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Meet the team: Sugar Hill

Joe Hamilton



Press the play triangle above to watch the video interview.

In this series we’ll meet some of the teams that are vying to develop the Historic Gas Plant District site.

Representing the Sugar Hill team in this installment: 

David Carlock, Machete Group – Lead Developer

Kevin Johnson, JMA Ventures – Lead Developer

Askia Mohammad Aquil – Historian (historical context and engagement)

Ernie DuBose – DuCon Construction, LLC (workforce development and inclusion)

Sarah-Jane Vatelot – Behar + Peteranecz, Architect & Historian (design and history)

Jordan Behar – Behar + Peteranecz, Architect (design and placemaking)

Wendy Giffin – Cushman Wakefield (to discuss the office program)

Shawn Wilson – Blue Sky Communities

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  1. Avatar

    Donna S

    December 29, 2022at9:35 pm

    I loved everything that was said in this presentation! GREAT team! Love the diversity. Representative of St Petersburg. Feedback from our residents was heard and being implemented! Thank you Mayor Welch for going back to new RFP’s. Sugar Hill deserves this project!
    I am 8th st S in the same block as Tropicana Field. So this is in my neighborhood.
    I’ll be interested in the project timeline.

  2. Avatar

    Mr. Keys

    December 30, 2022at6:02 pm

    Excited to see the outcome

  3. Avatar

    Pat O'Brien

    December 30, 2022at9:34 pm

    I’m confused. Is the City really interested in building something or just use this project as a front to address perceived past grieveances?

  4. Avatar

    Pete from St. Pete

    December 31, 2022at6:31 pm

    This plan has the approach that has been missing from other bids. Developing the Gas Plant district HAS to be about the community! Has to make things right and fulfill promises of the past

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    December 31, 2022at10:04 pm

    Highly highly recommend watching KJ’s thoughts at the end. The focus on generating African American wealth and opportunity really makes this bid stand out. I really hope they are selected

  6. Avatar

    Jaye Lisa Barr

    January 2, 2023at11:11 am

    Wow! 50% affordable homes is a heckuva promise! I will be watching to see if that comes true!

  7. Avatar

    Devin C.

    January 2, 2023at3:08 pm

    Really exciting news for such a lively city! It’s so motivating To see what will become of Johnson’s meeting with the board. With a project of this scale I believe the impact to the community will be tremendous, here’s to hoping it all falls into place properly and in a timely fashion #thepotishot blog post coming soon!

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    Jovan Thompson

    January 2, 2023at4:11 pm

    I love this proposal and using this project to help everyone win. The affordable housing is going to help a lot of families in the area. I can’t wait to see if they can make this happen.

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    January 2, 2023at4:56 pm

    We need to do more for the community! Especially in times like this. I loved hearing what everyone had to say.

  10. Avatar

    Aixsa Diaz

    January 2, 2023at7:59 pm

    A bait and switch? St. Pete is front facing, community-driven, and so G for that. So, this, is gangster. History, unity, and vision: driven by an real representation of #BurgLife. Let’s go Sugar Hill.

  11. Avatar

    Rico M.

    January 2, 2023at8:37 pm

    Cool I’m a business owner in St.Petersburg and can’t wait for the opportunity to build and network.

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    Tony D

    January 2, 2023at10:06 pm

    Excited to see how this plays out, we have a very historical city and culture that needs to be nurtured. I do hope if you guys win the bid if the baseball team leaves that more focus is put towards the youth to ensure the future, it’s hard to believe in affordable housing when the Bay Area is amongst to top places people are migrating too, the people need to be prepared to shield off inflation and rent increases. I hope their plan contains alot of program (job training, life skills, financial literacy, health issues etc etc…. Exciting times ahead good luck!

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    January 2, 2023at10:48 pm

    I love that they plan to have more affordable housing each year, that’s awesome a lot of people don’t have a place to live that’s in their budget so this would be very resourceful and helpful.

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    Shirley Hayes

    January 3, 2023at6:34 pm

    The minority owned General contractor, the community mindedness, the consideration of what is good for our city caught my interest. The others must beat this proposal in my mind.

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    steve sullivan

    January 15, 2023at3:13 pm

    Shirley Hayes, 50 + 1 is a minority developer and has a woman miority general contractor on top of requiring 50 +1% minority participation on every project

  16. Avatar


    January 20, 2023at10:35 am

    It’s dope to hear that the project is equitable n considers the the roots of the community

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