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Hurricane Updates

I will update this page as I get new information about Ft. Myers Beach, and Cornerstone as we work toward putting our island back together. 

We can't wait to welcome our guests back!

Jodi

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June 14, 2024

 

I know it has been a while since I gave an update, so here it goes.

After another slow down of work a meeting was called with our General Contractor this morning.  I was able to attend along with our condo board.  To make a very long story, short.  I am feeling like anything that could go wrong, has.  After all the windows and sliders were installed, this past week's rain has exploited the poor installment of them.  So, we are having them taken out and reinstalled correctly.  A few other items need to be redone too.  We have a new company installing these items.  It has been an incredibly long few months since we got the permit.  After meeting with our new project manager today, I feel good about the direction of the repairs, but there are still many.  I asked her when she thought we would realistically be able to open, her response was, "Sometime in September." to which I asked, September 1 or 30?  She replied, "If we have no more problems since we just entered hurricane season, Doors open October 1."  Obviously this was not what I wanted to hear, but I'm thankful for her honesty and an answer.  It will be two full years since Hurricane Ian stole our happy place.  

 

With that said, if you have a hold in August or September, we will likely not be ready for you.  I can't even begin to tell you how it pains me to have to write another email cancelling holds.  I feel terrible for all of you who were looking forward to coming this summer, and find it unbelievable we are sitting here still waiting.  If you have not been down since the hurricane, the time it has taken to get back open is telling of how truly devastated the island was.   For comparison, if you remember Hurricane Charlie, which was a smaller but very damaging hurricane, we were able to open in a few months.  As mentioned in my other online updates, Ft. Myers Beach has been very resilient in all the chaos.  Times square looks different, but it's getting its groove back a little more each day.  The town just presented its conceptual drawings for the rebuild and many new properties have gone before the LPA and town council for approval. Old and new favorites have reopened.  Beach Talk Radio is a great place to get the most updated, accurate information!  They are on FaceBook, but have a stand alone website too. 

 

On a more personal note, the previous property managers have decided to retire, and offered me the accounts at Cornerstone.  The condo board approved us, so I am very excited to take the next step in this adventure! If you have stayed with us before, you likely met James.  I am happy to say he will be back with us!  I have not been very available by phone due to everything going on.  Email works a little better, since I can reply to those almost any time.  Once things slow down a bit, I look forward to having all those fun vacation conversations again!

Jodi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 9, 2024

Things are progressing!  We have all new windows and doors.  Electrical work is being done for the pool equipment and elevator this week.  Interior work is scheduled to begin next week.  Old light fixtures are being removed from the exterior and stucco work is scheduled as well.  For those asking, it sounds like there will be new couches, mattresses and bedding in the condos!   The final selections are being made and presented to the owners very soon.  Really the best news is that things are progressing on a consistent basis.  Our best estimate is a reopening date in August.  A few other changes for our returning guests- you will now pick up your keys at Cornerstone!  You will no longer have to make that extra stop and we will have James on site to welcome you and assist you.  

April 20, 2024

Yesterday I got an update and was able to get some sort of updated timeline on reopening.  The latest estimate is four to five months.  This puts us around Labor Day.  The president of the condo association said he is hopeful for "sometime in August".  So any spring/summer hold will have to be cancelled.  This was not the news I was hoping for, but I am glad to have some sort of solid estimate.  As mentioned in previous posts, once we finally got our permit in February,  we hit a stall with our contractor.  I am not sure what all the reasons are, but very little work was done in March.  Now that we seem to have a somewhat consistent crew on the property, work is slowly being done.  The exterior stucco work has been a concern.  Even though the building looks ok from a distance, small cracks were exploited by Ian and Idalia that were initially missed in early inspections.  Water forced into those cracks got behind the stucco and caused delamination of portions of the stucco.  This is a problem on a few fronts.  Without addressing this properly, the stucco will deteriorate and become a safety problem since it is not all fully attached to the blocks beneath it.  More scaffolding has been put up, new windows have been installed. I want to assure you we have and continue to closely monitor any water intrusion into the condos and take all measures to professionally mitigate and repair water/moisture damage.  

The good news is my fall/winter 2024 and spring 2025 holds seem to be in good shape, but as we have learned anything is possible.  You will LOVE the all new and improved Cornerstone!   I've seen the new pool furniture and new pavers.  We are working on updating our website to allow for secure online payments and convenient wristbands as your door keys.  The late check in box will be on site.

Several other improvements in the works as well, I hope to announce them very soon!   "

I am very sorry to have to deliver this news.  We have had many issues with our contractors, and that combined with the extensive stucco work now needed has really set things back.   At this point I will be cancelling all "holds" for this spring/summer, through July 31.  As we get through the spring and summer months and closer to August I will have a better idea of the actual reopening date.  

 

 

 

April 10, 2024

Things are looking up a bit.  Last week windows were installed and this week stucco and exterior work is beginning.  We are getting more frequent updates so I am feeling a bit better since my last update.  We still do not have a reopening date, but as I have learned going through this, even if they gave me a date, I wouldn't hold my breath.  It seems like so many unexpected things have popped up and delayed things the past six months.  I am hopeful we can continue consistent work on the property and get a sense of reopening timeline in a few weeks.   We will not be open in May, I just don't see it happening.  I am not optimistic for June either, at this point.  But we will see!  Hoping to get some photos of progress soon to share. 

 

 

March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!  We spent a wonderful week on Ft. Myers Beach and now back to reality.  As we visited Cornerstone, it was the good, the bad and the ugly.  As I approached the property, it was apparent very little forward progress has been made.  More demolition work had been done to flooring and removal of cabinets in kitchens, tile on lanai's now gone too.  I was able to get into several condos and they all looked pretty sad.  After we left the property I was on the phone and emailing anyone I could, working to get some answers.   Without writing a novel, the short story is there was a lack of communication between contractors causing little to no work being done.  I am happy to say, the contractors had a meeting on site Friday morning and work will be up and running tomorrow.  We have requested a timeline for all projects and projected completion dates by the end of this week.  I hope to be able to share that once we get it so I can give you all some solid answers about your holds.  With that said I believe we are a good 10-12 weeks out, and could be more.  I have contacted all April and May "holds", but June is not looking good, in my opinion.  If these guys show up and it's all hands on deck we may be able to salvage some of June, but I haven't seen that yet.  

March 20, 2024

I don't have much new information, other than work is being done.  I will be going down for a week the last week of March and will get new photos of progress. Any information I can get, I will share.  I still don't know when we will open.  Based on what I see next week, will make the call on May "holds".  To be honest, I am not very optimistic we will open in May, but we will see.

February 28, 2024

After a quick chat with our condo board president and board member, here is the latest.  Work is happening, but it is slow.  The elevator is in, but they encountered some electrical issues needing repair before they can complete it.  Some additional stucco damage has been found causing water to delaminate it and will have to be repaired.  At this point we will not be open in April and May is truly up in the air.  We have had to deal with a change from our original foreman on site and illness with the new one right after we finally got the permit.  So the delays just kept coming!  It seems we are in a better place this past week or so.  I will be making another trip on site at the end of this month and hope to get some photos of real progress happening.  I know we have so many guest anxious to get down there, and I wish I had better answers and information.  I have emailed our April holds, but if you have a hold in May, please know I can't promise we will be ready.  As soon as we get any real timeline, I will share it!  If you had a hold these past few months or upcoming and plan to be down in 2025, please let me know asap!  I will be releasing condo availability if I don't hear from you.   

A side note:  One of our owners has a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo on Bonita Beach available for the month of March and last two weeks in April.  It is located a The Ambassador condo building on the the beach.  If anyone is interested in staying in it for at least 2-3 weeks, please contact me and I will get you in touch with them.  Here are some photos and information on the condo. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for continuing to follow our journey!

 

 

January 26, 2024

Good Morning all.  I have had many calls, emails and text this past week asking about progress and when I think we will reopen.  I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you.  From my communications between the condo board and property manager, the spring stays are not looking good.  I can say we will not be open before April 1.  Between what our contractor needs to do and our owners need to do to get the condos up and running it's going to be a while.  The elevator has been worked on, I am not sure if it is complete.  

As I said, February and March we will not be open.  If you have a hold in April or May I would be cautiously optimistic especially May.  April is really up in the air right now and could go either way.  I feel like by May we may have a few condos ready.  I know this is not the news anyone wants to hear, but I am trying to be as transparent as possible.  We had all thought we would be open by now without a doubt a few months ago, but it seems Murphy's law is with us.  If  I hear anything new, I will post it here.  

Jodi

 

January 5, 2024

Happy New Year!

I hope this finds everyone healthy and enjoying our first few days of 2024.  I know it's been a little longer between updates, and I wish I had more information more frequently, but things are just at an absolute stand still!  I was on site this past week, and I am sad to say, it looks pretty much the same as it did in August when I was there.  The permit has progressed and the latest rejection letter was only one paragraph instead of multiple pages, so I guess that is a positive!  The issue at hand is the ground floor bathrooms.  Anyone who has visited Cornerstone since it was built in 2004, knows we had two bathrooms right next to the pool.  The condo board and the town have been battling it out regarding the replacement of these bathrooms.  The condo board feels we should be able to replace them as they were and the town says since they were destroyed in the hurricane, we have to follow the "new" floodplain rules of "no bathrooms on the ground floor".   I am not sure where or when this will all end, but the condo board feels they are very close to a solution and hoping it is resolved this week.  The permitting office has been able to get through permitting submissions quite a bit quicker and have been more responsive recently, which is also good news, but not much comfort to us still hanging in the balance trying to get all of you in for your  stays.  I am still told, once we get the permit, they believe the work will be done in 6-8 weeks.  So what does that mean?  All of January and through mid-February holds will have to be cancelled.   I am not confident we will get any February holds in, and this could likely spill into March.  If you have a hold after February 18 into the first weeks of March, I would certainly have a strong plan "B" in place.  As previously stated, I will not cancel anyone who does not explicitly let me know they would like to cancel.  If you are going to miss your stay this year due to Cornerstone not being open, but would like to reserve your same week(s) for 2025, please let me know and I will block that time for you.   As for deposits.  I know I had said I would be calling mid-December for them.  The payment system will not be reactivated until we know when we will open.  We do not want to be in a position to have to refund deposits because we are not open.  I hope we can give you a date very soon.

With all the bad news out of the way, here is a little good news.  The people are back!  I was thrilled to see so many people visiting the beach this past week!  Margaritaville is now open and was crawling with people checking it out.  Times square has a few more places open including a new place called Mr. Waves Island Bar.  It's right on the corner by Cold Stone Creamery.  The old Winds, now called Surf Style has reopened and Shipwreck has opened the full space of retail.  Wahoo Willies, Snug Harbor, both open.  Nervous Nellies is getting close!  Yucatan has been open for a while now.  While there are still many reminders of the devastation the island suffered it was very encouraging to see places reopening and seemingly doing very well!  

 

 

November 27, 2023

I know it's been a few weeks and I have many of you checking for updates.  I have been waiting for that good news too.  Last I wrote we had anticipated the permit "any day".  Well, instead of a permit we received another rejection letter.  There were  two minor details the town rejected the permit over.  I believe the our people are heading down to the permitting office this morning with all required and proper documents in hopes we get it later this week or next.  With this said, it unfortunately delays  work another few weeks.  Our general contractor is confident the remaining work that needs to be done to reopen can be done in 4-6 weeks if we wait on a few non-essentials to just get us open.  I don't see us open before mid-January.  I know this continues to be a frustrating and uncertain time.  It has been a very long 14 months for us,  our owners and our guests.   We all remain committed to getting Cornerstone open as soon as possible so we can welcome back our wonderful guests!

Jodi

 

November 8, 2023

This will be a quick update, with a longer one coming soon with photos!   I would first like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.  We have so many moving parts and when one part falters it affects other parts.   So the bad news is, we continue to go back and forth with the town over the permits.  But we do feel they will be issued soon.  I know I have said this many times, but I am not sure what else they could possibly want documentation-wise. The good news!  We have a date for the elevator to be installed in December, all the sliding glass doors were replaced the last few weeks, drywall is up (again!), the roof leak was fixed and sealed.  Permit work revolves around the pool area, railings, storage closest on the ground floor and painting the exterior.  The loose plan for now, is to begin collecting payment information on "holds" mid- December and processing the deposits at or around Jan. 1.  With earlier reservations being processed first.   I do not believe we will be able to open before Jan. 1, but I will continue to update.  This has truly been a long test of patience for all of us.  We are determined to be open for our winter guests, who have been so incredibly understanding and loyal!   

As a reminder, I am most easily contacted through email or the website "contact us", all emails and web contacts go directly to me.    I do work another full time job so I am not always accessible by phone but I will promptly respond to your email!  

Jodi

 

October 22, 2023

This is the most recent email sent to our November holds.  I will email our December holds later this week with an update as I will be getting more frequent updates on the permit status this week.  We do believe we are very close to getting that permit.  Our contractor feels it will be about eight weeks to completion once the permits are in our hands.  So if we get them this week, we are looking at Mid-December as the earliest possible reopening dates.  It is always difficult to deliver  the bad news but I want to give you as much notice as possible.

Good Afternoon, 

 

I wanted to keep you updated on the possibility of Cornerstone being open for your requested dates.  At this time, I really do not see it being open before December and possibly the new year.  I would strongly advise you to make alternate reservations.  The permitting process is still going back and forth with the town and the water damage from the roof has set the crews back.  I am very sorry to have to deliver this news.  I am very thankful for your patience and willingness to take a chance we might be reopened, but things are just not panning out as soon as we had hoped.

 

Again I would strongly suggest you look at the Ft. Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce  web page for alternative lodging options.  

https://www.fortmyersbeach.org/whos-open-for-business/

Jodi

October 4, 2023

This is an email I recently sent to our November and December "holds".  I wanted to share it with our loyal guest to give them an update on the property.  While interior work continues, there are permits we still do not have causing delays. 

 

Good Evening, 

 

I am writing to give you an update on the building.  Today I met with the Condo Board President, Vice President, General Contractor representative and Property Manager.  The message I took away was, we are still hopeful for a November opening, but we don't know when in November.  The permitting office still has not issued the permits needed for the pool, elevator, window and safety railing installation.  So until we get those permits we can not legally work on those items.  Our general contractor has told us, he has everything ready to go once we get the permit in hand, and the work can be done in a matter of weeks.  This process has been incredibly frustrating to us as you can imagine.  Unfortunately our story is common for many trying to rebuild their condos and homes and businesses. 

 

At this point in time, I am not confident I will get all my guests in for their time (in November), and this is very upsetting to me.  I was confident a few months ago we would be open by October 1, and now we are sort of left without many answers.  I know some of you are very flexible in your travel and can come last minute if we are open for your requested time.  Others may not have that flexibility.  I wanted to give you this information so everyone can make an informed decision about their travel plans.  If you need to cancel your "hold", I completely understand.  Please let me know and I will remove the hold.   Otherwise I will keep the condo held and continue to communicate updates as I get them.  If you need suggestions of places to stay on the island for a "Plan B" let me know I am happy to help you find alternate lodging.  The most recent list with links of open resorts can be found on the Ft. Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce Website.  https://www.fortmyersbeach.org/whos-open-for-business/

 

The best way to get in touch with me is through Email.  I have very limited office hours while we are not open. 

I will respond to your email as timely as possible.  

 

Sincerely, 

Jodi

September 2, 2023

We have had some of our October guests wondering how we did from the latest Hurricane Idalia.  It took a few days to get a good informative report.  Overall, the work that had been done, did well.  We didn't suffer and property flooding or further erosion.  Unfortunately, we did have water get into our top floor units and a third floor unit.  The roof was inspected and some damage done by Hurricane Ian was newly discovered.  The roof has already been been repaired, but the condos did suffer a setback.  Our General Contractor says we should still be ok for October, but I am not sure how far into October that means.  I have blocked out dates in October until I get an updated solid estimate.  If you have a reservation in October, we may have to change the unit you booked to be sure you get one that is 100% ready for guests.  I never like to have to move people from their preferred condo, but I don't want anyone upset with an unfinished condo.  I will continue to update this page with any information I get. 

  

August 29, 2023

Well we are exactly 11 months out from Hurricane Ian and now we sit watching Hurricane Idalia.  I am watching very closely as I know many of you are too!  I was assured our building is going to prepared for what is expected, at this point rain, some wind, and possible storm surge up to 4ft.  If Idalia continues on the forecasted track, I believe we will be just fine.  But we know things don't always go as forecasted.  So we play the waiting game.  With that said, I was down on the beach for a week mid-August to get more photos and another update.

Things continue to shape up.  The beach was just as beautiful as ever, the birds are back as well as many dolphin and turtle nests line the beach and the babies are working on finding the ocean.  Shelling was unbelievable!  We found so many shells and many different types of shells which is always exciting!  More and more restaurants are opening in different capacities.  We enjoyed meals at Pinchers, Parrot Key, Yucatan, Dixie Fish Co., Doc Ford's, The Fish House, Mom's, Snug Harbor, Wahoo Willies.  We ventured up to Captiva for the Mucky Duck and Sanibel for a look at the lighthouse and frozen custard at The Shack!  It was a wonderful trip!  Other local favorites open are Heavenly Biscuit, Junkanoo, Fresh Catch Bistro, Yo Taco!, Cafe O La, Bonita Bill's, Doc's Beach House and more!  Publix was open and we did enjoy the Key Lime Pie!  Some retail shops are starting to open as well!

Cornerstone is shaping up slowly.  When I was down there the permits were still held up which was a bit disappointing but our fantastic construction crew and general contractor and working very hard on everything that does not need to be permitted.  Drywall has been installed in the units needing it, which was all of them!  Most of the drywall damage was in the bathrooms and the wall separating the living area and the bathroom.  Most units looked just about ready to be repainted.  The new elevator is supposed to be coming in September.  I know the company was out looking at what needed to be done to remove the old one and prep it for the new one.  The grounds have been prepped for the new pavers around the pool.  The pool itself will get a new coat and tiles.  I have seen all the renderings of the spaces when they are done, and very excited to see it all come together.  

Below are some photos from the August trip.  Thank you again for following our journey to recovering and reopening!  The office is still not operating on the island, so I will continue to take your reservations and hold time.  I anticipate making calls in about 4-6 weeks to start collecting deposits.  At that time we will make sure all the details and dates are solid and you will receive a confirmation via email.   We will start with the reservations this fall and winter, then move to our spring and summer 2024.  I will continue to have limited office hours as I do have another job, but will do my best to return calls, emails and texts as they come in. 

It has been a long 11 months but I am so excited for what's ahead.

 

July 15, 2023

Things are still progressing in a positive way!  The pavers have been pulled from around the pool and under the building.  I believe they are being replaced with a new style/color.  The storage room wall has been repaired and new hardy board has been installed on the exterior.  Interiors are still being worked on.   The portal to make reservations will open August 1.  We just want to make sure anyone who had to cancel this past year has had the chance to secure their time.  I can tell you, February and March are pretty full which is very exciting to see everyone wanting to come back.  If you were hoping for a February or March reservation, please feel free to send a message and we can put you on a waiting list if we don't have  your dates.   Once we start asking for deposits in late September and October, things may open up a bit.  Here are a few photos from this past week of the grounds.  

June 9, 2023

I went down to see Cornerstone this past week. I met with our property managers and James from the Seaside office, for those of you who know him.  It was a week filled with many different emotions.  It's been nine months since Ian hit the Island.  For those of you who saw the pictures and videos right after the storm passed, much work has been done!  Most of the big debris has been removed.  There are still some very large piles and as they continue to demolish structures the piles will continue.  I think I can safely say, every single structure was affected by the storm one way or another.  Some buildings are literally shells, some were totally washed away and some have less damage, but everything has some.  Anything on the ground built of wood is gone or damaged beyond repair.  Anything made of concrete or cinder blocks fared much better.  Most things built in the past 10-15 years did pretty well.  

The beach is looking great!  I was surprised how great it looked!  We walked north and south of Cornerstone on the beach and saw no dangerous debris (glass, nails, wood, tile).  To stand on the beach and look north or south was beautiful!  If I had never been to Ft. Myers Beach, I wouldn't really notice much.  Those who have been there, will notice many houses and some resorts missing.

Shelling was great!  We found shells I was never lucky to find in the past!  The only thing we really missed, was not having a pool to cool off in.

Estero Blvd. is a different story.  Walking up and down the sidewalks gave us our best look at the work still to be done and showed the unforgiving side of Mother Nature.  There is smaller debris almost everywhere except the street.  As we walked I saw mirrors, tiles, dishes, sheets, shoes, flatware and things I'm not sure what they were.  Homes and buildings waiting to be demolished, condo buildings needing to be repaired.  I was surprised at the lack of activity on many properties.  In talking with the locals they seem to be in the same situation as Cornerstone and Seaside.  Waiting for insurance to pay and waiting for permits to be issued.  Insurance being the bigger problem.  Contractors will not start the work without deposits and without the insurance money it's hard to get the deposits together.  As we all sit waiting for these two things, the homes and businesses and condos sit waiting.

It was strangely quiet, not much construction noise. 

What's open?  We found many of our favorite places to eat open!  We ate wonderful meals at Pinchers, Dixie Fish Co., Coconut Jacks, Yucatan Bar and Grill.  Times Square has many food trucks serving ice cream, Mexican food, sandwiches and smoothies.  Wahoo Willies, Snug Harbor, Junkanoo, Fresh Catch Bistro, Bonita Bill's, Parrot Key at Salty Sam's are all open.  Across from the Lani Kai hotel is Yo Taco and a shrimp food truck.  Liki Tiki has relocated to the other side of the bridge and The Whale has a large tent bar on Estero Blvd.  The pink movie theater has been repainted a bright blue and is being turned into a restaurant.  Publix is open and we enjoyed some great sandwiches, key lime pie, fresh fruit and did our regular grocery shopping.  For those of you who like to venture out to Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island, we went to the Mucky Duck which looks exactly the same as it did pre-hurricane.  Bubble Room is under construction and will reopen, Island Cow is totally gone, but they are rebuilding.  Mudbugs is open.  Pine Island and Matlacha is a little bit of a drive up north.  The Matlacha are is still quite devastated, but Pine Island Tarpon Lodge restaurant did not disappoint!  You can really feel the hope and love of the beach in every employee, the gratitude was undeniable as we talked to people.  They are so happy to have people back at their business.  The island has a long road ahead, there is still so much to be done.  It is a very mixed feeling of loss for the old beach life as we knew it, but an excitement of what's to come.  The locals have been very clear about not wanting high rise condos taking over.  They do not want it to look like Clearwater or Miami.  They put a high priority on the environment and keeping the wildlife safe and cared for.  Only time will tell.

When will Cornerstone and Seaside reopen?  That is the million dollar question.  As mentioned previously it depends on permits and insurance monies.  Cornerstone has been ready for months to have work begin.  It has power and water, all debris is cleared out.  The brick in pool area was supposed to be started Wednesday.  The owners have decided to go ahead and begin work not requiring permits.  I was last told permits were supposed to be issued this week.  I have learned to not count on these timelines.  Everything seems to take twice as long as we expect.  I was able to go into several of the condos and was very happy to see minimal damage.  They look a mess mainly because the furniture is moved to the center of the rooms and covered in plastic, but the areas needing repair are mainly the bathroom drywall.  Some water came in through vents causing the lower four feet to be removed in the bathroom and some bathroom ceilings drywall removed, but everything else held up fantastic!  No funky smells, carpet looked good too.  Screens and railings in several condos will need to be replaced but the units themselves did well.  The elevator should be installed end of July.  The fence around the grounds and pool will be replaced, bathrooms will be renovated, storage rooms need doors and a wall rebuilt.

 

After meeting with the property managers we feel confident we will be open October 1.  I hope sooner, but feel the October 1 date is a safe estimate.  I was so hopeful we would be open this summer, but glad to have a real target date.  Once we have an actual reopening date, we will begin taking deposits.  If you have contacted me about a reschedule for 2024 because your 2023 reservation was cancelled, I will continue to hold your dates.  If you would like to confirm your 2024 date please don't hesitate to contact me. If you have not contacted me, please do as soon as possible.  Email, text, call, voicemail would be great! 

 

I will be able to start taking new reservations very soon!  No deposit needed at this time.  Once we get the payment system up and running again, we will contact everyone and request deposits.  

Thank you again to everyone who has sent an email, a call, left a message!  I have appreciated every single one of them!  It means a lot to me knowing you are thinking of us.  Below are the photos I took over last week, June 1-7.  They should help you visualize where things are at. 

 

February 4, 2023 


February!  Everyone in the midwest is wishing they were in Florida right now!  The good news is we have had both power and water restored to the building after several delays!  The general contractor is ready to go and things should start progressing much faster now!  I can't wait to get some photos once the work has been done!  We do not have a firm reopening date yet because many things still need to happen, but we are hoping to get the first three floors open roughly May/June and add the fourth floor at the end of June or July.  We can not open the fourth floor until the elevator is installed and ready to go.  The expected elevator installation is end of June or July.  We are still working on getting our offices repaired and online.  Once we have them ready to go we will be able to start taking new reservations and deposits.  If you had a 2023 reservation which was cancelled, please let me know as soon as you can, if you intend to reschedule it for 2024.  Only reservations cancelled and coming back the following year, for the same time frame are being put on the calendar as holds.  Once we are up and running in the office, we will contact you for a deposit on the 2024 dates.  Anyone who had a 2023 reservation between our reopening date and December will be allowed to rebook that time as well, before we open the calendar to new reservations.  If you have any questions, please contact me.   

 

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October 31, 2022

I was just informed the property management company has decided to refund ALL 2022 and 2023 deposits.  I have had many of you asking about refunds you did not expect.  This is why.  If you would like to reschedule your reservation for the following year with the same dates, please contact me.  I will put you in the system, without a deposit and hold the condo.  I will then contact you when we are ready to take deposits.  I apologize for the confusion.  When we are ready to take new reservations, you can be assured, I will let you know!!



Here are some new photos of the progress being made.  Crews came out this past week to begin the clean up.  Most of the debris has been removed, pavers have been relocated to the pool area, lots of sand which seems to cover everything was cleaned up as well.  Our next few appointments will be with the electrical trades to fully assess what needs repair.  We do know one of the walls destroyed on the ground floor storage areas housed the main electrical box for the building.  We will need to replace it and determine what other damage was done.  We estimate it will be about 6 weeks before this will be complete.  A mold remediation company has been out and determined the building did take on water in walls and ceilings.  They will help us determine what walls and ceilings will need replacing.  The structural engineer is scheduled to come later this week, to certify the building.  We have put in to get the elevator repaired/replaced.  Unfortunately, everyone needs their elevators repaired and replaced, so we are being told this could be about six months out.  Little by little we will get her back.





October 10, 2022

The good, the bad and the ugly.  Good news!  One of our owners who lives local was able to get in to see all of our condos yesterday!  As we thought, there seems to be minimal damage.  A little water seeped in through the sliders, some water seeped in through the exterior dryer vents, lanai fans were damaged and some screens were blown out (not all, which is amazing!)  This was wonderful to hear, since many of our owners had just finished up repainting, new floors and other updates just two weeks prior to the hurricane!  The bad and the ugly happen to be where I thought it might be.  The ground floor.  Just like the rest of the island we have lots of debris, a pool full of sand, pavers/bricks displaced, storage closet repair and elevator repair just to start.  The stilts look good from what I can tell, but a professional will come in to certify.  The beach and ground in general has a lot of sand erosion 3 to 4 feet in some places.  Luckily in Florida, we have lots of sand and can replace it.   As bad as some of the photos look, I feel we were very blessed.  We are working to get the condos up and running as soon as possible, but as you can see it will take some time.



October 8, 2022

It looks like we will be able to get on the island tomorrow!  I hope to have more photos soon of progress.  The streets have been cleared and the search for missing people is coming to an end.  The residents and very anxious to get to their properties and see what work needs to be done.  
Deposits for condos reserved October-November are being refunded first, by the dates they were reserved.  You do not need to call, this will be done automatically by our billing office.  Thank you for your patience as they are working to fully refund many, many guests.  If you plan to reschedule or cancel a winter or spring 2023 reservation, please email, text or call me at bookings@cornerstonebeachresortrentals.com,

847-420-1041.  We are not taking new reservations at this time, only rescheduling until further notice. 

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October 1, 2022

Yesterday afternoon we were able to listen in on a conference call with city officials.  They are first and foremost working to get people off the island who need to and providing food and water to those able to stay.  They have been, and will continue to work around the clock to clean up.  First removing debris from Estero Blvd. to make it passable, then working on side streets.  You may have seen the "snow plows" plowing sand off the road.  They are also working to remove cars and boats.  The latest information on Cornerstone, so far is pretty good.  We believe our windows and sliding glass doors all made it.  We did get a short video showing a storage closet on the ground floor was breached and created a hole in the back side along with some stucco work, which I mentioned yesterday.  Here are some screenshots from some of the video we have seen.   I believe we are going to be able to try to get on the island today to assess damage.  If we can get on I will of course update again later tonight.  They are very strict about who is allowed to come on island with not only safety concerns but criminal intent.  

Again, I want to thank everyone who has called, texted and emailed with such kind words and concern.  I know Cornerstone has been a part of many of our guests and families for close to 20 years.  In all the craziness and uncertainty your words are very comforting.   I will be reaching out to our October and November reservations as soon as I hear back from the property managers and give you all an honest assessment of our situation and a timeline about reopening.  

September 30, 2022

As of this morning, I do not have much news.  We are not able to be on the island yet.  I have had many phone calls and emails about upcoming reservations.  Please give us time.  As soon as we can get into the the billing office and process refunds or reschedule we will.  The next week or so is going to be very telling as to what we are looking at for repairs and rebuild of the entire town.  I have seen aditional video of Cornerstone and we do have some damage to our ground level.  A storage closet for cleaning supplies and linens which runs east to west has left a hole on the east side along with some stucco damage.  The fencing around the pool appears to be gone as well.  

September 29, 2022

It is just after noon on the 29th.  The good news is, I have confirmation Cornerstone is still standing tall.  We had one guest chose to stay and took video of the surrounding area from the balcony.  Many of the older homes around cornerstone are gone.  Junkanoo is gone, Hooters is gone, Santini Plaza only had the roof showing early this morning, but much of the flooding has gone down to the point of streets are visible  but covered in sand and debris.  Times Square is in rough shape, with many businesses gone and the pier seems to have been washed away.   Information is still coming.  The goal now is to search and rescue any who did not evacuate, and make sure it is safe to be on the island regarding power lines, water management and determining if structures are safe to be in or around.   If you have a reservation booked and and need to cancel or would like to reschedule for another time, you may contact me and we can push it out to a further date.   

Looking for a few bright spots in all of this.  The city of Fort Myers Beach has been through bad hurricanes before.  They will be working around the clock to get businesses, condos, roads and recreational places back  up and running in better shape than they were pre-hurricane!  Business will rebuild and will thrive just as they always have.  It is a wonderfully resilient community.  

September 28, 2022

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I sit here tonight with a heavy heart.  Hurricane Ian has passed over Ft. Myers Beach leaving a trail of destruction we have not seen since hurricane Charlie.  The island has been evacuated, so we do not know how things are at this time.  We can only watch the news and social media and hope.  I have heard from so many of our loyal guests and have appreciated all the thoughts, prayers and love shown for Cornerstone and the staff.    I know many brave, hardworking linemen, construction crews, National Guard are on standby ready to get our island fixed up and ready to welcome back the people who love Ft. Myers Beach!   

  

Contact

Jodi Greissinger

Cornerstone Beach Resort Rentals

Florida Beach Stays LLC

239-463-5778

847-420-1041 

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