PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A steady stream of families are moving to the Treasure Coast where the cost of living, on average, is more affordable, and the sunshine is abundant.
Over 200,000 people call Port St. Lucie home, making it the third largest city in South Florida.
"There's just so much to do for my son who has autism," said Maria Ramos.
Her son, Shane, loves the water and the sunshine and it's what drew the Ramos Family to Port St. Lucie from upstate New York.
But it's not just them. George Bullock came to Port St. Lucie from Seattle, Washington.
"It's near the Atlantic, I love the Atlantic and I mean it's Florida," said Bullock.
He and his wife, Julie, fell in love with Port St. Lucie after visiting in May 2021. That's when they got in touch with Lisa Ammons, a real estate broker.
"I meet a lot of clients in Tradition, this is our meeting spot," said Ammons, "and then I take them to see all kinds of real estate."
She said most of her clients "are people who are looking to retire or relocate here," like Bullock and his wife.
"We didn't wanna live farther south, because it's just a little more built up," said Bullock.
Ammons said a lot of new businesses are popping up on Village Parkway.
"You're gonna see all new construction of all these plazas from post office to nail salons to small eateries," she said. "It's all there, because someone has to service all these households."
WPTV also spoke with Stuart Frisbee with Hooks Construction, who said the growth in the city is booming and the landscape has changed.
"I started this job a little less than a year ago and basically everything that you see here was all old orange groves," Frisbee said. "And of course the housing around here, the number of developments they're building houses like crazy, it's hard to get concrete, it's hard to get supplies."
Port St. Lucie Mayor Shannon Martin said the city is trying to keep up with the growth.
"It's been exciting, but it's been challenging as well," she said, "because we wanna make sure that we're providing all of the resources and the levels of service that our residents expect."
Martin said there are several infrastructure projects in the works to handle the growth in the city.
"If you look around the city, we have several road infrastructure projects going on right now and is it challenging to deal with that all at one time, yes but it's absolutely necessary for the future of the city," she said.
Porjects include widening roadways around Port St. Lucie Boulevard South and Floresta Drive to handle more drivers like Ramos.
"We just love Florida, we're so excited to be here," she said.
Martin said the city is also actively working on identifying the affordable housing needs.