King's Landing: population growth on Treasure Coast leads new development St. Lucie County
by Dylan Huberman, CW34/WTVX, Nov 18, 2022
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS12) — The population of the Treasure Coast is rapidly expanding and large-scale projects, such as Three Corners in Vero Beach, are aiming to accommodate that growth.
Another huge project, King's Landing, is also arriving on waterfront property, but this one is in St. Lucie County.
The piles of rubble will eventually become more than a hundred homes, a Marriott hotel, multiple restaurants and more than 50,000 square feet of retail space in Fort Pierce all to accommodate the population explosion in the region.
The massive $155 million King's Landing development is slated to become a waterfront destination in Fort Pierce, featuring plenty for those who live and visit St. Lucie County - including the first two rooftop bars on the entire Treasure Coast.
Development like this is welcome according to retired tennis pro Pete Carney, who has watched the population grow in the county for more than a decade with his Golden Retriever, Thumper, by his side.
“I’ve noticed a lot more people here year-round," Carney pointed out. "In the summertime, it used to be really vacant around here, but a lot more people around and if you go south, you get into Stuart and Jensen (Beach), tons of traffic there all of the time, and Port St. Lucie is all crowded, so a lot more people here.”
Dale Matteson is the CEO of the company developing King’s Landing, Audubon Development, and he works from his boat just across Indian River Drive from this property in the Fort Pierce City Marina. He says the project will be a huge boost to the area needing to keep up with that growth.
“It’s going to be a real shot in the arm for Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County," Matteson said. "We'll employ about 350 people. It’ll be a $5 million annual economic boost to the city.”
Jeff Clapper and Robynn Holland have lived in Fort Pierce for about two years each and say the demand for activities with this growth was inevitable.
“You can’t stop development. That’s a nice development for that site. It’s vacant, it’ll clean it up quite a bit,” Clapper shared.
“I think it’s going to give people a place to go and eat and have friends when they come into town they can stay right on the waterfront,” Holland added.
Despite his desire to see this project unfold, Carney says many residents are wary of overdevelopment ruining the charm of the city- something Matteson intends to avoid with this endeavor.
“They don’t want more building more traffic more stuff around here you know," Carney shared. "But hey, that’s progress.”
“It’s a fishing village here and so you don’t wanna change that spirit of the city," Matteson tacked on. "You just want to fit in and be a good neighbor, so we’re mindful of that. We’re not going to turn this into Miami.””
Matteson says the complex is expected to be completed in 2026.