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St. Pete City Council puts Commerce Park development deal on hold

Margie Manning

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The St. Petersburg City Council wants to hear what residents of south St. Pete think about a new plan for Commerce Park.

The council this afternoon postponed a vote to amend a lease and development agreement that would bring new investors to the project, as the St. Pete Catalyst initially reported. The vote was rescheduled for Aug. 8.

The new investors want to acquire controlling interest in St. Petersburg Commerce Park LLC, which in 2016 signed the original lease and development agreement for the long-vacant land between 22nd and 26th Streets South, and 6th Avenue South to Interstate 275.

Development has stalled since then, and the city has filed suit to evict one of the prospective tenants, MCSP Holdings LLC, which does business as Euro Cycles of St. Petersburg.

The proposed amendment to the development agreement calls for construction of two industrial buildings housing businesses that would create at least 62 jobs, as well as up to 300 residential units with workforce and affordable housing components.

“What we are bringing you is the best of both worlds,” Mayor Rick Kriseman told the council. “It’s taking what was originally contemplated, and because the Euro Cycles piece has fallen apart, we are adding more housing. It’s an opportunity to add a significant amount of workforce housing on that site.”

Council Chair Charlie Gerdes asked what the Citizens Advisory Committe for the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area had to say about the plan. Alan DeLisle, city development administrator, said he had not met with the group.

“I said two years ago that I’m going to stop thinking that Charlie’s white privileged background knows best for them, and I’m going to listen to them. If they haven’t seen it and weighed in on it, I’m voting no,” Gerdes said.

Other council members also asked for input from Deuces Live, the Main Street District that encompasses the Historic 22nd Street South Corridor in St. Petersburg. In addition, several council members asked for a new appraisal of the property, although that appraisal would not be completed until after the scheduled Aug. 8 vote.

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