By: Todd McDermott
Posted at 6:47AM, Jul 27, 2023
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — While Florida’s population has been growing since 2020 at a faster rate than any other state, one town on the Treasure Coast is doing plenty to lead the way.
But it may not be the first place that comes to mind.
It’s Port St. Lucie, now Florida’s sixth largest city, which is also in the top 10 of America’s fastest growing cities, among those with a population of at least 50,000. And at the heart of that expansion is a pulse provided by a town within a town — one that attracted Mary Milmore and her husband 15 years ago.
“You can call me an old timer and a historic reference person,” Mary said when talking about the community of “Tradition.”
Sounding like a savvy civic booster, Mary points to “friendly people, booming economy, business is moving in on a monthly basis, and (it’s) still growing.”
But this master-planned community was once a massive missed opportunity.
“The original developer went bankrupt and we came in along with a partnership with the city and just started investing money, developing a lot of new neighborhoods, new innovations, and we create a sense of place and a sense of community that people really just want to live here,” said Dan Grosswald, a developer with Mattamy Homes.
Make that a lot of people.
That five-year partnership has spawned shops, parks and a 20-mile nature trail, and new homes in a wide price range. There’s even a driverless shuttle to get around the neighborhood. (Not so small town, right?)
“We took what was here and just made it better. The town center is the hub. It really creates a sense of place for people rather than just a large tract of homes, creating a place where people want to live, know their neighbors, have fun together, develop strong bonds.”
Tradition has 5,000 homes and about 10,000 people now.
Mattamy sees another seven to ten years of building out Tradition, adding up to thousands of additional new homes, as well as more parks and public places. New schools, too.
And as the Port St. Lucie metro population rises by ten thousand people a year, that Tradition pulse is now a welcoming drumbeat.