Saint Lucie West History
Port Saint Lucie Florida
Saint Lucie West was originally conceived to be a Florida community where people could live, work, shop and play, Saint Lucie West’s design and strategic location offer transportation advantages for businesses and commuters as well as for residents who choose to stay at home.
With hundreds of acres of lakes, championship golf, a major league baseball stadium and beautiful homes in protected small town neighborhoods, Saint Lucie West has been the fastest growing community on Florida’s Treasure Coast for the last fifteen years. Saint Lucie West is a uniquely self-contained community set on 4,600 beautiful acres complete with luxury homes, shopping, dining, fitness centers, banking, schools, even churches and a temple, all only moments away.
In the late 1980s, vast acreage between Florida’s Turnpike and 1-95 became the master-planned community being developed within the city of Port St. Lucie. Established by the Thomas J. White Development Company, the 7-square-mile community was initially planned to have 14,000 new homes, over a 30-year period. The PGA has opened three golf courses and a private Country Club. They have also established their state-of- the-art, 35 acre PGA Learning Center here. This is the first such facility of its kind, designed to enhance the golf skills of the beginner and professional alike. To further accommodate the anticipated increase in visiting golfers, two hotels as well as a time share resort has been built at The Reserve.
In the early 1990s, Core Communities (CC), acquired and began planning what would become St. Lucie West. Originally, St. Lucie West was to have contained about 14,000 homes over a 20-year period on 7 square miles. But after realizing the community’s strategic position, they began developing it into more than just a residential area. CC began building business sectors and places of entertainment and leisure. That resulted in 7,000 jobs being brought to the small town, helping it into its boom during most of the early 2000s.
In 2006, CC started development of its newest community, Tradition. The community, which sits west of the Interstate 95 interchange with Gatlin Blvd., was a large cattle ranch before CC began to develop it. There they built around 13,000,000 square feet of commercial area, and room for over 18,000 residences. According to CC’s website, Tradition is the largest fully entitled residential development area from the tip of Interstate 95 to the Canada–U.S. border. It is modeled after a 1950s-era town. According to its website, Tradition Square, the town center of the community, holds festivities year-round. It was also chosen as the site of HGTV’s Green Home 2009, and one of America’s best 100 communities.
In 2007, the housing market began to collapse and unemployment started to rise. As of February 2009, unemployment was at 10½ percent and in 2008, nearly 11,000 homes went into foreclosure. This prompted the county government to consider declaring itself a disaster area. Doing so would have given county administrators access to $17 million in county emergency reserve funds. That money, combined with a transportation fund and other accounts, would give St. Lucie $20 – $30 million to spend on building projects: research parks, highways and other infrastructure improvements.
In 2008, Tradition and Core Communities welcomed the Florida Center of Innovation (later renamed Tradition Center for Innovation), a 150-acre privately-owned research park dedicated to drug discovery, immunology and medical devices, and healthcare. TCI initially composed of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Oregon Health and Science University’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI), Martin Health System Hospital (Tradition Medical Center), and Mann Research Center. In 2015, VGTI shut down their TCI facility, and Mann Research Center soon followed. As of 2019, only Torrey Pines and Tradition Medical Center remain in TCI.
In 2017, TAMCO, a subsidiary of City Electric Supply, a family-owned electrical wholesale business, created plans with the Port St. Lucie City Council to construct a $38 million, 400,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution center located in the Tradition Commerce Park. Construction of the TAMCO facility began in 2018 and was completed in late 2019.