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Cape Coral Yacht Club damage exceeds FEMA’s 50% rule

More than a million dollars in repairs are expected for the Cape Coral Yacht Club. The one-time popular spot in the Cape was hit hard by Ian and has been closed ever since.

On Thursday, Cape Coral City Council had a city council retreat. One of the topics was the major repairs that would be needed for the Yacht Club.

Pictures presented to the city council Thursday make the damage to the Yacht Club clear. City Manager Rob Hernandez put the pictures into words.

“Ian caused a considerable amount of damage at the Yacht Club facility overall, not just the main ballroom overall, that really now calls into question Mr. mayor if it’s even feasible to pursue the initial concept that city council approved,” Hernandez said.

The city was getting ready to renovate the Yacht Club when the hurricane hit. Now, Cape Coral City council must scrap those plans because the damage estimate to the ballroom and Rotino Center far exceed FEMA’s 50% rule. That means the city has to rebuild to the current hurricane code.

“Therefore, we know those structures have to be removed and reconstructed,” said Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter.

The original plans called for more green space, a parking garage, and a new harbor master, which was severely damaged in the storm.

Councilmember Tom Hayden knows all these plans take time to formulate and build.

“This would have to be closed for a much longer period of time in order to get all of this done. And we know many residents wouldn’t be happy with that. But what they get in the end would be something that would create a lifetime of memories.”

For city leaders, that means maintaining as much history of the Yacht Club as possible.

There is no timetable for when the new plans will be done and when construction or reconstruction might begin.

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