FHERO is a regional collaboration of six counties: Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee, the city of Belle Glade, and the Community of Immokalee in Collier County whose purpose is to coordinate the collective economic power to advance the region. The designated contact for Collier County is Debrah Forester, Collier County CRA Director, Christie Betancourt, Collier County CRA, Immokalee Operations Manager, and the Non-Profit Organization Engaged in Economic Development contact is Melanie Schmees, Naples Chamber Business & Economic Research Director. The 2017 compliance report summarized activities including working with local board of realtors, Immokalee Foundation, Collier County Airport Authority and professional networks to gather information on available sites and buildings for sale and lease.
In 2019, FHERO was awarded a Regional Rural Development Grant in the amount of $97,500 which included $22,000 for the development of a Strategic Economic Development Plan for the Immokalee community. The consultant, VisionFirst, was tasked with developing a three-year plan for the community of Immokalee and eastern Collier County in partnership with the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Area and Collier County Economic Development Office.
A site tour was conducted by VisionFirst on March 13, 2020. VisionFirst provided a draft copy of the plan on June 2020. Final copy was presented at a CRA meeting.
The new digital flip-book edition of the FHERO Guide is live, active and public. For complete 32-page guide please visit http://passportpublications.com/FHERO_Guide.html
In 2021 the CRA was awarded through FHERO a Site Improvement Plan DEO Grant totally $13,540 for Professional Services for Airpark Blvd. The Proposed scope of work include general consulting, engineering, planning, and survey services to evaluate the subject site for commercial development.
In 2021 the CRA was also awarded through FHERO a DEO Grant totally $7,700 for Professional Services for assessment of retail demand in the Immokalee Community. A copy of Retail Demand Analysis is provided below.
On June 28, 2021, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 21-149 which re-designated the South-Central RAO for another five-year term with an expiration date of June 28, 2026.
For more information on FHERO please visit https://flaheartland.com/