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City asks residents for input on future of Trop site

Veronica Brezina

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Tropicana Field. Google Earth.

Whether it’s an abundance of affordable housing or much-desired office space, St. Petersburg residents are invited to weigh in on the future redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District site.

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced the city will host community engagement sessions to hear what residents would like to see at the 86-acre site, home to the Tropicana Field baseball stadium. 

The first community meeting will be held Tuesday, July 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete, located in the Lakeview Shopping Center at 2333 34th St. South. 

Members of the public are invited to participate in subject matter expert-led conversations addressing common themes about redevelopment priorities, including equitable economic opportunities, affordable and workforce housing, economic impact, jobs, sustainability, equity and community impact.

“Equitable redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District must respond to current economic conditions, challenges and questions facing our St. Petersburg community. Public engagement is a key component in ensuring we are responding to residents’ needs. I look forward to the opportunity to hear from you about this generational project,” Welch said in the city’s news alert. 

Additional community engagement sessions will be held on July 19 at the St. Petersburg College-Gibbs campus and July 28 at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus. 

The announcement of the engagement sessions follows the mayor’s decision last week to restart the request for proposals process rather than selecting a proposal from Midtown Development or Sugar Hill Community Partners.

Former Mayor Rick Kriseman selected Midtown Development before exiting office, but he said the final decision would ultimately be in Welch’s hands.

Welch has made it a requirement that all of the submitted proposals must include a stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. 

The input gathered during the community engagement sessions will be used to craft the language for the new RFP. 

The RFP is expected to be released in August. Welch said a master developer will be selected by the end of the year.  

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Michael Travers

    July 6, 2022at3:15 pm

    Have any surveys ever been conducted asking Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete residents IF THEY ARE BASEBALL FANS AND WOULD THEY BUY SEASON TICKETS TO SUPPORT THE TEAM? To me, it doesn’t appear so. However, if the team ownership or private individuals wish to raise the funding to create another stadium without costing Florida taxpayers even one dollar, then, I’m all for it. And, to answer my own question … I am a “sometimes” baseball fan who lives in St Pete Beach and would never, ever drive through rush hour traffic to attend a mid-week 7 pm baseball game in downtown Tampa … if that’s where the “new” stadium is built.

  2. Avatar

    Ryan Todd

    July 6, 2022at4:41 pm

    Additional community engagement is unnecessary. We’ve spent years talking about the redevelopment and then the newly elected mayor derails the process with unrealistic requirements for future proposals. The community already weighed-in and we don’t want to pay the price to retain the Rays. Good luck to the mayor in finding a developer that can make this project pencil-out with an affordable component while also reducing the Office component. Lastly, what do intentional equity and equitable development translate to at the site-plan level? Just sounds like a lot of idealistic political hot air to me and the timing couldn’t be worse considering inflation and development costs.

  3. Avatar

    Diana Ocho

    July 7, 2022at2:36 am

    What more community engagement do we need? We just need to get going on this. It is so ridiculous.

  4. Avatar

    rob

    July 7, 2022at2:55 pm

    I wish I could say this at their community outreach without be hissed and boo’d off stage

    They are making this all about equity. Why would a company develop and finance a multi billion dollar project trying to include lower income residents? I wish I could afford a water view apt by the coffee pot too….but sadly I cannot. I don’t see anyone protesting the inequality of those neighborhoods?

    When did developers become social service charities? Great if the politicians can find a sweet spot that makes it possible for all of us to live in great clean desirable neighborhoods and not have to ever earn anymore money. I’m all for it!!

    The good news is there’s already so much going into that area as far as new housing options and office space that I think the clock will run out on this and St Pete might just end up with nothing but a new stadium someday.

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