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Sugar Hill, Rays pitch plans to redevelop the Trop

Veronica Brezina



Tampa Bay Rays' rendering of its proposed redevelopment of the Trop site. All renderings were provided.

The City of St. Petersburg has received four proposals in response to the Historic Gas Plant District request for proposals (RFP).

The proposals were submitted by 50 Plus 1 Sports, Hines and Tampa Bay Rays (a joint proposal), Restoration Associates and Sugar Hill Community Partners. Today, Dec. 2, was the deadline to submit proposals.

“We commend 50 Plus 1 Sports, Hines & Tampa Bay Rays, Restoration Associates, and Sugar Hill Community Partners for their diligent efforts to submit proposals that will fuel inclusive progress and equitable development for future generations who will live, visit and do business in our city,” St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth Welch said in the city’s news alert.

“We will review the proposers’ plans with a keen eye on their interpretation of affordable and workforce housing; office and meeting space; arts and culture; research, innovation, and education; recreation; open space, healthy and sustainable development; and intentional equity. We look forward to engaging the community as we determine the future of this historically and economically vital part of St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay region.”

All proposals will be posted on the City’s website after an expeditious review by City staff to ensure that each proposal is ADA compliant. The selection process will also include a community presentation on Jan. 4 at the Coliseum.  A final decision will be announced by Welch at his first State of the City address scheduled for the end of January.

What we know

Highlights from Tampa Bay Rays’ proposal 

  • The Tampa Bay Rays have partnered with Houston-based Hines for the project. The group is proposing to build a seven-million-square-foot, mixed-use development. It would include 5,700 multifamily units, 1.4 million square feet of office, 300,000 square feet of retail, 700 hotel rooms, 600 senior living residences, a 2,500-person entertainment venue and other uses. 
  • It’s centered around a Tampa Bay Rays stadium, which would be at a different location within the district on 17 acres. 

Tampa Bay Rays’ aerial rendering of its proposed redevelopment.

  • The Rays and Hines are working with St. Petersburg-based Storyn Studio for Architecture. Washington, D.C.-based Dantes Partners, which will serve as the affordable housing partner and would lead the development of more than 850 affordable and workforce housing units on-site. The team will create approximately 600 residences off-site through various homeownership grants and rental assistance programs in St. Petersburg. 
  • The group would contribute $50 million to intentional equity initiatives that will support and uplift historically disadvantaged populations through a variety of restorative strategies. The team would w0rk with minority-owned businesses.  Based upon the target threshold of 20% this represents a target SBE/MBE participation in excess of $500 million over the term of the project.

A rendering of the Tampa Bay Rays’ proposed redevelopment.

  • The Rays are also working with San Francisco-based architect firm Gensler.
  • A rendering shows the proposed development would have a music venue, a new Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, a full activation of Booker Creek, a connecting bridge and more. 

Highlights from Sugar Hill’s proposal (This includes the latest information for the proposal and recent news from SHCP.) 

  • The team would create a Community Equity Endowment (CEE), which would collect $30 million over the first 20 years and would be used to fund the construction of affordable single-family homes outside of the Trop site, and provide grants to small and minority-owned business, and support other priorities as determined by the community. 
  • It would have a workforce development program including a $2 million investment in a vocational skills academy. Sugar Hill will also fund a $5 million renovation of Campbell Park at the outset of the Trop development process and will donate $1 million to the city’s African American History Museum. Additionally, the plan also calls for a redesign of Booker Creek to activate large park space, building thousands of affordable and workforce housing units, and developing a convention center and office space. 

Sugar Hill Community Partners’ aerial rendering of the overall site.

  •  Dallas, TX-based KDC will lead the office development strategy with support from Cushman & Wakefield’s Tampa Bay office leasing team (new information as of this week). 
  • The team also announced this week that Blue Sky Communities, Property Markets Group (PMG) Affordable, and the St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA) will be joining the team and will lead the affordable housing development component. 

Sugar Hill Community Partners’ rendering of the lawn and bridge at the site.

  • The redevelopment would have 2,600 affordable housing units, 50% of 5,200 units, with 325 units built offsite. 
  • Two 200-key hotels. 
  • It would include up to 2.7 million square feet of office space and 409,00 square feet of retail and ground floor uses. 
  • A 174,000-square-foot conference center and 350-key conference hotel. 
  • A 39,000-square-foot performance hall, a 96,000-square-foot museum and a 22,000-square-foot transit hub. 

Sugar Hill Community Partners’ rendering of its proposed redevelopment. 

  • The team has committed to a 20-25% M/WBE goal across each phase of the project (design, construction and operations). There will also be a comprehensive mentoring program. 
  • Sugar Hill will develop a workforce pipeline to ensure that St. Pete residents are trained and ready for the jobs the Trop project will create.
  • It would also be incorporating urban farming. 

RELATED: Inside baseball: Talking Trop with Sugar Hill 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    James henchion

    December 3, 2022at7:35 am

    Build the rays stadium!

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