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Groundbreaking held for The Cove at 47th

By CJ HADDAD - | Aug 24, 2022

Members of Cape Coral leadership at the groundbreaking of The Cove at 47th, a $103 million mixed-use development in the South Cape slated to be completed in 2024. CJ HADDAD

A project the city hopes to be a catalyst for more to come in the South Cape has officially broken ground.

The ceremonial turning the of the dirt for The Cove at 47th took place Wednesday morning at the site at the corner of Cape Coral Parkway East and Southeast 8th Court.

The Cove at 47th is a $103 million mixed-use development that will include 327 luxury apartments, 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail or office space, and a 585-space parking garage with 125 of those spaces reserved for the public.

“Many of us that have been a resident in Cape Coral for many years have been waiting for a project like this to come forward,” said Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter. “I think this is going to jumpstart the development in the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency), and I know we are all very excited to see this project break ground. It’s going to be a transformational project here in Cape Coral. It’s my hope, and the city’s belief, that this project will spur future development in this area, (and) no (doubt) it will.”

The Cove at 47th will also include a steakhouse and sushi concept, Blu Sushi, serving as the project’s anchor tenant featuring a rooftop bar. The project also includes a resident rooftop Sky Deck, resort-style amenities, and will be the first infill residential project with a parking garage in the Cape.

City Manager Rob Hernandez added that this is the first partnership under the city’s new economic development strategy called “Cape Competes.”

“We are investors in this project,” Hernandez said. He told the developers, Flaherty & Collins Properties: “If you’re willing to commit to our community and invest in Cape Coral’s future, we’ll go to the CRA Board of Directors, and we’ll go to City Council, and we’ll tell them, ‘We’ve got to break the mold and we’ve got to do something different and we’ve got to be partners and financial investors in this project because it’s important to the Cape’s future.'”

The CRA and City Council agreed.

“We are true partners in every sense of the word in this particular project,” Hernandez said. “We welcome this project to the South Cape. I think it is going to be a true destination for people who want to live in the South Cape and want a great place to just really hang out and have no need to go over the bridge.”

Amenities and features at The Cove on 47th include an oversized, resort-style heated saltwater pool with lap lanes and beach entry; co-working area with private offices and conference facilities; fitness center featuring a yoga room; the rooftop Sky Lounge that will provide sunset views; pet spa; poolside grilling decks and fire pits; secured garage parking with available private EV charging spaces and Gig-speed Wi-Fi property wide.

Apartments will feature modern designs and finishes, luxury wood tile vinyl, quartz countertops, LED lighting, in-unit full size washer and dryer, and private balconies. Three penthouse units include upgraded appliances, finishes, lighting packages and a built-in wine refrigerator.

Chief Executive Officer of Flaherty & Collins, Dave Flaherty, said with construction costs what they are in the current climate, the plans for the project came in over budget. He said instead of scaling back or even having the plan fold, he and his team doubled-down and made the project larger.

“We know the demand is here. People want to be here,” Flaherty said. “The garage is bigger, there are more units. It took us a little bit longer, but it’s where we are today. The economic impact is even greater than when we first started looking at the deal.”

Flaherty said the project will generate real estate taxes of approximately $1 million per year. He estimates that over the first five years, the development will have an economic impact of $200 million. The project will create hundreds of construction jobs and once built, 165 permanent jobs.

“We’ll be putting 500 people with strong, disposable incomes right in the heart of downtown Cape Coral who will be spending their money going out and about,” Flaherty said. “This goes to bolster a vision of a walkable, bikeable, connected, sustainable city, where top talent seeks to live and businesses choose to locate.”

Flaherty & Collins Properties expects that with a focus on studio, one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, The Cove at 47th will see a higher percentage of young professionals and empty nesters.

“We’re thrilled to get this incredible project started,” said Vice President of Development for Flaherty & Collins Properties and lead project developer, Brian Prince. “To get shovels in the ground on a project that’s going to have such an impact on Cape Coral by bringing an attractive housing option is really exciting. The city has been great as a project partner to help make this project a reality.

“There is so much growth occurring in the Southwest Florida market, and Cape Coral is leading the charge. We plan to plant some roots in Cape Coral and be a very active developer in the market long term.”

CRA Board Chair Linda Biondi called it a great day for the Cape.

“This is going to kick-start things,” she said. “We did the Streetscape hoping that something like this would happen, and this is what’s happened. I can’t wait to see this project start.”

Nita Whaley, Business Recruitment/Retention specialist for the city’s Economic & Business Development Team, said, “This is a transformational project for us. The amount of incentive versus what the economic impact is, there’s just no comparison.”

Whaley said for The Cove on 47th, there is an induction of money from the CRA and City Council to help fund the parking garage.

“We were going to build a parking garage in South Cape anyways, so we will use the (tax increment financing) funds that we would have normally given to them to pay for that. And we can bond it at a lot lower rate. We needed that downtown parking so bad.”

This may not be the last Cape residents will see from Flaherty & Collins Properties.

“We hope to be doing more in the downtown South Cape area, as well as doing a lot more throughout Cape Coral,” Flaherty said. “We love it here and we’ve got big plans to continue to develop.”

Deangelis Diamond is the general contractor, with Baker Barrios serving as the architect of the project. Financing is provided by First Financial Bank and Huntington Bank. The Cove at 47th expects to open first units to residents in roughly 16 months, with full project completion estimated for late summer 2024.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj