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Treasure Coast Essay

Will Rio go upscale?

Ri-o, Ri-o, Ri-o.  Will the peacocks leave our Ri-o?  The small and sleepy patch of Martin County called Rio may be in for major development in the coming years.   The post office that opened there in 1893 was called Rio San Lucie.  I assume it was pronounced the Spanish way.  It means St. Lucie River.  Later, people just called the place Rio. The unincorporated area of one square mile certainly has potential, located as it is on the Indian River Lagoon between Jensen Beach and Stuart.  Today Rio is a mix of modest houses, small businesses and empty lots.  The population dropped to about 800 in 2012.  But this may change with the improvements to County Road 707, which cuts through Rio.  One proposed project is a Rio Town Center, with apartments, restaurants, shops and a marina.  Another is Langford Landing, consisting of 60 lots for single-family homes.  It is named for Frances Langford, whose estate was nearby.   Wandering around Rio are peacocks, descended from birds imported by the late singing star.    They are noisy but beautiful.  If it goes upscale, will the peacocks leave our Ri-o?  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.