With Just Getting Started, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Dr. Kanika Tomalin is “telling the St. Pete story” through one-on-one conversations with change-makers. With many exciting plans and projects on the horizon, St. Petersburg’s upward trajectory remains strong. “So much has been done, but here’s the secret: We’re just getting started.”
As City Development Administrator Alan DeLisle is in charge of economic development, transportation, planning, real estate, events, Enterprise Facilities (including the Tropicana Field site) and more. The discussion centers on the all-important 86 contiguous acres where Tropicana Field now sits, and what will be done with it - if the Tampa Bay Rays leave when their contract expires in 2027, or if the team stays and the area is transformed into mixed-use. "It's exactly on the cusp of where all the development is creeping west," Dr. Tomalin says. "People literally salivate at this opportunity that we have to transform our community." The City recently sent out Requests For Proposals (RFPs). "We really need the talent and experience and wherewithall of a master private developer," explains DeLisle. "We're looking at some combinations of folks that are going to come together here, in my humble opinion, that probably far exceeds anything like it in the past."
The Tropicana Field site is in the middle of the city; it touches everything and everybody, and everybody and every organization has thoughts and ideas about it."
From an economic development perspective, it is those cities that don't do what we're doing - which is moving now - that will get hurt the most."
Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.
As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.
Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.
Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.