Mystery still surrounds projects, but Port St. Lucie OKs plans for two industrial companies
By Olivia McKelvey, Treasure Coast Newspapers, Sept., 13, 2022
PORT ST. LUCIE — The mystery of what companies will build two large manufacturing buildings in Tradition's Legacy Park continues.
The City Council Monday unanimously approved site plans for code-named Project Green and Project Apron. But the companies weren't identified.
The facilities, each exceeding 1 million square feet, would join Amazon, FedEx and Cheney Brothers at Sansone Group's 5.4-million-square-foot manufacturing-and-distribution complex on about 400 acres at Becker Road and Village Parkway along Interstate 95 in Southern Grove.
"This is exciting," Mayor Shannon Martin said Monday. "I look forward to the day where we can announce what this actually is. Hopefully in the near future...This is a monumental project here."
Code names are used by city and economic-development officials here to preserve secrecy during early negotiations. State law protects companies from being identified during this process.
"It's like Christmas," said Vice Mayor Jolien Caraballo. "We know what it is but no one else does, and we can't talk about it because we would (be committing) a felony if we talked about what it was."
For example, Project Denny, Project Senior and Project Bullet were code names used during negotiations to bring FedEx, Amazon and Cheney Brothers, respectively, to Legacy Park.
In 2018, Port St. Lucie acquired more than 1,000 acres south of Tradition Parkway when Tradition Land Company bailed out on $5.4 million it owed in property taxes and assessments.
Since then, the city has been selling that land to spur development in what it calls the "jobs corridor."
To attract Fortune 500 companies, the city offers economic incentives such as temporary tax breaks, impact-fee mitigation and expedited site-plan review and permitting.
Both of the undisclosed companies intend to request incentives, according to city officials. To be eligible, these companies will have to pay employees at least 115% above St. Lucie County’s average wage, $49,504 annually, or $23.80 hourly.