Rio Porches is the former site of a deteriorated multiunit housing site within the Rio Town Center known as the Rainbow Cottages. In late 2011, the property was going to be put to Auction. The Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) Urban Designer worked with the auction company to prepare several development scenarios to the site which increased interest in the sale and ultimately increased the auction bids.
Upon purchase, the new owners expressed an interest in partnering with the CRA to redevelop the site in a form reflective of the community vision. The development agreement included a request from the purchaser to have the County Urban Designer included on the development team.
Rio Porches is a Pocket Neighborhood that is composed of six small cottages that include two live-work units, and six one bedroom rental units. All of these units have a private porch that faces onto the main street or the common central courtyard. Each cottage reflects the traditional architectural style and fishing camp character of Rio.
This project is the first Mixed-Use Project approved for this community. Despite the pocket size of this development, it required extensive collaboration with the Martin County Development Review Team.
The first tenants moved into Rio Porches in 2015. The construction of these small units have been very popular, and inspired additional private investment in this community.