The City of Port St. Lucie has long recognized the value of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River to the city’s (or area) residents. In the 1990s, the City began considering plans to construct a boardwalk along the river and develop waterfront land to enhance the public’s access to this valuable resource.
Beginning in the 2000s, the City added approximately 2,000 linear feet of boardwalk along the river north of Port St. Lucie Boulevard to provide public access to the river from Veteran’s Park at Rivergate and Tom Hooper Park.
In 2002, the City partnered with St. Lucie County and the Trust for Public Land to purchase 43 acres of riverfront land along Westmoreland Boulevard. Twenty acres of this land was developed as the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in 2010.
At the 2014 Summer Retreat, the City Council directed staff to implement plans to construct a boardwalk along the river south of Port St. Lucie Boulevard to connect to the boardwalk north of the boulevard and develop the vacant land adjacent to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens as a waterfront park. The Council established the following guiding principles for the development of the site:
- Don’t over develop the site
- Area’s history should be incorporated into the design (e.g. Native American, early settlers, fishing camp, nature retreat, etc.)
- Future development should complement the river and the surrounding uses
With assistance from the American Institute of Architects, Treasure Coast Chapter, the City held a charrette at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in March 2015 to solicit public input on the development of the park and boardwalk. Over 100 people attended the charrette.
Based on the input received from the attendees, the architects provided the City with a conceptual master plan that was approved by the City Council in November 2015 as guide for the development of the park.
Since September 2016, the City staff and Community Redevelopment Agency have been working with the City’s consultant to prepare the site design, engineering, and permitting plans for the southern extension of the Riverwalk boardwalk. This project also includes the development of the 10-acre Westmoreland tract directly south of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens and the adjacent 13-acre conservation tract.
|July 2016||Local Initiative Grant State of Florida for $250,000 for project design awarded
|July 2016||Special Category Grant from State Division of Historic Resources to relocate historic Peacock Structures awarded
|September 2016||Contract for Project Design, Engineering and Permitting executed
|January 2017||Project Site Plan submittal
|May 2017||Project Site Plan Approval|
|May 2017||Phase 1 Construction Plan Approval|
|June/July 2017||Regulatory Agencies Environmental Permitting Applications Submittal Dates|
|August to December 2017||Naming Campaign for Westmoreland Middle Tract|
|September 2017||Anticipated date for issuance of environmental permit for construction of park improvements to Westmoreland Middle Tract|
|October to December 2018||Bid Proposals for Construction of Park Improvements to Westmoreland Middle Tract|
|January to September 2018||
Issuance of Contract and Construction of Westmoreland Middle Tract Park Improvements
|June 2018||Anticipated date for issuance of environmental permit for construction of Riverwalk boardwalk|
|June to September 2018||Bid Proposals for Construction of Southern Extension of Riverwalk Boardwalk|
|October 2018 to July 2019 pending permit approval
Issuance of Contract and Construction of Boardwalk:
A future phase of the project will provide a connection under the Port St. Lucie Boulevard Bridge that will link the existing boardwalk north of the boulevard to the proposed boardwalk south of the boulevard. This section of the boardwalk is pending approval of a design for the bridge crossing and additional regulatory permitting. This future phase will also include the proposed improvements to the Promenade and Veteran’s Park at Rivergate boat ramp to provide additional day use boat dockage.
|Summary||Includes the construction of and improvements to the Park and the relocation of historical structures.
|Budget||Preliminary cost estimate approximately $2.4 million
|Timeline||January to June 2018
|Details||Construction will provide improved public access to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by providing paved parking, sidewalks, public restrooms, picnic pavilions, and children’s play area at the Westmoreland middle tract.
This phase is tentatively scheduled to be complete in June 2018, when the public should be able to stroll the grounds, picnic along the river, visit the neighboring PSL Botanical Gardens, and join the City for programmed Rivernights events.
|Summary||In addition, the approved plans for the development include approximately .70 acres of leasable restaurant space for a private entity to construct and operate a water-front restaurant and accommodate waterfront dining.
|Budget||To be determined. The City is not building the restaurant.
|Timeline||January 2018 to December 2019|
|Details||The City will invite qualified parties to submit a proposal to lease, construct, and operate a restaurant at this location. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued, and once approved, construction can be begin.
Pending completion of improvements, restaurant anticipated to be opened to the public in late 2019.
|Summary||Includes the extension of the Boardwalk from Westmoreland Property to Bridge Plaza.|
|Budget||Preliminary cost estimate approximately $3.1 million|
|Timeline||Pending permitting, estimated to be October 2018 to July 2019|
|Details||The construction in this phase will provide approximately 2,200 linear feet of boardwalk along the river. In addition, the City will also be constructing a boardwalk stage, terraced seating at the Westmoreland middle tract, and a floating dock system to provide access for boat docking.
Once completed in July 2019, this phase will also provide 2,200 feet of boardwalk, walking trails, a wetland crossing, and an overlook area at the adjacent Westmoreland Conservation Tract.
|Summary||Includes connection of the Boardwalk under the River to the North and South Boardwalks.|
|Budget||Currently unfunding; no budget established. Design costs TBD; pending new design.|
|Timeline||October 2019 to September 2020|
|Details||The construction in this phase will provide approximately 500 linear feet of additional boardwalk under the PSL Bridge to connect the two sections, North and South.
Once completed in late 2020, approximately one mile of ADA compliant boardwalk will be open to the public. This phase will also provide for enhanced boat dockage at Veterans Park at Rivergate.
- The City has identified several funding sources for the project.
- The major funding source is the City of Port St. Lucie Parks Impact Fee Fund.
- The Parks Impact Fee is collected at the time of construction of new residential development.
- The fee is collected to enable the City to provide the parks and recreation facilities to serve new residents.
- Additional funds include grants (awarded and proposed), revenue from special assessment funds, interest income, and $1.5 million from the $3.2 million settlement the City received from the State of Florida regarding claims against the Digital Domain project.
The following tables identify the funding source and proposed construction costs as identified in the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP):
Project Funds: Riverwalk Extension Project CIP Fund # 301
|Cash Carryforward Fund # 301
|Digital Domain Settlement
|Parks Impact Fee Fund
|Conservation Trust Fund (Conservation Tract Improvements)
|Revenue from Special Assessment Funds
|Special Category Grant (relocate historic structures)
|Local Initiative Grant (project design)
|Potential Funding: FIND Grant
|Potential Funding: Local Recreational Trails Program Grant
Construction Costs: Riverwalk Extension Project Estimate Phases I & II
|Task||Estimate of Cost|
|Project Design||$ 334,000
|Riverwalk Boardwalk Extension (Southern Extension to Bridge Plaza)
|Development of Westmoreland Park||$ 2,400,000
|Improvements Westmoreland Conservation Tract
|Relocation of Historic Structures
Proposed Boardwalk Extension
The City has the funding for two phases of construction for the project which includes the development of the Westmoreland “middle tract” and the extension of the boardwalk from Westmoreland properties north to Bridge Plaza – immediately South of the Port St. Lucie Bridge.
Riverwalk Overall Project
The City of Port St. Lucie is moving forward with plans to extend the Riverwalk boardwalk, now located along 21 acres of riverfront land north of Port St. Lucie Boulevard, to connect to 43 acres of City-owned riverfront land south of Port St. Lucie Boulevard.
Veteran’s @ Rivergate and Promenade
The existing boat docking area at the Veteran’s Park at Rivergate boat ramp will be extended to provide additional boat docking areas at the north and south sides of the canal.
Proposed Connection to Bridge Plaza
In exchange for the donation of a riverfront tract at Bridge Plaza, the City will construct a 6 foot pathway to the river within the property.
Westmoreland Riverfront Park (official name to be determined)
The project will include the development of the 9.75 acre Westmoreland middle tract that is located immediately south of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. Paved parking, a riverfront stage, public seating area, and children’s play area will be provided. It will also include leasable restaurant space adjacent to the river and provide a future home for the relocation of two historic structures located in western Port St. Lucie.
It includes a two-story structure built in 1917 and a hunting lodge built in 1952.
- Historic Structures (PDF)
Proposed Improvements Westmoreland Conservation Tract
Improvements will be made to provide public access to a 13-acre conservation tract that lies directly south of the Westmoreland middle tract. It will include boardwalks, walking trails, and connections to the proposed Riverwalk boardwalk.
- Proposed Improvements (PDF)
Contact for More Information
Bridget Kean, CRA Director
Phone: (772) 873-6486