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St. Pete Pier wins ULI global award

The St. Pete Pier has been selected as one of six winners of the Urban Land Institute's 2022 ULI Global Awards for Excellence, which recognizes the best new urban designs in the world. This year's winners include two from North America, two from Europe and two from Asia Pacific. The St. Pete Pier was named a winner of the ULI Americas Award for Excellence and then became a finalist in the 2022 ULI Global Awards for Excellence, competing against projects from Europe and Asia, according to a news alert from the City of St. Petersburg. In 2022, 152 projects and programs were submitted across the three ULI regions. The St. Pete Pier team included the City of St. Petersburg, Rogers Partners and Urban Designers; ASD SKY; Ken Smith Workshop, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Wannemacher Jensen Architects.

Cross Bay Ferry booking opens

Online tickets for the Cross Bay Ferry will be available for purchase on Oct. 19. The Cross Bay Ferry connects from the Vinoy Basin to the Tampa Convention Center. Adult tickets cost $24 round trip. Seniors, college student, military members cost $16 round trip.  The Cross Bay Ferry, operated by HMS Ferries, has funding support from Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, City of Tampa, City of St. Petersburg and the state. The ferry does not operate on Monday and Tuesday. 

Sunken Gardens restores building to open history center

St. Petersburg's Sunken Gardens is opening a history center in the original 1940 entrance and gift shop, a building that until recently held the garden’s tropical birds at night. The birds now have new nighttime accommodations, and the building has been restored with the history exhibits opening to the public Oct. 22, according to the city's website. The new history center will showcase Sunken Gardens’ history and its important role in developing Florida’s tourism industry during the era of Old Florida roadside attractions with never-before seen photos and documents. The organization was able to open the center with funding from Florida’s Division of Historical Resources, the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, Penny for Pinellas and the Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation

SVP Fast Pitch tickets go on sale

Tickets for Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tampa Bay’s signature event are now on sale through the Palladium Theater box office. SVP is part of an international collective of successful professionals who provide their time, expertise and resources to develop local nonprofits. In partnership with the Community Foundation Tampa Bay, SVP established its Fast Pitch event in 2017. Participating organizations first complete a 16-week program designed to bolster operations and effectiveness, while a mentor helps the nonprofits’ leaders develop a three-minute pitch. The 2022 participants include Barbershop Books, Frameworks, Sweetwater Organic Farms, Florida Resurrection House, Green Book Tampa Bay, Alpha House, Act and Beth El Farm Workers. The event takes place Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Palladium’s Hough Hall. For more information and tickets, visit the website here.

Rowdies end regular season with a bang

The Tampa Bay Rowdies host the New York Redbulls II at Al Lang Stadium Saturday night in the final match of the regular season. The second seed in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings is still up for grabs, but the Rowdies, currently in third place, first need to beat New York. The postseason begins Oct. 22, and team officials will give away playoff yard signs Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Al Lang. Fans can also grab a sign following the post-match fireworks show. The regular season finale kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

Construction firm is awarded $243M for U.S. 19 project

Infrastructure construction services provider Southland Holdings LLC's subsidiary in its transportation segment, Johnson Bros., has been awarded a $243 million contract to construct the U.S. 19 Pinellas County roadway project in Clearwater for the Florida Department of Transportation. The scope of work includes reconstructing U.S. 19 into a six-lane, controlled-access facility with frontage roads on both sides of the roadway. Construction is expected to begin this fourth quarter, according to Texas-based contractor's announcement this week. 

Citizens Advisory Committee vacancies announced

St. Petersburg city officials are seeking residents to fill several vacancies on the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The deadline to apply is Nov. 11. The CAC, created through a partnership between the city and Pinellas County, advises the St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Agency on matters pertaining to the CRA. The committee is comprised of nine members, with six appointed by the mayor and three appointed by the city council. To apply, visit

Good ‘Burger voting closes Tuesday

You've got until Tuesday (Oct. 18) to cast your vote for the St. Pete Catalyst and other nominees for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce's annual Good 'Burger awards. Winners will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Jannus Live. The 10th anniversary fun kicks off at 6 p.m.  Click here to vote and here to get tickets.  

Biology professor gifts USFSP $1 million

Deby Cassill, who earned her doctorate in biology at 50 and became the first full-time biology professor on the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus in 2001, recently donated $1 million to the university. The gift will go to Cassill Endowed Scholarship in Biology. Cassill went back to school at the age of 40 after a 20-year career in health care administration.

Tampa inflation rate still tops national average

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Tampa Bay’s inflation rate for September was still a historically high 10.5%. The national average was 8.2%. However, the latest statistics show a slight decrease in the local Consumer Price Index from August, which was 11.2% higher than the previous year. The BLS reported the region’s food and energy indexes increased by 11.1% and 13%, respectively

Preservation grant will help secure historic Williams House

University of South Florida St. Petersburg officials announced Wednesday that the John C. Williams house will undergo significant renovations and upgrades over the next two years. The university received a $280,640 matching grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. The $561,280 in total funding will help ensure the house, located on the USFSP campus, is more resilient to major storms. Built in 1891 by General John C. Williams, one of St. Petersburg’s founders, the Williams House was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It was moved to 511 2nd Street South in 1997 and has been a campus landmark ever since. Upgrades will include bolstering the foundation, a new roof, hurricane panels and various other repairs. According to the release, wood is rotting in the house and its foundation is shifting.

Rocktoberfest coming to Williams Park

Rocktoberfest, a three-day food and cultural event from Paragon Festivals and Big Storm Brewing, will take over Williams Park Park Oct. 28-30. Along with German food for sale, and a marketplace featuring artisans and vendors, area bands will perform. Tickets for the pet-friendly festival are $5 Friday, $7 Saturday and $5 Sunday. Details and tickets can be found here.    

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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