Port St. Lucie Real Estate

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Established as a bedroom and retirement community in 1961, Port St. Lucie is now one of the fastest-growing areas in the state and the largest city in the county. Encompassing approximately 94 square miles just northeast of Lake Okeechobee, Port St. Lucie enjoys the same subtropical climate, warm sunshine, white sandy beaches, and marvelous Atlantic surf as the rest of southeast Florida. The population at the last census was nearly 89,000, today is closer to 105,000, and is expected to near 150,000 by the next census.

To address this growth and the lack of a downtown area when the city was first founded as a retirement community, city planners have bluelined redevelopment strategy. It encompasses nearly three square miles (approximately 1,700 acres) and envisions, in sum, a core city center focusing on pedestrian traffic, tree-lined streets, restaurants, boutiques, professional offices, cultural venues, and sidewalk cafes and shops. Primarily funded through TIF--or tax increment financing--the master plan was set in motion in June of 2001 with a target completion of 10 to 15 years.

In the meantime, Port St. Lucie looks back at a rich past while continuing its 40-year run as one of southeastern Florida's many wonderful contemporary communities. The name St. Lucie was introduced by early Spanish explorers and first appeared on maps about 1565. What is now St. Lucie County was known, however, as East Florida until 1824, when it was named St. Johns. In 1840 St. Johns was surveyed again and fragmented. The name Mosquito County, which lasted only 10 years, was given to what is now St. Lucie.

Port St. Lucie Today

Port St. Lucie neighborhoods are for the most part derived from early settlements. These include Ankona, Calabash, Spruce Bluff, Oslo (formerly Crawford's Point and a railroad flag stop), and Eldred (once a pineapple plantation). One of the more literally colorful stories involves Indrio, first known as Fort Pierce Farms and renamed by the wife of the inventor of Crayola crayons by combining the word Indian and the Spanish word for river.

A delightful and vital corner of the Florida landscape, Port St. Lucie is a delightful place to call home. Homes are both varied in architectural style and affordable, ranging from about $90,000 and topping out, on average, around $600,000. Bathed in Florida's warm sunshine and Atlantic breezes, shaded by palms, and dotted with waterways, Port St. Lucie is worth a good long look and longer stay.

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