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Nearly all vendors at St. Pete Pier Marketplace have renewed – here’s why

Veronica Brezina

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Joe (left) and Sarah Simoncini of Lily Rose Jewelry Co., one of the vendors at the Marketplace. All photos provided by Lily Rose Jewelry Co.

A year and a half after the St. Pete Pier Marketplace debuted, 16 of the 17 vendors are renewing their leases and new vendors are coming. 

The Marketplace opened in 2020 as part of the $92 million St. Pete Pier District. The vendors occupy a mix of 10 market-style tents and seven stalls in a solar panel-covered promenade near the Pier entrance off Bayshore Drive.

The Marketplace at St. Pete Pier (looking west)

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and disruptions caused by the weather, Colliers, which acts as an advisor to the City of St. Petersburg in the leasing and management of the St. Pete Pier District, has deemed the Marketplace a success for vendors. 

“The Marketplace had an advantage during the pandemic because it’s an open-air market and it’s easier to social distance. To have 16 of 17 vendors renew and be able to add new vendors, speaks to its success,” said Stephanie Addis, Colliers’ Director of Retail Services. 

“Our first task was securing brick-and-mortar tenants for the property and we ultimately selected vendors like Teak, and the Marketplace vendors came on later closer to the Pier opening,” she recalled, “In the start, we had over 70 applications from vendors.” 

Three additional vendors have been added. The Marketplace has the ability to accommodate up to 30 tenants. 

The Marketplace focuses heavily on handmade, local goods such as art and natural skin care products.

Customers line up inside Lily Rose Jewelry Co.’s stall.

The vendors have a 10-by-10-foot, or 100-square-foot, space. The tent spaces are currently $515 per month. The market stalls are roughly $750 per month, Addis said. 

The tenants must provide their financial projections and business plan in the selection process. 

“We are not afraid to work with a startup to give someone a space who can’t afford a storefront or something similar,” Addis said. “I’ve been in commercial real estate since the late ’90s. Traditional shopping centers are similar in some ways, but they are different animals. I’m a big proponent of small businesses and I have really enjoyed working with them.” 

One small business that has experienced a boom in sales since setting up shop at the Pier is Sarah and Joe Simoncini’s Lily Rose Jewelry Co.

Founded in 2018 and named after a beloved family member, Lily Rose Jewelry Co. has a stall to sell handmade jewelry. The couple outfitted the stall with cabinets and drawers to display their products. 

“When we opened at the Pier, we were coming out of quarantine into this open market. Everybody was just so grateful to be outside,” Sarah Simoncini said. 

An amethyst necklace from Lily Rose Jewelry Co.

She and her husband talked about how they lept at the opportunity to claim a spot at the Pier and submitted a 30-something-odd page business plan. 

The pair are typically regulars at some of the area’s most popular markets, such as the  Saturday Morning Market and at large-scale events and festivals such as Reggae Rise Up and the upcoming Enchant Christmas light show. 

They are planning to open a store two blocks from the Pier at 209 1st Street. N., in a 1,200-square-foot space with a modern design. 

The store would sell crystals and stones from around the world rather than jewelry, however; with the Marketplace location focusing solely on jewelry, the two locations will cross-promote one another. 

Sarah Simoncini said they plan to have a giant human-sized amethyst geode from Brazil to draw onlookers. 

Sarah and Joe hope to open the store, which will also feature crystal healing workshops, early next year. 

The company is very active on Instagram and does a large portion of its sales online

Other vendors at the Pier include InSparkleMe Bling Apparel, which is planning to open a store in the Skyway Marina Mall in St. Petersburg; Island Flavors and Tings; and The Merchant, which has an existing brick-and-mortar location. 

The Pier Marketplace is open every Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but operations could extend in the future. 

“Our hope is to be able to do market nights or popup tents. We are in discussions on strategies like that, but the expansion of the vendors is the main focus,” Addis said. 

While artists and others can apply for a space, Colliers is currently not seeking any food vendors. 

Those interested can email Stephanie.Addis@colliers.com

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