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Cape Coral may get Army reserve center

By Staff | Sep 4, 2010

Cape Coral could be home to a new Army Reserve Center.

The U.S. Army Reserve has designated a 15 acre site in Northeast Cape Coral, across the street from the new VA Hospital, as the preferred site for the new reserve center.

The U.S. Army Reserve has begun its due diligence with the intent of acquiring the property, an undeveloped lot on Corbet Road just north of Diplomat Parkway, according to a press release from the city.

“Things seem to be moving in the right direction,” Mayor John Sullivan said. “I’m optimistic we’ll be able to do it.”

Sullivan said he spoke an individual who’s retired army personnel who told him the U.S. Army Reserves wouldn’t be taking these steps unless they were serious about acquiring the property and building the reserve center.

“They wouldn’t do that (due diligence) unless they’re pretty certain this is a viable community,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also credited the work of Councilmember Bill Deile, who has worked closely with the Army’s site selection team as they visited several Cape Coral locations.

Deile said the synergy between the reserve center and the new VA Hospital will create opportunity for other development and jobs in that section of the city.

“It will attract satellite businesses, some that serves the needs of the medical community, and some that serves the general needs of the workforce,” Deile said.

He also hopes, and suspects, that full- time employees will become full-time citizens of the community, adding that he’s already received inquiries from people who serve in the reserves about available housing.

“I suppose the people that work there full time will be most interested in moving here,” he added.

The Center will include a 37,500- square-foot training building, a 7,650- square-foot vehicle maintenance shop, a 1,500-square-foot unheated storage facility and parking for approximately 300 U.S. Army Reserve personnel.

It will also be the new home of the Fort Myers National Guard Unit now based in Fort Myers, according to a press release from the city.