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Three firms bid to guide development of Midtown neighborhood in Fort Myers

City of Palms Park has been an iconic landmark in Fort Myers since it was constructed nearly 30 years ago.
Lee County
Fort Myers has three bids from companies wanting to guide development of Midtown, around City of Palms Park.

The largest commercial real estate investment firm in the world is ranked first among three companies that want to guide future development in the Midtown area of Fort Myers.

CBRE is the top bidder to analyze and map out improvements for the area just south of downtown, according to a ranking by a group of city officials.

A few years ago CBRE helped Fort Myers plan out futures for city-owned property, including the yacht basin downtown.

The city staff ranked Cushman and Wakefield Commercial Property of Southwest Florida second among the bidders. That firm is headquartered in Lee County.

The city ranked the local firm LSI Companies third.

Eventually the city council will pick one firm to plan and guide the development of Midtown, including the little-used City of Palms Park. The baseball facility was once the spring training home for the Boston Red Sox.

One option could be to tear down the 8,000-seat stadium, built in 1992. But at least one city council member said he favors keeping it, and possibly finding a way to build offices and apartments into the structure.

Gary Tasman, CEO of Cushman and Wakefield, would not say whether the stadium should stay or go.

"I may have feelings about it (the park) but we don't make recommendations based on feelings; we use data," Tasman said. "We are experts in gathering the data and using it to strategize for the future."

An agenda shows that the city council is scheduled to start considering the three bids at a meeting on Tuesday, September 6.

Forty-one-year veteran of television news in markets around the country, including more than 18 years as an anchor and reporter at WINK-TV in southwest Florida.