Ah! But now there is a port in Port St. Lucie. It’s just not the
oceanfront type. The city council recently named a riverfront
area The Port District after years of long-term planning. It’s
an entertainment and recreation leg of land arranged along
the scenic North Fork of the St. Lucie River designed to give
residents and visitors more access to the waterfront.
“The city wanted to create a special place, a destination
where people could enjoy multiple things,” said Councilwoman
Jolien Caraballo, whose district includes The Port.
“With The Port District we’re putting the port in Port St.
Lucie,” she said. “Culture, nature and fun is actually a goal
of our strategic plan for the future. There’ve been definite
requests over many years that people want to do things in
The idea of a destination for waterfront activities evolved
“When I was first elected, in 2015, we talked about building
houses in part of what is now The Port District and then
the discussion kind of morphed into the idea of extending the
Riverwalk boardwalk to the south,” she said.
That idea was a winner as it embodied the idea of nature
and fun for residents and visitors alike.
Starting at and including Lyngate Park, the district follows
along Veterans Memorial Highway, crosses Port St. Lucie
Boulevard and proceeds down Westmoreland Boulevard to
the southern end of a city-owned parcel informally known
as the Westmoreland Park, adjacent to the city’s botanical gardens.
Veterans Memorial Highway becomes Westmoreland
Boulevard when it crosses Port St. Lucie Boulevard.
The newly named entertainment and recreation district is
expected to serve as a hub for residents looking for something
to do. Eventually it will include a restaurant, entertainment,
a boat launch and much more. A boardwalk, built
above the river, extends for about two-thirds of a mile along
the shoreline from Rivergate to the conservation tract with
a small 300-foot gap, which will be eliminated as soon as
Plans for the northern end are just getting underway. But
the southern end will include a 13-acre conservation tract with
walking trails, an innovative custom-designed play park for
children called Pioneer Park, a lawn for events such as River
Nights and others, an historical village, boat docks and more.
One thing residents will have to get used to: The 10-acre
park on Westmoreland adjacent to the botanical gardens,
informally called Westmoreland Park, won’t have a name. Instead,
its components will have names. The plan is to say Pioneer
Park at The Port and Historical Village at The Port and
Event Lawn at The Port. There’s no word on what features in
the north end of The Port, almost two miles away, might be
called since a new plan for it has not yet been created.
GOING BACK IN TIME
For more than 15 years before receiving its new designation
as The Port, the district was known as Riverwalk North and
Riverwalk North and Riverwalk South appeared in Community
Redevelopment Agency master plans as a mixed
use area. The agency plans ways to repurpose land. In early >>
Port St. Lucie Magazine 17
River Nights is a popular
monthly event that brings lots
of people out to enjoy live
entertainment, a bonfire, and
neighborly conversation. Social
distancing is required, of course.