Southern Grove plan key to Port St. Lucie job growth

If you live in Port St. Lucie but need to hop on I-95 or Florida’s Turnpike to get to work in the morning … welcome to the club.

You might have noticed the interchanges get a bit busy, the highways north and (especially) south can get jammed. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you some 40,000 people who live in the city work somewhere else, and this “outflow” of residents increased by 49{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} between 2007 and 2017, according to U.S. Census figures — meaning as the city’s population increased by leaps and bounds, jobs didn’t keep up.

And indeed, according to state and private sources, the city’s jobs-to-population ratio is just 0.24 — 24 jobs per 100 residents. That’s the lowest in the region, lower than St. Lucie County’s 29 jobs per 100; and well below Indian River County’s 38; Martin County’s, 46; and Palm Beach County’s 49.

So bottom line, Port St. Lucie may be a nice place to live. But you can’t really find a job there.

But might that soon change?

MORE: PSL Council to vote on Southern Grove Master Plan

MORE: FedEx to develop regional planning center in PSL’s Southern Grove

The Southern Grove masterplan, approved by City Council on Monday, calls for the creation of three sub-districts; a town center district, a workplace district and a bio-health district.

Earlier this month PSL’s City Council gave an initial thumb’s-up to a draft of the ambitious Southern Grove Master Plan, a detailed roadmap on how to turn 1,183 acres astride I-95 in the western part of the city into a source of pride and prosperity.

While the corridor may ultimately feature new housing and some retail, the focus is to be research, health care, commerce and industry — and the jobs they bring.

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