Downtown Fort Pierce is the most central location along the Treasure Coast. The quaint “small town” walkable character and comfortable scale of Fort Pierce’s waterfront downtown result from the implementation of traditional town planning principles such as an interconnected network of streets and blocks, remarkable civic spaces, and buildings that can accommodate a complete and integrated mix of uses. Downtown Fort Pierce has established itself as a true destination with attractions and several events creating a vibrant and authentic atmosphere
The Downtown area has begun to attract significant interest from private investment. Capital improvements have helped to restore the downtown area; such as the Fort Pierce City Marina reconstruction and expansion projects and investments in to the redesigned Veterans Memorial Park and Moore’s Creek stormwater quality improvement.
Lincoln Park is a culturally rich residential area and one of Fort Pierce’s oldest historic communities. Dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s, a predominantly African-American community of family-owned businesses found success along the Avenue D corridor which became a bustling commercial district with barber shops, grocery stores, churches, restaurants, and a movie theater. Lincoln Park was home to Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and also home to the famous Florida Highwaymen artists, a group of 26 African-American landscape artists who employed a unique painting style to assert their economic independence and agency during and after the segregation era.
Today, Lincoln Park is home to the Lincoln Theater, one of only four African-American owned theaters in the country, and Lincoln Park Academy, an academic magnet school and one of the nation’s top performing schools. It is the most populated district in the FPRA with close to 4,700 residents; who drive the retail demand along the commercial corridor of Avenue D.
Fort Pierce envisions reactivating the once thriving Avenue D corridor. Revitalization efforts have been exerted to improve streetscapes and facades, a new Intermodal Bus Terminal added and the Moore’s Creek Linear Park reopened to host events. The district has the advantages of being rooted in culture and history and benefits from its close proximity to the downtown and waterfront.
Prime waterfront land bound by the Fort Pierce inlet to the north, intracoastal waterways to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. South Beach is the second most populated district in the FPRA with a population of 4,310 and a median age of 62. Furthermore, it is the most affluent community, with a homeownership rate of 68 percent, a median income of $77,599 and a median disposable income of $64,536.
South Beach has the potential to establish itself as a unique, desirable tourism destination but lacks a resort-style hotel. Its proximity to Fort Pierce’s downtown built environment, a diversity of civic uses, museums, research facilities, an international port and airport are a few of the features the City has to capitalize on to be seriously considered by the tourism and hotel industry. The vision of the City and its community is to create a competitive world-class destination with a resort hotel that supports a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use urban experience in harmony with nature.
Peacock Arts District or “PAD,” is branded with its own unique identity and culture. Historically the Orange Avenue corridor, that runs through the Peacock Arts District, was a bustling part of Fort Pierce lined with shops, salons and markets. The corridor boasted an abundance of activity from residents who lived in the immediate vicinity and beyond. Fort Pierce has focused on extending the boundaries (to include Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie) and revitalization efforts to restore and reactivate the District. Beautification through artwork and murals throughout the District, as well as banners and lighting, were added to create a sense of safety and “place” unique to the PAD. Since efforts began, recurring events have included pop up art shows, street performances, art walk, and local talent shows.
The City’s goal for the PAD is to create a bright, attractive, eclectic environment that celebrates the arts and encourages private investment that builds and supports the local economy. A logo was designed by a local artist to bring distinctiveness to the district and to create its very own brand. Enhanced lighting, street pole banners and the painting of 14 terracotta pots to line Orange Avenue within the PAD have helped to “beautify” the district. More recently the new artwork from the PAD Banner Contest demonstrates the vibrancy of the community and highlights Fort Pierce as an arts destination by celebrating the creativity of local artists and delineate the new arts district.
The future of the PAD supports integrating arts and culture into a broad range of urban-scale uses that encourage live, work and play such as retail, entertainment and residential uses. Boosting pedestrian activity and increasing public safety are also priorities. Redevelopment through a combination of adaptive re-use and new buildings is encouraged to build on the PAD’s unique identity and design character.
Fisherman’s Wharf District, or the Port of Fort Pierce area, is one that presents plenty of opportunity for the FPRA area. While currently underdeveloped, the Port of Fort Pierce is one of Florida’s 15 deep water seaports and a unique asset for the region. With the right mix of uses, this District has the potential to make important economic contributions to the FPRA and become a northern anchor by linking to the Downtown, Lincoln Park, and South Beach Districts.
The Fisherman’s Wharf District includes three publicly owned parcels and three privately owned parcels. These areas were recently reviewed as part of the Port of Fort Pierce Master Plan 2020 with the following two areas presenting the most opportunity:
• Fisherman’s Wharf (City-owned): Located at the southern end of the Port area, Fisherman’s Wharf, acts as a buffer between the working port area and historic downtown Fort Pierce. It is currently underutilized and prime for redevelopment. The Master Plan presents a plan for Fisherman’s Wharf to become a vibrant boating, food & beverage, and recreational space. The site has great potential to be the northern anchor of the City of Fort Pierce’s growing downtown waterfront, linking the port and marina area to other cultural, recreational, and retail uses in the FPRA.
• Underutilized & Vacant Land (Privately-owned): The Master Plan proposes activating this large span of land with uses that promote the long-term success of the Port and tie to the broader FPRA community. It could become a significant incubator of marine-related jobs, commerce, and other benefits.