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Cape sets groundbreaking for Lake Kennedy Racquet Center

Public invited to Friday's much-anticipated milestone for near $11 million project

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Mar 21, 2023

The city of Cape Coral will hold its much-anticipated groundbreaking for the $10.7 million Lake Kennedy Racquet Center this Friday.

The public is invited to attend the 10 a.m. ceremony for the facility, which will add nearly three dozen pickleball and a dozen tennis courts at the Lake Kennedy Center, 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.

“This facility will provide additional pickleball and tennis courts, which are in high demand, and act as a centralized location for sporting events and tournaments,” said Kaitlyn Mullen, a city spokesperson.

Amenities will include covered seating at the courts, as well as a pro shop, concession stand, and parking.

Originally, the plan was for Charles Perry Partners, the contractor, to build the facility slowly, in two phases, with 16 pickleball and six tennis courts in the first phase, and 16 additional pickleball courts being added later. The base cost for Phase 1 was around $8.7 million.

However, when it was discovered that the city could add another 16 pickleball courts and six more tennis courts, with lighting and covered seating, for $2 million more, the city jumped at the opportunity to construct both phases, with the city council voting unanimously on Jan. 11 to build the entire project at once.

This delivers an incremental cost to deliver a full facility and eliminates future site disruptions, which officials said could have added significantly to the cost.

The city also will be able to host larger tournaments and get greater return on investment and economic impact if larger, national tournaments can be held there.

The project is part of the city’s park’s master plan.

Cape Coral voters, in 2018, approved a $60 million General Obligation Bond to fund the expansion of the city’s parks and recreation amenities. The money, to be paid back over 15 years through a special property tax, is being used to fund major parks and recreation improvements throughout the city.

Lake Kennedy Racquet Center is among the components ranging from neighborhood playgrounds to new parks and amenities.

For more information visit: https://www.capecoral.gov/special_project_plans/parks_and_recreation_go_bond/lake_kennedy.php