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The city of Fort Myers passed a resolution Monday granting a legacy strip of downtown land measuring 5 feet wide and 38 inches long to a developer.  

In exchange, the developer of The Irving, a nine-story, 63-unit apartment complex at 2401 Bay Street, will make enhancements to the adjacent city park and pay tribute to the Vivas family.  

The Vivas family had owned the property in the early 1900s until 1957.  

2401 Bay Street LLC, owned by Rebekah Barney, has agreed to recognize the Vivas name on various floor plans, name the amenity deck after the Vivas family and name the parking garage and entrance to the garage after the family. It will say “Vivas Court entrance.”  

The developer also will write an editorial about the Vivas family and create a video about the family and its impact on the history of Fort Myers, as well as enlist the Naples Botanical Garden to assess Park of the Palms and make an improvements list over the next 45 days and finalize those improvements within three months.  

Jim Vivas Pridgen, the great-great-grandson of Joseph and Christiana Vivas, said he was happy with the settlement. His ancestors gifted to the city the land that become “Park of the Palms” as well as the parcel that is slated to become The Irving.  

But The Irving parcel ended up back in the private sector, and the park, Pridgen said, could use some more funding and care.  

“We just wanted to make sure the park was taken care of with the family’s name for generations to come for the enjoyment of all,” Pridgen said.  

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