Tampa Bay Rays New Stadium St. Petersburg
Tampa Bay Rays New Stadium St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced on Monday that the long-awaited master developer for the redevelopment of the city’s Historic Gas Plant District and Tropicana Field site is Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays. During his state of the city speech, Mayor Welch expressed that the group will play a vital role in the recreation of the 86-acre land plot in the heart of downtown St. Pete. The project will honor the Historic Gas Plant District, a thriving African-American community that was destroyed 40 years ago when Tropicana Field was built.
The city had earlier expressed its desire for proposals that emphasized “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.” Mayor Welch said the decision was not an easy one, with two strong proposals from capable teams. He added that the process was transparent and that he had done his homework as the mayor.
Tampa Bay Rays New Stadium: Hines Chosen
Hines is a global real estate investment, development, and property manager. The Tampa Bay Rays are the local MLB team that plays at Tropicana Field in the center of the property being developed. The partners have a 7 million square feet redevelopment plan for a vibrant mixed-use district. All of which will include a new state-of-the-art ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays. The proposal for the Historic Gas Plant District includes a new baseball stadium, family entertainment, retail, civic and capacity building, arts and culture, food, and housing options for different income levels.
The renovations are estimated to cost over $6 billion over the next 20 years. These costs including $2.5-$3 billion for the construction of a new Rays ballpark and initial development. Following the construction, the site will become an active and vibrant mixed-use community. Furthermore, will be home to the Rays and other events. Additionally will include modern office buildings, hotels and conference space, green space, and housing options for different income levels.
Tampa Bay Rays New Stadium: Working Together
However, some members of the community, such as the coalition of St Pete’s religious leaders who favored the Sugar Hill Community Partners’ proposal, wish for more. But willing to work together with Mayor Welch’s selection. Abdul Karim Ali from the Tampa Bay Area Muslim Association stated, “We have some disappointment, but let us work forward with what we have. And we hope and pray that Hines/Rays understands that community comes first.”
Before any concrete decisions regarding the groundbreaking of a new baseball park happen, there are specific steps that need to be taken. All including reaching a development agreement with the city administration. Also getting city council approval on the agreement, a financing plan for the ballpark, and county support. The co-president of Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays stated that they will work aggressively to meet the city’s expectations but added that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. When asked if the team is still looking in Tampa for a possible future move, he simply answered, “We’re continuing the dialogue.”
Author: Rob Johnson