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October 4, 2015


Florida's Treasure Coast

Vero Beach/Indian River County

» Real estate professionals say the inventory of oceanfront property is the lowest it has been in five years. “Buyers, particularly cash buyers, are coming back into the marketplace and taking down standing inventory,” says Michael Thorpe, co-owner of Sotheby’s International Realty. Indian River County’s building department says it is on pace to beat 2011 totals for new permits. The Windsor development has been described as a low-key version of glitzy Palm Beach. About 70% of the lots, which range from $400,000 to $2.6 million, have been sold, and a few new oceanfront lots have been put on the market. Resale listings now range from $1.2 million to $12 million, says Betsey Hanley, president of Windsor Real Estate.

» Meanwhile, the former Dodgertown, which had been the spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, now operates as the Vero Beach Sports Village. The complex has hosted high school baseball and softball spring training, youth baseball tournaments, umpire training and Nike Lacrosse Camps.

» Helene Caseltine, economic development director at the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, says the county has become a magnet for emerging technology companies. The most recent addition is SMI Telecoms, a U.K.-based computer software and services firm that selected Indian River County for its U.S. headquarters. Bridgevine, an e-commerce solution provider with longstanding roots in the community, is adding 25 jobs. Florida Organic Aquaculture will break ground this spring on a $13-million shrimp production and research facility in Fellsmere. The parent company, Mirzam Holdings based in Jupiter, estimates the new venture will create 52 jobs.

Business to Watch

» eMindful: The Vero Beach health care company markets its online classes to employers and insurers whose employees are trying to make behavioral changes that would help reduce health care costs. The classes help students to reduce stress and cut back on smoking, overeating, chemical dependency and other behaviors that contribute to chronic diseases. Kelley McCabe Ruff, a former chief technology officer for large investment banks, founded eMindful in 2008, partnering with researchers to create courses that allow students and instructors to interact.

Indian River Population: 142,705
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 1.02%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
14.97% 5.34% 18.52% 32.49% 28.69%
Per Capita Income: $52,873

Tags: Treasure Coast, Economic Yearbook

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