With Florida still emerging from the worst economic crisis in decades, Port St. Lucie economic Recovery may finally be a reality. When the 90-million dollar hospital construction project at Tradition Medical Center opened its doors to the community St. Lucie County’s economic outlook turned brighter. Its completion set the stage for further commercial and residential growth.
The hospital complex is located at the southwest corner of Tradition Boulevard and Interstate 95 in the west Port St. Lucie development of Tradition. Located on a 20-acre site, the hospital is one of the largest economic development projects in St. Lucie County.
The 90-bed Tradition Medical Center provides a resource for research studies taking place at TCI. Martin Health’s newest facility is located on a 150-acre research park in the planned community of Tradition in Port St. Lucie. The medical center was expected to create 400 jobs initially and another 400 jobs over the long term. During the initial construction period there were over a thousand people involved, a pretty good dose of economic first aid for St. Lucie County residents.
A spokesman for the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County suggests that quite a few pharmaceutical companies want to locate in this area as well.
Construction, typically a mainstay of the Florida economy, remains sluggish. The construction industry lost jobs year over year, with construction jobs down 5.1 percent from February of 2011. The drop in private construction jobs was due in part to cut backs in state government spending. But the slow housing market was the main culprit. That market is changing. Tight inventory is forcing buyers to compete with one another again. That is a big change from just two years ago when few people were buying.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June of 2013 was up 13.2 percent from the previous year to $214,700, putting this region on par with national trends.
People are finally catching on to the fact that Florida’s real estate market is growing significantly. For the past three years, we’ve been up month-over-month in closed sales.
Population growth and slower immigration are the two main factors behind the nearly stagnant growth of the U.S. population in 2013, with the total number of residents increasing at the slowest pace since the Great Depression.
Figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that growth for the 12 months ending July 1 was 0.71%, or just under 2.3 million people. In 2011-2012,the U.S. population grew at a slightly higher 0.75% rate.
Th Census Bureau projects the nation’s population in 2014 will grow to 317,297,938, an increase of 2,218,622, or 0.7%. The Brookings Institution is forecasting three states to show a burst of growth as the U.S. economy slowly improves, but Florida, Arizona and Nevada each averaged only about 1.2% to 1.3% growth.
Florida’s population gain of 232,000 people is about even with that of the past two years, but down from the 2000s, when the gain averaged 282,000 annually. Migration is key to maintaining Florida’s population growth, because of the number of births and deaths are nearly even.
St. Lucie County’s economic growth is dependent upon its population growth. But, that growth is far from certain. Florida’s economy is still pretty weak. But, the Northeast and Midwest have essentially stalled out completely. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.
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