Stuart Market Overview

The Treasure Coast commercial real estate market is growing as commerce expands north from South Florida and east from Central Florida. The region is well-situated between Florida’s two largest markets with easy access to both I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike.

The Treasure Coast region consists of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. They have a combined population of more than 600,000. The principal cities are Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and Vero Beach. Unincorporated areas include Hobe Sound, Palm City and St. Lucie West.

The population of St. Lucie County jumped 44% between 2000 and 2010 and grew another 2.2% between 2010 and 2012 to 283,866, according to the U.S. Census. Major employers are Wal-Mart, QVC and Publix Supermarkets.

Martin County, which is just north of Palm Beach County, had a population of 148,817 in 2012 after growing 15% between 2000 and 2010. The county is among the most affluent in Florida. Major employers are Martin Memorial Health Systems, Publix and TurboCombustor Technologies.

Indian River County, which connects the region to the Central Florida market, had a population of 140,567 in 2012 after growing 22% between 2000 and 2010. Major employers are Indian River Medical Center, Publix and Piper Aircraft.

Okeechobee County, the only county in the region not on the Atlantic Ocean, is highly rural. Its population has been stable at about 40,000 over the past 12 years. Major employers are Columbia Raulerson Hospital, Walpole and Larson Dairy.

A biotech cluster is emerging in western St. Lucie County. Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) have opened research centers, and are being joined by a new Martin Memorial hospital. Plans call for more research institutes on land near I-95 set aside for this purpose.

Most industrial space in the region can be found between I-95 and the Turnpike as they crisscross in Martin and St. Lucie counties. Wal-Mart has a distribution center in St. Lucie County and CVS in Indian River County. Armellini, a major refrigerated transportation company, is based in Palm City. Piper Aircraft is headquartered in Vero Beach.

McCraney’s Treasure Coast Commerce Center is at the I-95 exit of Kanner Highway near Stuart. It sits on 47.53 acres and has 1 million square feet of space.

The office market along the Treasure Coast is a mix of Class A and Class B properties, most of them along U.S. 1, the local transportation corridor, and on major east-west roads. Most office buildings are no more than four stories. The region has two large malls – Treasure Coast Mall in Jensen Beach and Indian River Mall in Vero Beach – and strip centers anchored by grocery stores along major thoroughfares.