Three major construction projects – one commercial, two residential – are the most recent along the rapidly developing stretch of State Road 60 west of 43rd Avenue, all on the north side between the 74th Avenue and 82nd Avenue.
The project slated for completion first – a 4,650-square-foot 7-Eleven with a 16-pump gas station – is located at the northwest corner of the State Road 60/74th Avenue intersection at the east end of a predominantly residential section.
Neighbors of the station include Indian River Estates, Pointe West, Cambridge Manor and several small single-family home communities, interspersed with a few inconspicuous businesses, including a law firm, a medical clinic and a farm credit union.
The county required 7-Eleven to provide abundant green buffering, high-tech lighting and other design features to ensure the convenience store will not annoy residents in adjacent Indian River Estates.
According to the site plan application filed Nov. 2, 2020, the owner of the 3-acre property was Buildex Inc., a Vero Beach-based company with local businessman George Beuttell shown as president. Blackfin Partners Investments Inc. of Palm Beach Gardens was listed as project developer. According to the 7-Eleven website, 7-Eleven owns its stores, land and equipment and leases them back to the franchisees.
When Beuttell first proposed the project, the county turned it down, citing a longstanding limit on commercial pockets within the mainly residential area. Later, however, after additional study and on recommendation of staff, the County Commission approved rezoning the parcel Neighborhood Commercial, removing the main hurdle to development.
The 7-Eleven will occupy two-thirds of the parcel. The remaining 1-acre lot is listed for sale by Lightle Beckner Robison, Commercial Real Estate Services, according to its company office.
The project is moving along and is slated to open in time for the coming winter high season. Concrete block walls are up and underground tanks will be installed soon.
A few blocks west, adjacent to Indian River Estates’ main entrance at Indian Creek Boulevard, real estate investment and development firm Waypoint has broken ground on The Mason, a 176-unit, upscale multifamily rental community. Land was being graded this week at the 23-acre site.
A residential development called Vero Grove Estates was planned at the location 20 years ago but before it got off the ground a plume of contaminated earth was discovered on the property, dating back to its “historical use as a citrus grove.”
Today, with a Site Rehabilitation Completion Order from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection dated Feb. 24, 2022 posted on the site, Waypoint is moving ahead on schedule.
According to Teddy Burnette, account executive for Waypoint, The Mason Vero Beach will be a Class A, three-story, garden-style community with six buildings and 176 units.
“In addition,” Burnette continued, “the site will feature amenities including a clubhouse, resort-style pool, fitness center, dog park with grooming area, surface parking and detached garages available for rent.
“The units are designed to have 9-foot ceilings, with luxury vinyl plank wood flooring in the kitchen and common areas.”
Burnette says above-ground construction is projected to begin during the third quarter of 2022, with first units delivered by the third quarter of 2023.
Waypoint Residential, which has offices in Boca Raton, Atlanta and Dallas, “is a vertically integrated conventional multifamily developer, owner and operator focused on acquiring, developing and operating well-amenitized, Class A multifamily properties,” according to its website.
“Since inception in 2011, Waypoint has sourced over 130 investment opportunities representing more than $5 billion in total capitalization primarily in high-growth markets throughout the Sunbelt region of the United States.”
The first project of the three underway along Route 60 to break ground and, at 7700 20th St., the farthest west, is The Griffon, a luxury rental development that got moving around the first of the year, with Proctor Construction as the builder the builder.
The developer, Crest Residential, is another large multifamily development and investment company based in Birmingham, Alabama.
The site has been cleared, and infrastructure is going in to support the three-story, 297-unit multifamily complex and surrounding elements.
The Griffon will be a West Indies-style community built in two phases that will offer 13 floor plans from 553 square feet to 1,909 square feet in 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, along with carriage houses and townhomes. Each unit will feature “granite countertops, designer lighting, stainless-steel appliances, oversized bedrooms, double sinks, walk-in showers, walk-in closets and attached and detached garage options.”
Planned amenities include a resort-style, salt-water pool; outdoor entertainment and dining; car wash station; and bicycle storage. A clubhouse will offer a 24-hour fitness center; yoga studio; business center; private resident conference room; lounge and coffee bar; and pets will have their own fenced play area and spa.
Crest Residential has not released a project completion timeline, but Indian River County Community Development Director Phil Matson says the project is progressing well and that comments he has heard about current development along the Route 60 corridor have been generally positive.
New, upscale rental opportunities, he says, are filling a need for professionals such as traveling nurses, doctors, teachers and other professionals, who stay in an area for months at a time.
Additionally, he says, “we strive for mixed uses along Vero’s corridors, punctuating residential corridors with carefully chosen commercial entities.” This, he says, avoids the unattractive “mile-after-mile of gas stations and strip malls that areas to the south now face.”
He points to The Reserve in Vero Beach as the first such entry along the West Vero Corridor.
Residents at the 159-unit luxury rental community which opened several years ago behind Olive Garden across from Indian River Mall can walk to a wide range of stores, restaurants and services.
The concept appears to be working for developers and investors, too. As of Saturday morning, The Reserve was fully leased with no units shown available on the property website.