FGCU, Mote Marine Laboratory Partner

Plus: Dave & Buster's opens soon, the top Florida city to retire is named, United Way exceeds its campaign goal and more.

Need to catch up on Southwest Florida business news? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, April 5


Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to kick off a partnership that addresses the impacts of harmful algal blooms (HAB) to Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life.

This MOU, signed Thursday by Mote President/CEO Michael P. Crosby and FGCU President Michael V. Martin, sets the framework for future collaboration between the two organizations.

Mote and The Water School at FGCU will be pursuing productive scientific research, innovative technology development, and undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on harmful algal blooms. Several opportunities for partnership between the two organizations are outlined in the MOU, with a term of five years and the option to renew.

Thursday, April 4


Dave & Buster’s will open to the public on April 8 at Bell Tower in Fort Myers. The Fort Myers location will be the eighth Dave & Buster’s to open in Florida and the 126th overall.

The opening coincides with the completion of a comprehensive redevelopment that is modernizing Bell Tower with updated architecture, redesigned storefronts, fresh paint and contemporary lighting. Dave & Buster’s is an essential element of Bell Tower’s plan to create an 18-hour destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.

Dave & Buster’s will feature 40,000 square feet of entertainment including fooddrinks, arcade games and the D&B Sports Bar filled with dozens of HDTVs. The environment is also set up for corporate and group events.

Dave & Buster’s will bring more than 220 new jobs to the Fort Myers area, according to a press release.

Wednesday, April 3


Naples has ranked No. 1 in Florida on SmartAsset’s fifth annual study on the Best Places to Retire. The study rates cities by their tax friendliness, recreational and social opportunities for seniors, and availability of medical care. The city scored 13.7 percent in tax friendliness, 28.1 in doctors’ offices per 1,000 people, 9.8 in recreation centers per 1,000 people, 1.1 in retirement centers per 1,000 people, and 51.5 percent for percentage of seniors. Naples received an overall score of 100 on SmartAsset’s Best Place to Retire Index. Additional information on the study, including the methodology and interactive map, can be found here.

Tuesday, April 2


Chris-Tel Construction has received the Sunshine State Safety Award from USF SafetyFlorida for Segment 2 of the Estero Boulevard Improvements project on Fort Myers Beach. The multi-segment infrastructure project, being done for Lee County DOT, encompasses almost six miles along Estero Boulevard.

The scope of work includes improvements to the sanitary sewer and force main, construction of new nine foot sidewalks, construction and installation of a new center lane drainage system, landscaping improvements, trolley stops and roadway reconstruction. Segment 2 of the project runs one mile from Lovers Lane to Strandview Avenue.

The project management team, subcontractors and vendors work in conjunction with seven other contractors who are providing various services for the town of Fort Myers Beach during the construction.

Monday, April 1


The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded the 2018-2019 Campaign, exceeding its coal of $10.3 million. This is the 26th consecutive year the goal has been met or exceeded. Local residents and companies contributed $10.438 million to the campaign–a 4 percent increase.

The theme of the 2018-2019 United Way Campaign, chaired by Linda Doggett and Robert Shearman, was “The Power of U!” The top contributors included Publix, Bonita Bay Community, Bonita Bay Group and Islands of Sanibel & Captiva. All funds raised by the United Way stay in the community. For more information, visit unitedwaylee.org.

In other news…

Three Southwest Florida startup founders share how and why they launched their businesses.

Don’t wait until the end of the week to find out what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.