Apr 12, 2023
ARCHES Bayfront seeks to complete the connection between the beach and the bayfront in downtown Fort Myers Beach, granting public access to a new bay walk
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla., April 14, 2023 – Freeland Management announced today it has entered into an agreement to engage world renowned planning and architecture firm DPZ CoDESIGN to assist in the reimagination and design of the family-owned 4.5-acre parcel located on the bayfront in downtown Fort Myers Beach. Currently occupied by family-owned Moss Marina and the temporary home to U.S. Coast Guard station, the new development – ARCHES Bayfront – will become a leading force in the redevelopment of Fort Myers Beach by enhancing the current downtown along the bayfront to create beach-to-bay access tied together by Old San Carlos Boulevard.
Potential uses include marina, hotel, restaurant, retail, with opportunities for local businesses to thrive. The ARCHES Bayfront concept is guided by four key design principles and objectives:
1) Renewed prosperity and economic benefits
2) Increased connectivity and mobility
3) Environmental resilience and sustainability
4) Improved livability and quality of life
“We chose to engage DPZ CoDESIGN not only because of their world-class reputation and award-winning projects throughout the state of Florida, but also because of their unparalleled commitment to engaging local government, civic leaders and residents in the design process to create a shared vision,” said Ben Freeland, President of Freeland Management. “We view this project as an essential step in the rebuilding of the town we love so much, and we want to make sure it is done in a way that honors the past as we build for the future. DPZ is the perfect partner to help us achieve that goal.”
DPZ CoDESIGN has begun conducting ongoing listening sessions with local government and civic leaders and will reconvene with key stakeholders during a one-week intensive design workshop April 17 - 21. The goal of the workshop is to fully understand the local history, landscape and character of the community prior to drawing up and unveiling a variety of visual scenarios for review and input by the Fort Myers Beach community .
“DPZ is excited to help reimagine the northern edge of downtown Fort Myers Beach with a public space that extends the energy of Old San Carlos Boulevard to the bay and completes the downtown neighborhood that surrounds it,” said Galina Tachieva, Managing Partner of DPZ CoDESIGN.
The open house and community workshop will take place on Monday, May 15 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. For those who are unable to attend on May 15 in person, a virtual component will be made possible via the project website, www.ARCHESBayfront.com. Residents who want to be kept informed about the project can sign up now for updates and news about the project.
About The Freeland Family
Six generations of the Freeland family have called Southwest Florida home. Since 1966 the family has owned and operated many different businesses throughout Southwest Florida, employing thousands of local residents. The family has attended and graduated from many of the local schools, supported non-profits, and been active in its neighborhoods and communities. George Freeland purchased the property and Moss Marina business in 1982. During that time the property was home to the largest Chris-Craft dealership in the world for annual sales, was home to the Big M Casino boats for over 15 years entertaining over a hundred thousand guests, and still serves as the home to Moss Marina and temporary home to United States Coast station. For more information, visit www.ARCHESBayfront.com.
About DPZ CoDESIGN
Founded in 1980, DPZ CoDESIGN is a globally recognized, award winning architecture, urban planning and design firm specializing in the creation of walkable, mixed-use communities that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. The firm received international recognition as the designer of the town of Seaside in the Florida Panhandle, which Time Magazine hailed as “the most astounding design achievement of its era.” With over 300 built projects around the globe, DPZ CoDESIGN enjoys a long history throughout the state of Florida, including downtown Fort Myers. For more information about DPZ CoDESIGN, visit www.dpz.com