North Port’s Warm Mineral Springs is set to reopen as the potential for development looms
It comes as some residents and park goers push back on a developer's proposed plan to build a hotel, restaurant, and more on the park's land.
More than six months after it was closed due to damage sustained during Hurricane Ian, Warm Mineral Springs Park in North Port is set to reopen April 7.
The reopening comes as some residents and park goers push back on a developer's proposed plan to build a hotel, restaurant, and more on the park's land.
The park is reopening at 9 a.m., with the only approval still needed coming from the Florida Department of Health. North Port Marketing and Engagement Manager Laura Ansel said she expects that final check to be complete within the next two days.
In the months it took to repair the park, Ansel said they had to clear debris, complete fixes to the pump house to restore water, erect a modular admissions building and a portable restroom trailer, restore power from downed power lines, and clear paved walkways to make sure the facility was still ADA compliant.
“And then we had to hire staff, so we had to hire and onboard new lifeguards and conduct the training,” Ansel said. “All of this was happening concurrently over the last few months.”
And all of the fixes come as the city has been looking into working with a developer to build more amenities on the land.
Warm Mineral Springs Development Group LLC was the only developer to submit a proposal, despite the city extending the RFP period for three business days.
The current plan being proposed by the group would include a 250-room hotel, 300 residential units, a wellness center, a restaurant, and a Native American History Museum.
The proposal has caught backlash from longtime visitors of the park, as well as environmentalists who are concerned about the impact of heavy development on the land itself, and an offshoot of the spring that serves as a warmwater refuge for manatees during colder winter months.