Correction, February 1, 11 a.m.: An earlier version of this article identified Midtown Development as Bradenton-based. They are actually based in Miami. The Gabber apologizes for the error.
The Tropicana Field site, 86 acres in the heart of St. Petersburg, will undergo a potentially $3 billion redevelopment in the next few years.
The city will sift through seven potential development plans with a mix of recreational, commercial and residential blueprints.
Each proposal has two plans, with and without a stadium.
“When you see these submissions, I think you’ll quickly realize that the future has never been brighter,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman told press on Tuesday, January 26.
This will take months of Kriseman’s team weighing the pros and cons of each possibility before his administration, which ends in January of 2022, even completes a shortlist.
“We’ll listen very carefully to the community and see how we can knit this together,” St. Petersburg development administrator Alan DeLisle said. “Once we get through that process the mayor has a very big decision to make.”
The Future of the Tampa Bay Rays
In the mix of Kriseman’s final verdict is the shaky but continuing correspondence between the city and the Tampa Bay Rays, who declined the city’s offers to be included in any of the upcoming proposals.
The Rays want more than 50 percent of the revenue that is produced from the site, stadium or not, and control of over 50 percent of the property, Kriseman confirmed at the Tropicana site press conference.
This increase in revenue would also be paired with the team splitting their season between St. Petersburg and Montreal.
“Look, I want the Rays here, but I cannot allow the city and the community to lose control over the site,” Kriseman said. “I hope there is a way forward to ensure that the team stays.”
Futuristic style apartments intermingled with urban beaches and waterways head some of the proposed plans for a redeveloped Tropicana Field site.
Most proposals feature hotels, convention centers and living space, but the costs and designs vary.
Unicorp National Developments
With over 200 pages in their proposal plan and a track record of successful, Orlando-based properties such as ICON park, Unicorp National Developments would completely reconstruct the 86-acre site.
Expanded green space would coexist with apartments, conference centers, office space and a 400-room hotel.
“We did not take the approach of maximizing density which others may, instead we took the approach of balance between density and the need for a great public space,” their proposal reads.
With a baseball stadium, the project will cost over $1 billion.
JMA Ventures and Sugar Hill Community Partners
With a mix of east and west coast ideas, the San-Francisco based JMA Ventures and the New York anchored Sugar Hill Company have the pricest proposal, capped at $3 billion.
Most notably, the developers aim to design a widened Booker Creek, with an “urban beach” and expanded 11-acre park area.
Along with a convention center and hotel, JMA Ventures and Sugar Hill Community Partners plan to work on a deal for a University of South Florida affiliated marine technology campus, AltaSea.
TRS Development Services, Ryan Companies and Brennan Investment Group
Three partnered firms aim to create “Rome Yard,” a development that would cost $475 million.
A hotel, childcare facility, greenspace, retail center and more would not be completed until 2037, the proposal reads.
Miami-based Midtown Development plans to coin the St. Petersburg space “Creekside,” and develop residential areas around Booker Creek.
Twenty percent of Midtown Development’s housing will be affordable units.
“Midtown assumes an active role in curating the community, building neighborhoods and enabling others to shape on-site and adjacent – in line with a vision for walkable, connected communities,” the proposal reads.
Wendover Housing Partner
In contrast, Altamonte Springs-based Wendover Housing Partners will dedicate 60 percent of their residential development to affordable, family housing.
St. Petersburg residents, particularly those in historically Black neighborhoods, would get first consideration for leasing.
A technical school is also in the works in Wendover’s plans.
Portman Holdings, Third Lake Partners
Costing up to $2.6 billion, Portman Holdings, Third Lake Partners envisions a garden bridge connecting to Campbell Park, along with Gas Plant District memorials.
Hotels, office space and a “creative hub” are all in the plan from the Atlanta development firm.
SROA Capital, Holabird and Root and ARGO
These three firms have come together to create an idea that will flourish around “canal communities,” which will feature Booker Creak as well as man-made water spaces.
“Along the edges of the canals residences, workplaces, and areas of entertainment that both support the immediate community, but also are attractive features to visitors to the site,” the proposals reads.
The development will move forward in the shadow of the historic Gas Plant District, St. Petersburg’s historically Black community, which was torn down and displaced to make room for the original stadium in the 80s.
“This is a generational project that will beautifully honor the history that is here,” Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin said at the January 26 press conference.
According to Delisle, the city will hire a firm to assess the history behind the site, including the historically Black cemetery that was bulldozed over in the creation of the stadium.
“We’re looking into the facts and history before we move forward,” Delisle said. “We still have a long way to go.