‘Winterlakes’ groundbreaking kicks off city’s parks development push

Port St. Lucie is starting construction on the $1.6 million Winterlakes Park along Florida’s Turnpike near Midway Road as the City Council looks for money for an ambitious 10-year parks development plan.

The council was to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the 29-acre community park – featuring three dog park areas – in the Torino neighborhood. It is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

Other amenities include restrooms, four pickleball courts, four pavilions, three multi-use sports fields, two tennis courts, two volleyball courts, an outdoor gymnasium, a playground, a fishing platform and walking trails.

Winterlakes Park is one of the priority projects listed in the 10-year Parks & Recreation Master Plan the council approved during budget meetings in July.

A planning consultant recommended the city raise $49 million through taxes, fees, grants and other sources to develop new parks and upgrade old parks during the next decade.

It would cost more than $200 million to build all the parks and recreation facilities the city needs to meet its strategic goals, including providing a park within a 10-minute walk for all residents, the plan says.

Other priorities include $20 million for regional parks and sports complexes in Tradition and Torino, $12.4 million for Riverwalk Park development, $4 million for an adventure park with bicycling, skating and other extreme sports and $3.7 million for new community parks.

The consultant also proposed spending $4.7 million on deferred maintenance and improvements at the city’s older parks, $2.3 million to buy land for new parks and storm water drainage facilities and $150,000 for a citywide trails master plan.

Winterlakes Park is being built at 5241 NW Jannebo St., a site the city leased to the St. Lucie County School District for a temporary school site from 2007 to 2012, city records show.

A consultant designed the park to incorporate the parking lot, drainage system, playground and pavilion left behind by the school district, city records show.

The land has a market value of $1,386,100, county property appraiser records show.

The city obtained the land for $100 in June 2000 from Winterlakes Limited Partnership.

The council awarded a $1.6 million contract to build the park to West Construction Group on Aug. 26.

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