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Development activity heats up in South St. Petersburg

Margie Manning



Tangerine Empty
The largest retail space of the city-owned Tangerine Plaza, once the site of full-service grocers Sweetbay and Walmart, has sat empty for more than four years. File photo.

Plans for new developments at The Historic Manhattan Casino, Deuces Rising and Tangerine Plaza are advancing.

The projects, at city-owned properties in south St. Petersburg, are expected to bring jobs to an economically challenged part of the city. Many residents of South St. Petersburg have been outspoken about ensuring that the projects honor the legacy of the community, which historically has been a hub for Black businesses, homes and entertainment.

The St. Petersburg City Council narrowly approved an amendment to a lease with the Callaloo Group for a revised plan for the Manhattan Casino at 642 22nd St. S., creating a food hall, coworking space and small business development center. The City Council voted five to three Thursday afternoon to approve the amended lease after a two-and-a-half hour debate. Council members Ed Montanari, Gina Driscoll, Darden Rice, Deborah Figgs-Sanders and Robert Blackmon voted in favor of the amended lease and Council members Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Amy Foster and Brandi Gabbard were opposed.

Look for a future news story from the St. Pete Catalyst on what City Council members said about the Manhattan Casino plan. 

Updates on the Deuces Rising and Tangerine projects emerged at a recent meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area.

• Mayor Rick Kriseman is negotiating with a developer who plans a mixed-use project in Deuces Rising, the site formerly known as Commerce Park. The project would include owner-occupied residential and ground-level retail on 22nd Street, Rick Smith, the city’s redevelopment coordinator, told members of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Tuesday.

The city received an unsolicited proposal to develop the site, currently vacant land, at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue South and 22nd Street South, in December, and three other developers subsequently submitted their own plans.

Related story: Competing proposals for former Commerce Park site released

The city’s economic development team has declined to release additional details on the Deuces Rising until discussions conclude, said Ben Kirby, a city spokesman.

• Kriseman has decided not to move forward with one of the four plans submitted in a request for proposals for Tangerine Plaza, Smith told the Citizens Advisory Committee. The mayor decided against advancing the plan from Positive Impacts and Beyond, which had proposed a culinary/teaching kitchen and food bank. Kriseman will focus on the three other plans that have a housing component, Smith said.

The city staff has asked several questions of each of the three remaining developers and is reviewing their responses, Kirby said.

Tangerine Plaza is a retail strip center at 1794 22nd St. S. that was previously anchored by Sweetbay Supermarkets and then Walmart Neighborhood Market. After Walmart closed in 2017, the 40,000-square-foot grocery space has stood vacant, although other tenants remain in the shopping center.

Separately, a Miami developer, Joe Furst of Place Projects, has proposed changing the zoning on 22nd Street South between 1st Avenue South and 6th Avenue South, to allow small retail businesses, offices and residences to be built in the area. The proposed zoning change eventually will need city approval, but Furst does not expect that to come before the City Council until next year.

Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and City Development Administrator Alan DeLisle discuss the future of the Tropicana Field site – RFPs were recently sent out to developers – on the upcoming edition of the Just Getting Started podcast, debuting Saturday on the Catalyst website.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    S. Rose Smith-Hayes

    August 6, 2020at8:13 pm

    Callaloo was supposed to be a culinary teaching kitchen/restaurant and that was not successful. There needs to be some type of grocery store that offers fresh veggies and fruits, something small and something where people can live on that corner. Perhaps apartments upstairs and retail downstairs.
    I thought the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Library was going to be in Commerce Park, no mention in this article.

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