Approval could come as soon as the end of the year, officials said.
If it passes muster, the stripped land FGCU President
A dock with about two dozen slips is planned to serve a 350-acre man-made lake left over from a former mining operation. A water taxi is envisioned to shuttle students from the main campus to CenterPlace, which may have classroom space as well as housing.
Essentially, it will follow the New Urbanist principles that have inspired numerous walkable communities in
"It will be nothing like anything else in this area," promised
The project is bigger than FGCU's entire 750-acre site; the developer plans to donate 40 acres to FGCU for campus expansion.
CenterPlace will have multifamily housing designed to be affordable to FGCU students and employees as well as residents not connected with the university.
Although plans for housing still are in the conceptual stage, Schrotenboer said the market-rate housing will probably range from 950 to 1,500 square feet; units for students likely will be smaller.
Because the project probably won't break ground until mid-2015, it's too soon to know what the units will sell or rent for, he added.
About 1,950 units are planned; roughly half will be student housing.
FGCU will connect with the new community through walking paths and a new road on the south end of the development, connecting it to the east end of campus.
In addition to the road serving FGCU, there will be five other entrances to CenterPlace off
CenterPlace is a continuation of a Lee Comprehensive Plan Amendment for a project previously known as
Schrotenboer was the former president of Alico's land development arm, responsible for its 139,000 acres of holdings.
So while there have been some changes, the new plan for CenterPlace has many of the elements of the old one for
"At first blush, it looks like they have made a good attempt to address our concerns," O'Connor said.
He particularly likes the emphasis on student and affordable housing.
FGCU Vice President
While development costs have yet to be determined, a study by
Annual property taxes will increase from
Road impact fees will help pay for widening
But some people worry that such a massive project could have some deleterious environmental effects, both in terms of habitat for animals currently living on the site and runoff from the new development.
Noting that all development north and east of
"Bonita floods -- it gets everything from everywhere else," he said.
But Schrotenboer said his company will be improving what's now a disturbed and degraded site from mining operations, and that it will be mitigating wetlands lost to development.
Open space will make up 170 acres of the site, including a 68-acre park on what is now barren land with unstable soil.
"When we're done, it will be a place for people to play Frisbee and have farmer's markets," he said. "It will be the heart of the community."
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