Estero Planning Board Demands Revamp for Entertainment Complex Design

SUSAN KOSCHALK April 29, 2024

The Estero Planning, Zoning, and Design Board have sent shockwaves through the development circles by demanding a complete redesign of the proposed entertainment complex slated for Williams Road.

High 5, a renowned multigenerational recreational activities provider based in Texas, had presented one of the initial four proposals considered by the village. Their vision encompassed the transformation of a 20-acre property, including the Golf Coast Driving Range and surrounding wooded area, into a vibrant entertainment hub.

The proposed complex, intended to anchor the Village Center Hub, featured a myriad of indoor and outdoor activities, including United States Bowling Congress bowling lanes, duckpin bowling, bocce, outdoor miniaturized golf, axe throwing, laser tag, arcade, virtual reality, and escape rooms. Despite this impressive array, the Estero Planning Board was left underwhelmed by the architectural design presented.

Michael Comparato, CEO of Vieste, the Bonita Springs-based program management firm overseeing the project, unveiled the Mediterranean-style architecture envisioned for the complex. However, board members voiced concerns that the proposed design lacked the iconic status befitting the Village Center.

Board member Jim Wallace lamented, "What I’m looking at here, I find looks like a storage facility or distribution warehouse." He emphasized the need for a design that stands out, urging for elements that command attention and define the village center unmistakably.

Fellow board member Barry Jones echoed this sentiment, advocating for architectural freedom to infuse life and energy into the building, unbound by conventional Mediterranean constraints.

While no formal vote was cast during the public information meeting, the board's consensus was clear: the proposed design fell short of expectations. In response, Comparato assured the board of forthcoming revisions, promising a new iteration that addresses their feedback and delivers a design that truly captures the essence of the Village Center.

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