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Tropicana Field site redevelopment narrowed to two proposals

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Mayor Rick Kriseman has not slowed his pace on selecting the developer for re-developing the Tropicana Field site.

At the end of January 2021, the city of St. Petersburg released seven of nine proposals received to redevelop the land under Tropicana Field, 86 acres of downtown property controlled by the city and largely used as a parking lot. You can read our summary on the RFP process and the ruled out proposals at this link. The submissions by the remaining bids are hyperlinked below, and can also be found at the city’s website.

The narrowing of the field comes at an interesting time, as the Mayor Rick Kriseman is reaching the final seven months of his term and may see this proposal as the way to leave his mark on the city. Kriseman has attempted to make this decision without the direct oversight of the St. Petersburg City Council (who control the budget) and without the input of the Tampa Bay Rays (who can block re-development until 2028).

Mayor Kriseman recently declared he will no longer negotiate with the Rays until Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg steps down from managing operations at the team. In response, the Chair of the City Council announced he a press conference this morning saying redevelopment should be put on hold until the Rays stadium has been resolved, a tit-for-tat with Mayor Kriseman narrowing the vision for downtown St. Petersburg to two proposals.

There are differences between the two remaining proposals. Both pack into the space as much as possible to create a busy downtown feel, but where one prioritizes greenspace, the other prioritizes water features. Both have the stadium option in the middle of the action, although only one has rendered what that would look like.

What follows highlights our previous detail on the submissions, listed in the order presented by the city.

1. Midtown Development

The first plan introduced by the city starts with no Rays stadium identified. More on that in a moment.

Design Principles: Creekside Design

Land uses are usually associated with buildings—some are residential, some commercial, some with retail on the ground floor; some are hotels and so on. But on an 86-acre parcel we are working at the scale of city -building. Fittingly, our approach to land use starts with the three fundamental elements of cities: streets, parks and blocks. Creekside will provide 36 acres of Public Realm, land used for streets and parks as part of the building of Booker Creek and The Greenway highlight the park system.

Another measure of our commitment to open space is the public Boardwalk, Terraces and Paseos that will pass over and through buildings with full landscaping and public access. Creekside also includes 30 new city blocks for development encompassing 50 acres of land.

Key Feature: Booker Creek Basin

While all proposals will feature the creek, this proposal creates a large basin around which the plan is based.

The rebuilding and realignment of Booker Creek creates five different creek environments; The Upper Creek, The Water Pavillion, The Lower Creek, The Banyan Village and The Heritage Bridge

Rays Stadium Location: Flexible

Most submissions build around the Rays stadium, but this plan allows the city to pick which area the Rays would fit in: neighboring the EDGE district, or next to the planned water basin (perhaps with the added possibility of homeruns into the creek?).

Every plan submitted has an option to build with or without a Rays stadium. Moving forward, I will include the versions showing the Rays stadium only. If you’d like to see the renderings without, follow the hyperlinks in the subheading or at the end of the article in the table.


2. Sugar Hill Community Partners, JMA Ventures

Design Principles: Civic gathering

[...] the master plan is to create a civic gathering place. Imagined as a stage for public life, the convention center cascades down to the new public plaza, inviting life to move between the two spaces. The plaza framed by the convention center is covered by a light canopy, allowing people to gather during any season to engage with the public programming and markets that will bring this space to life throughout the year.

Key Feature: Convention Center

The convention complex includes 1.3 million sf of space built in two phases along with a major flagship hotel with ballroom. The different buildings are connected via skybridges over the road.

Rays Stadium Location: Central

Here the planned amenities are tied into footpath surrounding stadium, which uses a berm for the outfield.

There will be much and more to come in the Stadium Saga this week.

Poll

Which proposal do you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Midtown (Creekside / Water Basin feature)
    (340 votes)
  • 25%
    Sugar Hill JMA (Convention Center feature)
    (115 votes)
455 votes total Vote Now