plans, dating back to at least 2003, the northern end of the
district was to include housing and retail along with recreational
areas. A pond at that end is still popular with people
who run remote-controlled boats and contains walking paths,
The council recently hired a consultant to help plan for the
entire Port District, approximately a mile and three-quarters
in length. As is typically done in the city these days, citizens
will have opportunities to say what they want to see in the
But there was an even earlier iteration. Longtime residents
will remember that a wooden boardwalk was built around
1983 along the water at Rivergate, just south of Veterans
Memorial Park. Back then the road to it was called Midport
Road, which was changed to Veterans Memorial Highway.
River Nights, the relaxing once-a-month evening gatherings
at the park on Westmoreland, got their start at Rivergate.
The new entertainment and recreation hub, or district, was
a long time coming. Concept plans from the 1990s showed an
area along the river called the Riverwalk, possibly during the
tenure of Mayor Bob Minsky. Minsky was known for taking
the lead on important projects, including the beginning of
In 2003, the city extended the wooden boardwalk from
Rivergate southward along the North Fork and connected
it to Tom Hooper Park near Port St. Lucie Boulevard. Visitors
could go to Tom Hooper Park, park their cars and stroll
along the boardwalk. In 2008, the wooden boardwalk was
replaced with a sturdy structure that has an attractive surface
for anyone who wants to walk, jog or enjoy the serene view
of the river.
MORE HUBS TO COME?
A new leg of the boardwalk began to take shape in 2015
when money was allocated to create a new section from the
bridge at Port St. Lucie Boulevard to the preservation tract at
the southern end of the park on Westmoreland. It was completed
in the fall of 2020. Next up is a short 300-foot connector
that passes under Port St. Lucie Boulevard and attaches to
the two boardwalks.
The Port is just one of several hubs the city council may
be looking at for the future. At the council’s annual winter
retreat in February 2020, the conversation turned to the need
for such hubs, especially in the eastern part of the city. It’s
long been said by council members that with western Port
St. Lucie, including St. Lucie West and the entire area in and
outside of Tradition growing rapidly and incorporating the
very latest of amenities and features, residents who live in the
eastern part have felt neglected.
“Since 2013, when we started strategic planning, we’ve
talked about balancing the east and west side of the city,”
Vice Mayor Shannon Martin said at the retreat.
Physical evidence of imbalance is there in the form of
empty storefronts, Mayor Gregory Oravec noted during
“So it’s completely fair that the city will have a draw to the
eastern side,” Oravec said “But where the east side really has
the advantage is that the city center ties into Riverwalk and
Riverwalk should be one of the natural hubs of the city. And
it could be so special.”
The Riverwalk district was renamed The Port months after
The city center, a 46-acre parcel on U.S. 1 and Walton Road >>
Map shows the boundaries of The Port District and what it includes.
18 Port St. Lucie Magazine
FOR MORE INFORMATION …
Here are several links that can provide more details:
• The Port District Hub, including a look at the unique
new Pioneer Park playground: https://tinyurl.com/
• See what citizens envisioned for the waterfront in 2015.
Scroll to Page 53. https://tinyurl.com/Riverwalk2015
• City Center Hub: https://tinyurl.com/PSLCityCenter
• Village Green Drive Hub: https://tinyurl.com/VGDrive
• Community Redevelopment Agency or CRA plans:
• Strategic Plan for the Future; these plans are updated