SanCap Chamber welcomed continued post-hurricane progress this week with two Sanibel Island ribbon-cutting celebrations at Blind Pass Condominiums, 5117 Sea Bell Rd., on June 3; and a new office for Community & Housing Resources (CHR), 2340 Periwinkle Way, on June 5.

The 107-unit, seven-acre Blind Pass Condominiums includes more than 80 units in its rental programs. At this time, it has reopened its 58 second-floor units for rentals. Guests began arriving June 1 after a limited opening of its first two units in April.

“While we are still working to restore the property to its former beauty, we have finally turned the corner,” said rental manager Tom Henecker. “Through the unceasing efforts of our board of directors, our owners, staff and management, construction workers in all trades, and our vendors and suppliers, we can again begin hosting our faithful guests as they return to their favorite vacation property and island.”

The 49 first-floor units damaged by the storm surge remain under renovation and will be added back into the rental pool over the coming weeks and months. The office/clubhouse adjacent to the pool also was flooded and reopened in February. The swimming pool is open, and new gas grills have been installed. Still to come are landscaping projects, renovation of the two tennis and pickleball courts, and installation of a new footbridge over Clam Bayou, the property’s private path to Bowman’s Beach.

Staff had been working remotely from their homes off island since the hurricane. Island Management is the property manager.

“What a happy occasion this ribbon-cutting was – celebrating more beach-accessible accommodation availability with a delicious buffet lunch catered by Tutti Pazzi,” said John Lai, SanCap Chamber president and CEO. “With its prime setting overlooking some of the island’s favorite, most secluded sands of Bowman’s Beach, it has held a special place in the hearts of residents and visitors since the 1970s.”

“The SanCap Chamber continues to be a unifying force for our business community that is much needed as we all continue to work through the many challenges inherent in recovery from a devastating hurricane,” said Henecker.

Formerly housed at Library Way, CHR lost its office in a building slated for demolition due to hurricane destruction. It temporarily relocated to an apartment at Woodhaven, one of the agency’s residential buildings. CHR operates nine properties, 65 units, for the city of Sanibel’s Below Market Rate Housing program, which incorporated in 1979. Each property suffered varying degrees of hurricane damage. One building, Riverview, required demolition last year. CHR plans to replace it with two new buildings.

“CHR is about 90 percent full with a waiting list of 14 applicants and another eight more processing,” said executive director Nicole Decker-McHale. “Our community is at a critical time in regards to housing. There have been 41 calls of applicants who are working and homeless. The applicants are living out of cars, places of business, or couch surfing.”

“Now, more than ever before, affordable employee housing is crucial to the islands’ recovery,” Lai said. “As Sanibel celebrates 50 years of incorporation later this year, CHR can be proud of its 45 years of keeping the island’s population safe, diverse, and conducive to a healthy business economy. We thank them for their good work.”

“Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in the rebuilding of our business community,” said Decker-McHale. “Their efforts at raising awareness locally and statewide have impacted the support our community is receiving. The chamber’s spotlight shines bright for us all!”


The SanCap Chamber is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website,, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].