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Now out of commission, fate of the old Vero Beach power plant up for debate

Ideas range from parks, rec space and restaurants
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 05:35:41-05

VERO BEACH, Fla. — The city of Vero Beach sold its electric utility to Florida Power and Light last year. So, this year, the question is what should be done with the city's old power plant?

It stands tall at the base of the Alma Lee Loy/17th Street Bridge. Built in the 1960s, the Vero Beach Municipal Power Plant is now out of commission.
It sits on the largest of the “Three Corners” parcels, 38 acres in all, big enough to fit all of Old Town St. Augustine.

Vero Beach Planning and Development Director Jason Jeffries says it’s an important piece of land.

“This is property that is publicly held and has potential for public access in the future," said Jeffries Wednesday.

Should “Big Blue” be torn down or remain standing?

Residents are being asked for their opinions. was created by a city consultant to gather input, and hundreds have already shared their thoughts. There's been talk of park space, affordable housing, a mixed use development, even a rooftop restaurant. The plants 60-foot tall roof exceeds the current 50-foot height limit in the city.

If you want to see the power plant in person, there is a tour Saturday. Details are online.

Next week, public workshops will be held each night with the DPZ planning firm out of Miami, which worked on parts of downtown West Palm Beach in the 1990s.

After all of the public workshops, a final presentation will go before the city council the first week in May.