Port St. Lucie examines growth plan amid booming population - Plan calls for new policing district, schools, parks
By Jon Shainman, WPTV, Apr 18, 2023
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie's population is already more than 200,000 people and is expected to double in the coming decades.
Mayor Shannon Martin held a public meeting Tuesday regarding the future of the Tradition area.
WPTV spoke to a resident and business owner about the city's explosive growth.
Christine Williams' family opened the Shell Bazaar on U.S. Highway 1 in the 1950s. This was before there was even a Port St. Lucie.
Longtime Port St. Lucie resident Christine Williams discusses the increase in population that the city is experiencing.
Most of Port St. Lucie's growth these days is occurring in the western areas of the city.
"It boggles my mind, very much so," Williams said. "I went out to Tradition a few weeks ago and saw all the houses and apartments and it's overwhelming.
The Tradition and Southern Grove areas are a mixture of homes and businesses.
"What we didn't expect was how rapidly the city would grow in such a short amount of time," Martin said.
At Tuesday's meeting, Martin said she would be talking with residents about how the area will grow in the coming years. This includes a new policing district, schools and parks, which will be built in conjunction with area builders.
Port St. Lucie Mayor Shannon Martin discusses the growth plan for the city.
"The parks are something we've been deficient in, especially with all the athletic groups," Martin said. "We don't have enough soccer fields. We don't have enough ball fields."
The Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County said there are more than 60 projects bringing 5,000 jobs to the area.
So, what about people concerned about too much growth, too soon?
"This is what we were given," Martin said. "This is what was planned 20 years ago. Tradition is 20 years old this month."
Williams is a little wistful about the way things used to be, but her business needs business from all the new residents.
"People come not just to buy our shells, but we have so much tropical decor that when they buy a new house down here, they want to come and buy it," Williams said.