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Community Voices: All mayoral candidates want to make Trop decision themselves – what now?

Dick Pierce



Sunrise over Tropicana Field. Photo: Shutterstock.

Welcome to the Catalyst’s Community Voices platform. We’ve curated community leaders and thinkers from all parts of our great city to speak on issues that affect us all. Visit our Community Voices page for more details.

Not only do all the St. Pete mayoral candidates want to decide themselves on how to develop the Tropicana Field site, but the City Council and the Tampa Bay Rays are of the same opinion: to hold off on making a decision and selecting the developer(s) until next year, under a new mayor. (Two council members are running for mayor.) Only one candidate, former county commissioner Ken Welch, honored this mayor’s and city staff’s and seven developers’ good work by saying that he would consider the work done so far as a part of his deliberations.

So the big question for each of the candidates becomes, “What are your priorities – with details – on what you think are the key items and issues that surround the Trop redevelopment? Please rank the following ideas, and add your own, from the following choices:”

The Trop project should include housing

Does St. Petersburg have an affordable housing crisis? If so, how could the Trop project help with these issues:

  • The overall spectrum of affordable housing – whether to rent or own, issues for both builder and buyer, the number of units at various income levels
  • Workforce housing; the same details needed
  • Mixed-income housing – your definition, your commitment to it, your plan

The Trop is for all of St. Pete

How would you include, reach out to, and consider all views? In terms of …

  • Benefits for surrounding neighborhoods, including South St. Pete
  • “Doing it right by South St. Pete this time” – what this means to you
  • Preparing neighborhoods, including South St. Pete, to be ready for the Trop
  • What would your city/regional transportation plan look like, for transport to and from the Trop, and to and from jobs, including those in South St. Pete
  • The relationship of the Trop to existing Community Redevelopment Agencies, including the SSCRA

The Trop means jobs

 Can St. Pete educate, train, support, and supply people for these jobs?

  • How would you develop jobs for people and find people to fill them, from entry to high-tech 
  • Conversely, how would you develop people for jobs, especially for entry level and the hardest to hire and hardest to place
  • The Trop CBA agreement is a major part of the Trop agreement. Do you support it?


Dick Pierce has been a member of ASPEC, the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College, for seven years. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer only. No endorsement of these opinions by ASPEC or Eckerd College is either expressed or implied. 


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  1. Ernest Mahaffey

    Ernest Mahaffey

    June 27, 2021at7:35 pm

    Please ask Comissioner Welch to respond in writing, and .sybe the others will be obliged.

  2. Avatar

    Georgia Earp

    June 28, 2021at9:47 pm

    Excellent analysis and questions!

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