Downtown is a vibrant, walkable community. In the past few years more
and more new retail businesses have arrived, adding to the area’s vitality.
ing a renaissance in downtown and on the water. That’s a
very rare combination these days in Florida, Matteson said.
“The city marina is chockfull and this would be the place
for (boaters) to shop and eat. We think retail will attract both
existing and new businesses.’’
The buildings will have an Old Florida/Moorish design
theme, reflecting Fort Pierce’s Mediterranean architectural
style, but with a Bahamas flavor, Matteson said. “We design
differently for every market we work in.”
Audubon recently hired a national research firm to determine
exactly the type of hotel that might work best in Fort Pierce.
“All the major hotel companies are looking for sites like
this — on the water with expensive condos.”
“It won’t be like something out on the interstate,” Matteson
promised. “We’ve talked with Marriott, but haven’t decided
on any particular ‘flag’ yet. There are so many varieties of hotel
these days. I believe it’ll cater to business travelers, some
convention travel (the design is expected to incorporate a
banquet hall/meeting space that is sorely lacking in the city).
“There’s been a lack of the hotel industry here so it’s a challenge
and an opportunity. The correct mix of restaurants/retail/
residential nearby will all help the hotel succeed. Add in
downtown businesses and vacation travelers, spring training
visitors and the mega-yacht business at the port.
“The yacht business alone could fill beds — not just owners,
but support people — there are 20-40 sub-contractors
for each yacht that docks here, plus crew accommodations
needed. The timing seems right now.”
Matteson has been developing similar projects throughout
the United States for more than 25 years.
“I’ve never seen a project with such advance interest,’’ he
said. “We’ve had to set up a reservation system for residential
and retail spaces and we haven’t turned any dirt yet. That’s
very unusual. Demand is very robust.
“We’ve had reservations and deposits placed on the penthouses,
which start at $1.2 million. We’re building to bring
new people into the city. We’re seeing a totally new level
of energy. And these are at prices you’ve never seen in Fort
Pierce. All the penthouses are gone. Our Charleston town- >>
Tasty Choices for You!
Along the Downtown Waterfront
at Marina Square
8 a.m. until noon