Proposed City Marketplace Plan Withdrawn

Back to the Drawing Board for Marketplace Plan

Updated September 4, 2022, for TEAM Talk.

Geis Construction, Inc. recently proposed a densely populated multipurpose development in Punta Gorda’s city center. The developer was asking the city to revise its zoning codes and give up many amenities in and around city center site. Geis presented its proposal at a contentious August 22 Planning Commission meeting. In a split vote, the Planning Commission did not recommend that Council move forward with this project. On September 1, 2022, Geis Companies withdrew their Planned Development application with the city. 

Why TEAM Punta Gorda voted no on the Geis Marketplace plan 

  Published in the Sun Newspapers Sunday, August 28, 2022.

It has been 18 years since hurricane Charley destroyed Punta Gorda’s     historic downtown. In the intervening years we have seen a great deal of development in our community, and many changes to the economy of the region.

Even though development is happening again throughout the community, the most visible and economically significant parcel of land, our city center, has remained empty. It has been used as frequent festival site, but no permanent structures have even come close to approval.

Geis Construction, Inc. has proposed a densely populated plan to build a multipurpose development in city center.

Geis is asking the city to revise its zoning codes and to also give up many amenities in and around city center site. At this week’s Planning Commission meeting, Geis presented its proposal. It has previously been seen by the public, as reported The Daily Sun. There are five buildings of varying heights, mostly residential.

In a split vote, the Planning Commission did not recommend that Council move forward with this project.

TEAM Punta Gorda developed the 2005 Citizens Master plan which shaped much of what we see in our town today. Most recently, the city worked with the community to develop a new master plan to guide development. The city and the citizens worked hard to develop these standards, which will likely be code by November when our new land development regulations are crafted by city staff and City Council.

We think this proposal falls short and here is why:

  • Architectural standards: We believe that anything built on this lot should comply with the spirit of those guidelines, even if not yet part of our building code.
  • Density: The 84 units currently allowed will become 400. That’s a lot of residents for city center.
  • Minimal retail: Our tax base is already skewed heavily towards residential. This property has the potential to generate commercial revenue for the city that will be lost under this proposal.

Also, the community would enjoy seeing our downtown developed with increased retail.

  • Parking: Imagine the parking problems once the site is filled with these five buildings and 400 units.
  • Public Safety: The resulting increased population is too much for the site. Add in the impact of development in other parts of the city and it will be a strain on existing public works, fire, and police.

Impact fees are a onetime revenue source meant to mitigate this impact, but the long-term cost of these services will be ongoing.

  • Public Access: Public access to a central site will be limited, despite the proposed easement for Christmas Tree Corner. Greenspace and walkability are missing.

TEAM Punta Gorda has always stood for the smalltown charm that makes our town great. We want to see this site developed, and that is long overdue. However, the TEAM Punta Gorda board is unanimous in its opinion that the proposed development is inconsistent with the Community Master Plan, and the more recently proposed form-based codes guiding development in the City Center.

We are recommending that City Council accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation, and vote no.

Nancy Johnson is the CEO of TEAM Punta Gorda. TEAM Punta Gorda is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Ideas or questions can be addressed to or visit our website,