NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyPort St Lucie

Actions

World's tallest heart sculpture under construction in Tradition, but how much did it cost?

'Heart in the Park' is 73-foot stainless steel sculpture that illuminates nightly
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jun 05, 2024

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — On Wednesday, at Discovery Way and Village Parkway in Port St. Lucie, police escorted pieces of a large sculpture.

The artwork in the making is a 73-foot stainless steel heart sculpture called "Heart in the Park."

"Today we are bringing in the third piece of eight pieces that make up the heart. Today's piece that's coming in is over 50,000 pounds," Celine Walsh, Mattamy Homes' director of amenities and commercial projects, said. "We really believe that this will become the heart of Tradition where everyone can come together."

The sculpture was designed by internationally acclaimed artist JEFRË. The piece will be illuminated nightly with LED lights.

 Nelly Vega (left) shares her excitement about the construction of the new heart sculpture.
Nelly Vega (left) shares her excitement about the construction of the new heart sculpture.

"It's amazing, it really is. I love it a lot," Tradition resident Nelly Vega said. "It'll bring business tourism. It's going to be fantastic."

The question on everyone's mind is who will pay for it.

"I think it'd be nice, a nice focus point and as long as the developer's paying for it, and we don't have to pay for it, I think it's great," Tradition resident Shirley Civitano said.

The project is fully funded by Mattamy Homes as part of a required art contribution to the city. WPTV dug through city records that show Port St. Lucie approved the heart sculpture in 2022. Back then, Mattamy Homes estimated the cost of the artwork at $4.5 million.

WPTV reporter Cassandra Garcia asks Celine Walsh of Mattamy Homes about the sculpture's cost.
WPTV reporter Cassandra Garcia asks Celine Walsh of Mattamy Homes about the sculpture's cost.

WPTV reporter Cassandra Garcia asked Walsh about the latest cost.

"We have a $4 million art contribution, and this satisfies that contribution," Walsh said.

"And an exact cost though, is that being released?" Garcia asked.

"Not that I know of at this time," Walsh responded.

"Heart in the Park" will be adjacent to the 71,000-square-foot "Shoppes at the Heart Commercial Center." This growing area will soon have an Aldi grocery store in addition to several other restaurants and businesses.

WPTV contacted the city for an interview to address concerns about infrastructure related to increased traffic and development in the area.

Mayor Shannon Martin provided the following statement:

"We are thrilled to welcome JEFRË's heart sculpture to Port St. Lucie, a symbol of love and unity that will enhance our city’s public art, become an iconic gathering spot, and boost our local economy.”

The heart will be fully installed by the fall and be accessible to the public by the spring of 2025. Once completed it will be the world's tallest heart sculpture.

"We're definitely going to go," Vega said.