Pursuit breaks ground for plant expansion

Pursuit Boats recently broke ground for the first phase of an expansion that the boatbuilder said will bring its campus footprint to 100 acres of land, with 773,000 square feet of manufacturing and support space. The expansion will also increase local employment to 600 people.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the company's 213,000 square-foot facility in Fort Pierce, Fla. The three-phase expansion will add an additional 569,430 square feet of manufacturing space with three manufacturing and support operations complexes. Phase one will add a 182,115-square-foot facility.

"Pursuit Boats has been manufacturing our award-winning, luxury fishing boats in Fort Pierce since 1982. After 37 years here, we are a multi-generational employer," president Bruce Thompson said. "We, and our 400 current employees are thrilled to be able to stay and expand here at home, something we've wanted to do for a long time."

The Pursuit series of fishing boats was introduced in 1977 in Holland, Mich. Demand for the boats led to the constructions of a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce in 1983. Pursuit expanded several times of the years, leading up to a company acquisition by Malibu Boats in 2018.

"Malibu's investment and market demand led to an imperative need for expansion of our manufacturing operations," Thompson said.

Pursuit's site plan includes a 111.42-acre site and a 42-acre scrub jay habitat area, of which 32 acres will be donated to the county as a preserve area for threatened and endangered species. Pursuit has also extended support for county acquisition of an additional 10 acres south of the development through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program.

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"Our environmental preservation partnership with St. Lucie County will help match our legacy on the water with our environmental stewardship on the land," Thompson said.

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