Downtown Fort Myers’ old Amtel is about to get naked

Posted by Tyler Robinson on October 13, 2015

Campo Felice was recently featured in an article in the News-Press.

The tall, pink eyesore people see while coming over the Edison Bridge into Fort Myers won’t be pink for much longer.

In the next couple days, folks will start to see some major changes on the former Sheraton Harbor Place turned Ramada turned Amtel Marina Hotel, which has sat vacant along the riverfront for several years. And it all starts with removing the pink color.

Construction crews will coat the building with a chemical and let it sit overnight, and the following day, they will come back and strip the outer layer of paint off the building, said Rebekah Barney, director of operations. Crews will then power wash the entire building, giving them a “clean slate” for a new coat of paint.

The chemical, Dumond Smart Strip, is a water-based paint stripper that is eco-friendly and 100 percent biodegradable, according to the product website, and a plastic wrap will cover the building to keep anything from falling onto the property or getting into the environment. By the time crews are ready for the power wash, Barney said not much paint will be left over. But if any paint were to fall, it would be trapped onto the property.

“There’s quite a bit of protocol,” Barney said, adding that nothing would get into storm drains or wind up in the river.

Until the building gets a fresh coat of paint, it should be an off-white color.

While this is going on, the grand ballroom will also be demolished, she said, but people won’t be able to tell from the outside.

The old Amtel building sold for $13.5 million in January to Bob MacFarlane, a developer with The Pittman Group. He plans to convert the 24-story building into a 55-and-older independent rental community called Campo Felice, a project slated to cost $50 million.

The new community will have 309 apartments that people will rent monthly or annually and 31 hotel rooms on 22 floors, with various residential amenities.

Campo Felice (pronounced fel-lee-chay) should be completed by December 2016, MacFarlane said.

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