Smart Planning on Beautiful McGregor Boulevard!
May 29, 2014
What do Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone all have in common?
Chances are if you grew up in the Fort Myers area this is not a hard question to answer. In the late 1800’s these three extraordinary men discovered Fort Myers for themselves and loved it so much that they decided to build winter homes here for their families. These homes are only a few of the beautiful buildings and landmarks that now line the streets of McGregor Boulevard. The Royal Palms that also line the streets gave Fort Myers the nickname “City of Palms”. McGregor Boulevard has the history of many generations of our community’s leaders in one spot.
So, the answer is luxurious and beautiful McGregor Boulevard.
The Edison Home, and its neighbor, The Ford Estate are two of the best known historical landmarks in Southwest Florida. Locals and visitors alike visit these homes each day to see a piece of history. This is where the great minds of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford worked and played. They enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva, not unlike how we still do today! McGregor Boulevard has become a destination for art, culture, and history.
The street is beautiful and inviting. The new McGregor Veterinary Clinic is beautifully constructed on McGregor Boulevard. EnSite is proud to have provided all of the planning, landscape architecture and site engineering for the project. The rezoning of the property was especially unique because this was the first project to be reviewed and approved using Lee County’s recently adopted Compact Communities Planned Development (CCPD) zoning code. This is a form-based code that emphasizes mixed-use and compact development form, rather than a separation uses with large setbacks often seen in sprawl development.
The result is a multi-story building that is placed close to the street edge, framing the McGregor Boulevard corridor. This form of development encourages social interaction in public spaces, or in this case the McGregor sidewalk and adjacent open space that is being provided by the developer. The development has been approved for a mix of uses that include a veterinary clinic, retail and office use, and multi-family residential dwellings.
Running parallel to McGregor Boulevard is the Caloosahatchee Intercoastal Waterway. Not only are we able to enjoy the beautiful parks and landscaping on the street, we also have the breathtaking waterway at our disposal as well. Sitting in the park watching the boats pass by on any day is a treat, however once a year the entire area lights up even brighter. The Edison Festival of Lights is an annual tradition for our community. This is a three week celebration of Fort Myers history that cumulates in the most anticipated parade of the year. This parade helps to celebrate what was once just a cow path, and is now transformed into a historical, cultural must see.
The Edison Festival of Lights is a non-profit organization. Due to their deep ties to our community they are able to provide support in a big way. The annual Festival helps promote and support many different local groups (Thomas Alva Edison Science and Inventors Fairs, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, School Board of Lee County, South Florida Museum of History, Imaginarium, Great Calusa Blueway, ECHO, Boy & Girl Scouts, Lee County Library, Mosquito Control, Mound House, Turtle Time, Red Cross, LARC, Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Ding Darling, Emergency Management Services, Mosquito Control, Shriner’s Hospital, Stay Alive…Just Drive, Lee Memorial Blood Center, Southwest Florida Astronomical Society, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and many more.)http://www.edisonfestival.org/about.html
The history and stories that are home to McGregor Boulevard are deep rooted into our Fort Myers culture. The renovations to McGregor Boulevard have enriched our community, our children, and our history in the making. The new and improved McGregor Boulevard is what makes Fort Myers “The City of Palms”