Jupiter’s Harbourside, a $150 million shopping, dining and entertainment complex, has generated more controversy, complaints and conversation than any other local retail center with a longer existence. From the start in 2006, the construction was dogged by issues with foreign investors using the EB-5 program to gain visas and permanent residency for project workers and investors. Then there was the size of the project: 360,000 square feet of office, restaurant, hotel and retail space, plus parking garages – but no residential space. Many in the town thought, and still think, it is too much development for the land it sits on, and adds to already existing traffic issues along both US 1 and Indiantown Road. Then there is the developer, Nicholas Mastroianni II, and his long history of legal and financial issues.
And then came the fights, fines and lawsuits over the noise from concerts and other activities at the complex. Neither the town nor Harbourside will back down from their respective positions that each of them are right, based on contractual agreement and existing local ordinance. Nothing is legally settled, despite numerous hearings, and each side is now suing the other.
In the middle of all this, there is an artisan and farmers market going on along Harbourside’s waterfront every Sunday. And here is a moral and ethical question for you: if you hate the idea of Harbourside as a development, should you go to the market anyway? Does patronizing the vendors seem like supporting the development?
Yes, you should go. The folks who set up tables and tents at this market are no different from any other greenmarket in the county, other than they happen to be at this location. They are locals who make their own products as a hobby or for a living. There are fewer vendors, but that does not diminish the quality. You will find imported oil and vinegar products, maple syrup, fresh produce, flowers, pet treats, clothing, jewelry, art, plants and flowers, baked goods and handmade baskets. The stroll on the wide sidewalk along the riverfront is a treat for those who otherwise have no access to either living or boating along the Intracoastal. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy your purchases, or just watch the scenery wander by.
Forget the hype and hysteria about who is right or wrong about what is happening on at Harbourside and check out the Sunday market.You may not come away with a different opinion about the politics of it all, but you will come away satisfied that there is yet one more local greenmarket on the scene.
Harbourside artisan and farmers market, every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., along the waterfront on U.S. 1, just north of Indiantown Road, and extending south under the Indiantown Road Bridge. Note that there is a fee to use the parking garage, but center retailers will validate your ticket.