Revamping a retail destination.
Built in 1981, Bell Tower Shops established a reputation in Fort Myers as a vibrant retail destination. As time passed, the original design proved to be no match for the rapidly changing retail environment — where, today, it’s all about the experience. Entries were narrow, and shops were buried under large overhangs. The outdated design discouraged both shoppers and tenants from wanting to stay.
In 2012, RSP was selected to renovate a departing big box anchor tenant building into a mixed-use space. However, while touring the site, our team was inspired by the entire shopping center’s potential. We recommended expanding the project scope to take a fresh look at the whole development. We sketched out our impromptu ideas with Madison Marquette, a long-time client and trusted partner. A light bulb went on, and a comprehensive redevelopment began.
“Our design goal was to fix the problems and tell a new story,” said Bill Wittrock, Associate Principal with RSP’s Retail Studio. “By improving the experience through the design, we will make it easier and more enjoyable, for people to shop and stay longer.”
The 343,000 SF shopping center transformation broke ground in March 2018 and is nearly complete. Our design opens and expands the entries, removes overhangs and creates higher storefronts to improve sight lines and daylighting. Fresh paint, purposeful lighting and complementary landscaping will bring individual shops back to life. Even the original bell, located at the main entry, will be upgraded into an LED light feature. A revitalized center court with capacity for events will generate activity, creating a welcoming destination for people of all ages to shop. And stay longer.