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Stuart, Martin County would split cost to build Brightline station, add parking

Fort Pierce is also vying for stop on Treasure Coast
A Brightline train passes through Stuart during a recent test on the Treasure Coast ahead of service from South Florida to Orlando.
Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 19:51:13-05

STUART, Fla. — Martin County and city of Stuart commissioners have signed off on an agreement that designates which party is responsible for paying for the Brightline train station if it comes to downtown Stuart.

The agreement states that the private rail company and Martin County will evenly split the coast while the city will front the cost of a parking garage and 54 additional spots for a total of 200.

Brightline is giving applicants until Dec. 22 to submit a proposal. Brightline said it hopes to open a Treasure Coast station by early 2028.

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The city approved the agreement by a 4-1 vote Monday night and the county commissione unanimously signed off Tuesday morning.

“We anticipate getting grants to help us pay for all of these improvements," Stuart City Commssioner Troy McDonald said. '"The agreement outlines that the city and county will apply for grants together as one project.”

The proposed location is near the intersection of Southeast Flagler Avenue and Southwest Stypmann Avenue.

It currently is just a parking lot near the courthouse.

George Stokus, the assistant county administrator, told Kendall Hyde the station would be up to two stories with around 10,000 square feet

The estimated cost of the station and parking garage is anywhere from $40 million to $60 million.

The county anticipates if they are awarded grants, the actual cost cost be between $3 million and $6 million for the city, and between $3 million and $5 million for the county.

Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County also is in discussions with Brightline about a station there. It is looking at the old depot behind Sunrise Theater and the former H.D. King Plangt on the waterfront.

Proposals may come from private or public landowners who control property along the Brightline corridor in St. Lucie or Martin counties and meet the qualifications.

Brightline currently has stops in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

On Sept. 22, Brightline extended service past West Palm Beach to Orlando.

Last week, Brightline announced it has increased service between Orlando and Miami, running 32 trains daily with 16 daily departures from Miami and Orlando.