St. Lucie County Sinkhole Map
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St. Lucie County FL
St. Lucie was incorporated as a county of Florida in 1905. Located on the Sunshine State’s southeastern coast, this county traces its roots to the Sta. Lucia fort that Spanish colonizers established in 1567. Its name was officially Anglicized to St. Lucie in the 1900s.
The county’s area spreads in what is known as Florida’s Treasure Coast along the state’s Atlantic shores noted for sunken and treasure-laden Spanish ships. St. Lucie’s territory covers a total of 688 square miles, with 572 square miles land and the rest accounted for by its waters. The City of Fort Pierce is the county seat of St. Lucie, while Port St. Lucie is its largest city.
Significantly, these two major cities spread on a central area ideal for logistics and distribution, with an extensive transportation network converging around it. Several transport corridors within 10 miles of each other help bring this advantage to St. Lucie County. These vital cogs of the local economy include Interstate 95, Florida’s Turnpike, U.S. Highway 1, the Florida East Coast Railway, the Port of Fort Pierce, and the St. Lucie International Airport.
Besides its two cities, St. Lucie also incorporates two towns, seven census designated places and one unincorporated community. Many of these residential hubs are relatively new, largely following the initiatives of General Development Corporation starting from the late 1950s.
In those years, this developer purchased expansive real estate properties along the St. Lucie River on St. Lucie’s southern side to build new neighborhoods that drew thousands of families and retirees. The city of Port St. Lucie eventually emerged from these new communities.
Prime Growth Drivers
Subsequent developments that followed during the latter part of the 20th century were as successful, leading to the creation of other population centers west and south of Port St. Lucie, such as St. Lucie West and Tradition, a master planned community.
The developer Core Communities (CC) takes much of the credit for the creation of St. Lucie West and its neighborhoods consisting of about 14,000 residences. Aside from these homes, CC initiated local commercial developments, as well as areas for leisure and entertainment. This resulted in thousands of jobs created that contributed greatly to the dramatic growth of St. Lucie West in the early 2000s.
CC soon followed this same template of development for the master-planned Tradition which features a mix of residential and commercial components. Modeled after a 1950s-era town, this community boasts of having been named as one of the best 100 communities in the U.S. The developer not only brought in 18,000 homes into this community but also provided 13 million square feet of commercial space in the project, again generating plenty of job and business opportunities.
Florida Center of Innovation has notably set up a campus and research laboratory in Tradition. Two life science and biotech companies have also chosen to base their operations in this master-planned development.
The ripple effects of these locators’ vote of confidence in Tradition bodes well for St. Lucie as a whole moving forward. Their presence has further diversified the sources of economic strength for the county which has traditionally relied on its principal industries—services, agriculture, light manufacturing, and tourism.