Fox 4 reporter Briana Brownlee interviewed Alzada Company Vice President of Development Ryan Anderson for her piece, “Downtown Fort Myers high-rise construction post-Hurricane Ian,” which aired on the evening of Sunday, March 19, 2023.
“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."