Massive development spearheads future growth south of Tradition
STORY AND PHOTOS BY GREG GARDNER
Leading the way in Port St. Lucie for the explosive residential growth south of Tradition is Valencia Cay at Riverland. The 1,087-unit development by GL Homes will be the tip of the spear for an L-shaped parcel with more than 3,800 acres proposed for Riverland residential communities south of Tradition.
Valencia Cay is just southwest of the entrance into Tradition at Interstate 95, featuring boulevards with streets that wind in and back around some of the 21 man-made lakes in the 55-plus community.
Located on 385 acres of former citrus groves, Valencia Cay is the flagship development for the 3,800-acre Riverland Development of Regional Impact. Riverland’s six square miles will be Port St. Lucie’s second largest DRI after St. Lucie West and twice the size of Tradition.
Connected communities will be home to 11,700 approved units in the five miles south, ending at the C-24 Canal — also the St. Lucie-Martin County line.
One-half mile of the Paseo Trail has been completed — including the planting of 180 large oak trees — with a second half-mile section now under construction. Upon completion, the five-mile trail will connect Discovery Way and a western extension of Becker Road for use by hikers, cyclists and golf cart drivers on an adjacent parallel road.
“We will add to the Paseo Trail as communities are built,” says Ryan Courson, GL Homes St. Lucie Division vice president. “We did a lot of research, looking at different trends. People wanted linear green ways and trail systems for jogging, dog walking and exercising without having to drive a car and without golf carts on busy streets.”
Courson says 80 percent of the Valencia Cay homes have been sold. More than 300 residences are currently occupied with homeowners using the finished link of the Paseo Trail.
“It will connect our residents and it will connect them to commercial areas,” he says.
PLENTY OF RETAIL
The Riverland DRI is approved for four million square feet of retail space — almost five times the size of the Treasure Coast Square Mall. Plans call for a fire station and a town center with shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Other commercial areas will be located throughout Riverland, projected for completion over the next 10 years.
“We are building Riverland to revolve around our amenities,” says Courson. Twenty acres has been set aside at Valencia Cay for a sports and racket club, pro shop, and tennis and pickle ball courts. “Pickle ball is huge with people 55 and over and as our communities grow, we will monitor usage and add more courts.”
Open to residents of future Riverland developments, the pickle ball facilities will include a tournament court to attract regional and national competitions. “We will have a vibrant program with a head professional certified in both tennis and pickle ball,” Courson says.
The 34,000-square-foot clubhouse at Valencia Cay is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 with a restaurant, card rooms, pools, a sports lounge and 800-seat auditorium.
With prices from the $240s in the Premier Collection to the $420s in the Crown Collection, a variety of floor plans are offered in the 15 models from 1,300 to 4,000 square feet.
Established in 1976, GL Homes has built 85,000 homes in Florida and currently is constructing six communities on the West Coast and eight on the East Coast. Since its beginning, the company has built 46 sold-out residential developments.
“We are aggressively in the planning stages for our next development, which will be the same size and west of Valencia Cay,” Courson says. “We have been selling 50 homes a month, and many buyers are from Port St. Lucie. We didn’t expect our success. We are excited with a great start, beyond our expectations. This is one of our more successful projects in Florida.”
“I feel that Valencia Cay is the perfect fit for me mainly because of the great amenities they offer and the over 55 active lifestyle like the pickle ball courts and fitness center,” says Teri Hoffman, who will move from St. Lucie West when her home is finished. “What also sold me was the easy access to I-95 and the growing number of restaurants and shops planned for the future within walking distance of Valencia Cay.”
“A significant portion of the new single-family development within Port St. Lucie is occurring in Riverland with approval of more than 10,000 state-of-the-art homes,” says Port St. Lucie City Manager Russ Blackburn. “It was designed as a master planned community with outstanding recreational amenities and an integrated transportation system which encourages bike, pedestrian and vehicular use in a park-like setting. Port St. Lucie is fortunate to offer residents choices for their personal Florida lifestyle ranging from traditional single-family homes on shady streets to the breathtaking beauty, master planned amenities and social activities found in the new community of Riverland.”
GL Homes has proven its long-term commitment to completing its massive Riverland communities over the next 10 years, providing new residents with neighborhoods and amenities to suit their lifestyles.