City takes reins of Southern Grove property

By Debbie Carson,

Rather than sitting, waiting for something – anything – to happen to the 1,200-acre jobs corridor in southern Tradition, the Port St. Lucie City Council Monday night decided to take matters into its own hands.

The council agreed to accept the land from Tradition Land Company, which is severing its ties to the overall development in the west end of the city. On Friday, the city is expected to close on the transfer.

But the land transfer isn’t as simple as signing over a deed, nor is it without expense. The city will be saddled with covering approximately $5 million in taxes and assessments on the property, at least until parcels get sold off.

Officials have said the city would have had to bear that monetary burden even if it didn’t take ownership of the land, because Tradition Land Company is walking away.

“We are on the hook no matter what,” said Mayor Gregory Oravec while sitting as president of the city’s Government Finance Corporation board. The issue is, “Do we want to be on the hook for less than the whole and have control and move forward, or do we want to treat it like City Center and be responsible for all the costs and none of the control?”

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