and grand ideas never brought to fruition. That is about to
Although there is no set timeline in place, the re-imagining
of the site is a high priority, Teresa Lamar-Sarno, assistant to
the city manager, says. Still in the early stages, community
input is being actively sought.
Google Main Street near me and directions take you to the
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center where, although
indoor and outdoor events are hosted, surrounding streets
are not lined with interesting shops to explore or quaint
restaurants to enjoy. There are neither independent motels for
budget stays nor expensive chain hotels for a more elegant
approach to rest and relaxation.
Those things and more may be included in the city’s plan
to create a true downtown. The consulting firm of Kimley-
Horn and Associates is gathering input and information in
order to update the vision, assess current conditions and
provide direction to address the unique requirements of the
city by developing a long-range policy guide.
Revitalizing the Village Green corridor is one component.
The city also has a Small Area Plan for the City Center, bringing
new businesses into the 46-acre parcel around it. One
positive impact of the plan is the connection of St. Lucie West
and Tradition with what Lamar-Sarno calls “the cornerstone
of the east side of the city.” The project is estimated to have a
$4 million price tag.
In November, the city council voted unanimously to buy
back 22 parcels of City Center land whose promised development
“This is the beginning of the last chapter,” City Manager
Russ Blackburn told the media. “I think now we have it in
our control and we can fulfill our destiny.”
A downtown area will enhance a critical link in Port St.
Lucie’s transportation network, providing for improved emergency
response times by using a policy and design approach
called Complete Streets. Incorporating Complete Streets has
been shown to calm traffic, enhance pedestrian and biking
CITY OF PORT ST. LUCIE
Research shows that people bike and walk more when a city has a viable
downtown area. Port St. Lucie’s Complete Streets plan includes safe, inclusive
accommodations for these activities.
opportunities, improve safety and promote economic development.
In Port St. Lucie, this approach will connect trails, the
East Coast Greenway and the Crosstown Parkway Extension.
In cities studied by the International Downtown Association,
people walked more within downtown areas than when
monitored citywide. They biked more. They used public transit
more. Complete Streets enables safe access for users of all
ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists
and transit riders.
In addition to lowering the carbon footprint of a city, such
assets equip downtowns to adapt more easily to potential
economic, social and environmental problems. Fewer jobs are
lost because of gas price increases, for example, when workers
already walk or bike to work.
The city conducted Walking Audits and Canvassing Days,
posted an online survey and will continue to host virtual meetings
in order to provide residents and business owners with
multiple opportunities to share concerns and suggestions.
Not everyone is excited. “We’ve gotten along fine without
it,” Kris Hollis, who runs Clocks by Hollis with his father,
Phil, on Village Green Drive, says. “Port St. Lucie isn’t set up
Phil Hollis, however, appreciates the plan for expansion. “I
always thought the civic center was to be a focal point for the
city,” he says, adding that he would support the revitalization. >>
Strip malls tend to be disconnected to pedestrians, but a downtown retail
area generally has central parking from which shoppers can explore.
Port St. Lucie Magazine 9