is an alternative-zoning ordinance that can be implemented as either a replacement to existing ordinances or as an optional alternative to function in parallel with existing ordinances.
The plan reflects 17 specific interventions. These are pilot projects that highlight areas the City should encourage in its efforts to improve the downtown.