Southward Village Update 06/13/24

Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers begins demolition of Southward Village



The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers has begun demolition of the existing Southward Village community to make way for new, updated affordable housing options for the greater Dunbar community.


The Housing Authority gathered with community leaders, project partners and supporters on May 1 to kick off efforts to transform the 37-acre, 199-unit public housing community into a mixed-income community. The large-scale revitalization is part of the Greater Dunbar Initiative, a comprehensive transformation plan that aims to improve existing affordable housing units for residents while expanding choices, creating market-rate amenities, and adding new mixed-income housing to create a resilient and healthy neighborhood moving forward.


The project includes the creation of at least 465 mixed-income units across Southward Village and an additional site on Cleveland Avenue to meet the growing needs of Southward Village residents and the surrounding community. Construction at the Southward Village site will begin in the first quarter of 2025.


“This marks the start of transformational change for the greater Dunbar community,” said Marcia Davis, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers. “The demolition of Southward Village is a major milestone in the Greater Dunbar Initiative and will pave the way for our efforts to bring improved housing and amenities to our residents.”


The Greater Dunbar Initiative ties together market preferences, resident needs and community reinvestment to provide an equitable, desirable and proud neighborhood that meets the needs of all residents. The project is being completed in partnership with national affordable housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar.


“We’re in the business of transforming communities across the country, and by pulling together local contractors and architects, we are able to bring the Housing Authority’s vision into reality,” said Sandra Seals, senior vice president with McCormack Baron Salazar. “There is nothing like helping families imagine a better place to raise their kids and their families, and we are thrilled to be part of this effort to provide safe, decent housing with modern amenities for local residents.”


Suffolk Construction is the contractor for the project, Besselo Architects is the architect and Morris-Depew Associates is the engineer.


“Suffolk is proud to partner with the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers to leverage our expertise in complex builds on this exciting project that will provide modern, quality homes for the community, ” said Ben Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Gulf Coast at Suffolk. “The new Southward Village will transform the neighborhood and provide housing options that will help to elevate the standard of living for the residents of Fort Myers.”


The Greater Dunbar Initiative is funded in part through a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


To learn more about The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers and the Greater Dunbar Initiative, visit or call 239-344-3220.


About the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers


The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves as a catalyst for increasing access to safe, stable and sustainable housing and to help develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. For more information, visit or call 239-344-3220.

Photo: Suffolk

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