PORT ST. LUCIE – The members of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency expressed elation June 22 with a progress update of the Riverwalk extension and the possibility of adding a third historical home to Westmoreland Boulevard’s new Pioneer Park in their goal of finally creating the city’s namesake port.
CRA Project Manager Jennifer Davis provided the update to the Board, beginning with the ongoing restoration of both the circal 1917 Peacock house and the 68-year-old Peacock hunting lodge already situated on the park property.
“Construction plans for the lodge are 98 percent complete, [and] they were turned around by the Building Department in record time,” she said. “Hopefully once we do get this out to bid, it will really help with the turnaround time. Right now, the cost estimates with the renovations are about $500,000 for the lodge and $700,000 for the house. We did apply for a Department of Historic Resources Grant, and we anticipate hearing back from them later this year.”
The chance of getting those grant funds to cover all or part of the $1.2-million cost was pivotal in the Board’s decision last year to turn over the operation of those two structures to the Port St. Lucie Historical Society, which plans to operate both as static museums staffed by volunteers. That decision was not without dissent, however. Board member John Carvelli voted against their operation of the lodge because he preferred to see it restored and operated as a for-profit ice cream shop or other kind of business catering to park visitors.