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Port St. Lucie looks to create more jobs as city grows

Posted at 6:56 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 08:21:09-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The rapid building in the western part of Port St. Lucie is hard to miss, evidence of a city continuing to grow.

“We’re in one of those special moments in time where all of that hard work is starting to pay off," said Mayor Greg Oravec.

While the mayor says growth is good, the city has also been looking to create job opportunities.

“We want to be safe, beautiful, and prosperous. That prosperity piece means that people have to be able to work in Port St. Lucie," added Oravec.

Monday, an agreement was reached to sell a nearly 10-acre lot to Oculus Surgical, a company whose international ownership fell for the area.

The creator of high tech retina surgical equipment employs 30 now but will add another 50 jobs and invest nearly $7 million in a new facility.

And hopefully create that next generation of residents in PSL, we really believe that," said Oculus CEO Bob Zatarain.

This is the city’s first land deal since it acquired the nearly 1,200 acres in the Tradition and Southern Grove neighborhoods last year to set up a jobs corridor.

The city took possession of the land after the previous owner said it would pull out of the city, and stop paying taxes.

The city has tried to turn the tide after the VGTI biotech project, City Center development, and Digital Domain animation studio all failed earlier this decade.

"We have some things to celebrate. It’s important to celebrate the victories," said Mayor Oravec.

Oculus plans to open the doors on its new facility late next year.