Is this the future of Vero’s last riverfront property?

COMMENTARY

Audubon Development of West Palm submitted this $85 million proposal to redevelop the H.D. King site in downtown fort Pierce with a 120-room Marriott Hotel (background), 60 condos (foreground), space for two restaurants and 300 surface parking spaces. The project would be named King’s Landing. (Photo: Audubon Development)

MILT THOMAS

The conceptual drawing above for Fort Pierce waterfront is an example of what can happen if we allow City Council to win approval from voters to take the Three Corners properties out of City Charter protection and allow them to come up with their own plans for development of those properties. This is why you must attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m.

This is how City Council would go about it, according to Larry Reisman of the Press Journal  in his column today (Sunday): “Get City Council at its 5 p.m. Tuesday meeting to have the interim city attorney draft a referendum asking voters in the November election to give up their right to final approval of a lease or sale of the waterfront power and sewer plant sites.”

He goes on to forecast what will happen next: “Between now and November, lobby city voters that allowing council alone the power to lease or sell would not only yield a better plan for the three corners, but expedite quality redevelopment.”

That pretty much sums it up. If the strategy changes between now and Tuesday’s City Council meeting, it will only be because of Larry Reisman’s column (and some supporting commentary on this site).

Let’s face it, we have a mayor in Val Zudans who espouses an inappropriate (in this case) limited government philosophy and has followed through with it in his numerous attempts to sell or lease out publicly owned land assets (River House, Post Office, Marina, Dodgertown, etc.).

You, the public, have been outraged by these attempts and voted in February to take away his three-person majority, replacing Lange Sykes with Robbie Brackett. So far the jury is still out on whether that change will alter Zudans’ plans to eliminate public assets in favor of commercial developers. We will know more after Tuesday’s meeting.

What happened to the charrette?

At the first meeting of this City Council on March 5, they discussed the plan for Three Corners. First, a public charrette would be held for citizen input on the future of these properties, which would then result in a path to proceed. Based on that information, an RFP would be issued for companies to bid on a final development plan. Once that plan was reviewed by Council with public input, a referendum would be held for voters to approve the plan and agree to whatever changes, if any, need to be made regarding City Charter protection.

So a design firm was approved to conduct the charrette, with only the details of a contract to be worked out. Mayor Zudans wanted to “move the process along,” and apparently he has. We have heard nothing further about the charrette, yet Zudans has already leap-frogged his way to holding the public referendum in November. Will he have the three City Council votes he needs to pull this off?

Three Corners or Centennial Place?

Mayor Zudans continues referring to these properties collectively as “Centennial Place,” a designation chosen by the publisher of the Indian River Shores weekly after a poll of his neighbors. However, until the citizens of Vero Beach decide on their own name for this publicly-owned land, it will only be known as Three Corners. Sorry Mr. Mayor, you already have this baby married and she hasn’t even been conceived.

4 comments

  1. I do not know what the future holds for the 3 corners property ,but rushing to a decision before all the facts are known will be a mistake.
    It looks to me that some on the council are in a big rush,but why?
    To me, there is a rush to put the “horse before the cart’ which is a sure way to make errors that will last for all time;we cannot afford to rush
    The council should Stop,Look and Listen to the residents; they have no ulterior motives.

  2. What are the height limitations on the power plant property? Could a structure now be built as tall as were the exhaust stacks of the former plant? Will the referendum ask voters to not only remove this property’s Charter protections, but to also allow an exemption to height restrictions based on the height of what was previously there? Want another vision for this property? Just drive south to Riviera Beach and take a look at the Loggerhead Marina Resort. See previous reporting: https://indianriverguardian.com/2018/07/17/is-a-marina-resort-in-vero-beachs-future-2/

  3. Hi Milt, Yes as you said, “However, until the citizens of Vero Beach decide on their own name for this publicly-owned land, it will only be known as Three Corners.” We won’t be around but in 50 years they’ll have to change the name to Sesquicentennial Place and in 100 years they will have to change the name to Bicentennial Place.
    Let the citizens decide, not 32963.

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