“All of these power lines that you see on Bay Street and Lee Street will hopefully be going underground,” Anderson said as he showed Brownlee around the development site of The Irving Downtown, located on the northeast corner of Bay and Lee Streets in Downtown Fort Myers.
Hurricane Ian still lingers for development companies like Alzada building high-rises along the Caloosahatchee River, says Brownlee, who also interviewed downtown residents living in structures built in the 1960s – before the Florida Building Code was introduced – who experienced severe flooding and extensive damage.
Anderson noted that structures built before the Florida Building Code went into place suffered catastrophic damage during Hurricane Ian, whereas newer buildings – built according to newer, more stringent storm-safe standards, which the building code continues to update – incurred little to no damage.
For new buildings like The Irving Downtown, Anderson said Alzada will use a two-prong system to protect against storm damage, particularly flood waters.
"We have a passive wet flooring system, where there are actually flood vents on the ground floor and the garage. The provisions are made to basically allow for it [water] to pass through the building without causing any damage," Anderson said. "Where our lobby will be located, there will be dry proofing or mechanically fastened floodproofing panels, that will basically repel that water away, protecting the interior of the building."
The Irving appears on FOX 4 Downtown high-rise piece
Southwest Florida FOX 4 reporter Briana Brownlee included The Irving Downtown in a recent piece on new high-rises coming to Downtown Fort Myers, Florida.
The Irving will sit on the corner near the intersection of Bay and Lee Street, in the heart of the River District.
"The Irving team is currently working with the City of Fort Myers and local utility providers to establish the equipment easements necessary to remove the existing overhead power lines from the project site, while the final vertical construction permit drawings are under review," stated Jeff Barney, Vice President of the Alzada Company. "Site work and other utility permits have already been approved and once issued, we hope to officially break ground this fall."
The 12-story building will have 98 units and Barney said there is already a waitlist.
"While The Irving is technically a high-rise building, it’s also technically a mid-rise building. With the Edison Grand and Royal Palm Towers just northeast of The Irving, and the Luminary just down Bay Street to the west, The Irving will add some height to Downtown, but no higher than some of its nearby neighbors," Barney stated.
On March 2, 2023, The Irving Downtown was featured in an article in the Fort Myers News-Press detailing four upcoming high-rises in Downtown Fort Myers, written by News-Press reporter Samantha Neely. The following is an excerpt.
As someone who has worked in and around the River District for two decades, Alzada Company President Rebekah Barney hopes the future residents of The Irving will truly feel at home.
“The Irving represents integrity of design, integrity of community and infrastructure and the environment. I’ve always intended The Irving to improve the waterfront and the downtown area in ways both seen and unseen, creating that synergistic reciprocity between residents and local businesses, a way to put more people in downtown in a responsible way," Barney said. "We want to set a new standard for eco-friendly, community-focused growth and development in Downtown Fort Myers and Southwest Florida.”
The full article is available online for subscribers only at News-Press.com.