VERO BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The Three Corners project in Vero Beach could be jumpstarted - or stopped in its tracks - on Election Day on Tuesday.
The proposal would allow for commercial development on the properties at the intersection of Indian River Boulevard and 17th Street, along the Indian River Lagoon.
The municipal power plant at that intersection has been out of service since 2015. The city has plans to deck the building and replace it with waterfront attractions - but those plans could be foiled if the referendum fails.
“This is a generational opportunity for Vero Beach, and it doesn’t happen in your career very often to be able to work on a project like this,” Vero Beach City Manager Monte Falls relayed.
The referendum would bring a hotel - restaurants- and a theater to Vero Beach -- replacing the old power plant and eventually a wastewater plant.
“The Three Corners will probably be one of the largest projects, definitely one of the largest projects in the city but even in the county,” Vero Beach Planning Director Jason Jeffries stated.
The property is a charter property, meaning that residents own that land - not the city.
But if Tuesday's referendum passes, it could allow the city to move forward with commercial development on that land.
“Vero Beach is growing, Indian River County continues to grow, we need something much, much better there and this proposal is moving in the right way in my opinion with the hotel, with the businesses, with the boat launch, the park, all of the things that are going to be part of that,” said Brian Bryant, who owns Runner's Depot - a few blocks away from the site in question.
While some residents want to see development - others are scared of what could come next.
“All of the sudden, we’re going to wake up one day and we’ll be like Fort Lauderdale," Karen Marcil opined. "They’re going to have a jitney to go to the beach, they’re going to have water taxis and it’s going to change the whole scale and charm of what Vero Beach is.”
The responsibility now turns to voters to make their choice Tuesday and decide whether this project comes to life - or stops dead in the water.