... and Joel Kotkin was Batman. This Associated Press story would detail how a fight between them would proceed on TV.
"It used to be a nice and quiet community, but everything's changing now. I see new faces everyday," said Sidkey, owner of Sundae's Ice Cream Shoppe & Coffee Bar. "I guess everyone found out our secret."
The secret — most think it's cheap housing prices — has made this bedroom community about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach the fastest-growing large city in the nation, according to census figures for 2003-2004 released on Thursday.
Port St. Lucie experienced the largest population growth for a one-year period beginning in July 2003. It added 12,689 people to reach 118,396 — a 12 percent jump.
Overall for the past four years, the census numbers show new residents flocking to midsize cities in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California. Hurt by skyrocketing housing prices, people are leaving San Francisco, Boston and other large cities in droves.
"People like to live in smaller places and a lot of it's propelled by the sharp spike in housing costs in the inner and more attractive cities," said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "People want to get as much housing as they can for their dollars."
... Port St. Lucie, built on former swampland beginning in the 1960s, saw its population jump 33.4 percent in the past four years. Mayor Bob Minsky says he expects the boom to continue until the population tops 300,000.
He said each day 45 people — young and old — move to the city and 42 percent of them are coming from the booming cities to the south, where housing prices have become exorbitant for many.
"People like the lifestyle here and they're willing to commute. They sell their house down South, buy one here and have money leftover to put in the bank," Minsky said.
Zap!!! But keep reading. It gets far, far worse...
Port St. Lucie has grown so fast it lacks many of the cultural and social amenities of a large, urban area. There is no shopping mall or downtown, despite years of talk of creating a city center. The only place to get a cup of Starbucks is inside a supermarket; moviegoers have a single choice of theaters. Attractions like playhouses exist only in the neighboring, older communities of Stuart and Fort Pierce.
Hear that? People like the lifestyle. That is, they like cars and commuting. And get this: The people are building amenities now, AFTER arriving. That is, fancy amenities did not attract them.
That has to hurt.