UPDATE 4/13/22: A Plan Has Been Chosen
Tropicana Field Site has decided on the Midtown Development Proposal. Here is a link to the plan that includes a stadium. Tropicana Field Site Winner
Tropicana Field Site Proposals
Tropicana Field Site proposals have been submitted to the City of St Petersburg FL. Being one of the the largest development opportunities in the USA, top development and design firms from across the nation have submitted plans. Moreover, these plans incorporate all the elements that a community focus group have requested. Also. with hopes of being a new city center, the desire is to meet the many diverse lifestyle facets to be a place where everyone will be drawn to spend quality time.
You may ask why is this one of the biggest development opportunities in our country today? Finally, the city has released the following statement:
“Five reasons the Tropicana Field Site in St. Pete, Florida is the Southeast’s largest and most unique development opportunity of the decade:
- 86 acres of publicly owned land in the middle of a bustling city, where economic indicators are booming
- Local city government dedicating $75 million for infrastructure development
- Located in the “Sunshine City”, Opportunity Zone and Tax Increment Financing District
- Strong workforce proposition through population growth and desire of millennials to locate here
- Proximate to St. Pete’s higher education hub, the South’s largest marine science center and Florida’s largest financial services cluster”
Below you will find pictures of the 6 proposals along with a summary of of the design concept. Be thinking of your favorite design and please share in the comments below.
1. Tropicana Field Site: Midtown Development Proposal
“Rebuilding Booker Creek starts with the existing conditions and constraints on site today. First, the Tropicana dome must stay in operation while the first phase commences. Also, the alignment of the creek is very close to the dome today so rerouting the path of the creek allows us to build Phase 1 on both sides of the creek, making the Phase 1 environment feel complete. The second constraint is the topography. The actual creek itself drops over six feet as it flows from north to south. Additionally, the upper creek and the lower creek can be engineered to meet at a special place on the site.
The rebuilding and realignment of Booker Creek creates five different creek environments; The Upper Creek, The Water Pavilion, The Lower Creek, The Banyan Village and The Heritage Bridge.
Pictured is the Upper Creek and The Water Pavilion
Moreover, the Upper Creek flows below 1st Avenue S where the creek is about 25 feet below the street, creating an opportunity for a piazza that gently slopes down to the creek level (+16′) from the city level (+40′). Additionally, the foot of the piazza is where the Upper Creek (+16′) and Lower Creek (+10′) will meet, forming a dazzling water room with terraces, seating and shade trees. This presents a wonderful opportunity to create waterfalls and terraced waterways to introduce sound and playfulness to the creek. Also. the Upper Creek, Water Pavilion and Piazza all work together, forming the dining and entertainment center. Terraces and a Boardwalk with pedestrian bridges that go over Booker Creek.”
2. Tropicana Field Site: Portman Holdings Proposal
We really like the idea of an open air stadium that opens up to views of the city.We also like the retro design that brings in elements of modern.Portman Holdings prefaces their plans by explaining that “The vision for The Tropicana Redevelopment is built
around re-establishing the urban fabric of homes and small businesses that collectively formed the Gas Plant District. The project will restore the physical connections into the neighboring communities of the EDGE District, Grand Central, Warehouse Arts District, and Melrose Mercy. And these broken connections are reformed through a restitching of the street network and a new landmark garden bridge over the I-175 to Campbell Park. Also, the culturally and ecologically rich Booker Creek is conceived of as a common ground, a meeting place for the many diverse communities that envelop the Site.
The 3rd Avenue Arts Corridor reinstates the connection from St. Petersburg Downtown through the Site to the Warehouse Arts District and the City’s western neighborhoods. Also, the flexible street that becomes entirely pedestrianized on game day, connects the proposed cultural, retail and events spaces
with the Ballpark to the west. The expanded pedestrian realm and plazas along 3rd Avenue will play host to a living museum of exhibitions, installations and murals realized in collaboration with local artists and cultural organizations.
The Ballpark sits entwined with the City, hearkening back to the historic baseball fields of Griffith Park in Washington, D.C. and Shibe Park in Philadelphia, enveloped by the community it represents. Furthermore, at the southwest corner of the Site, it draws the collective energy and excitement of game day crowds through the streets and open spaces of this reinvigorated community.
The Ballpark Option program includes residential, commercial, institutional, hospitality/conference, retail, and cultural uses in an aggregate total of approximately 7.0 million square feet. And, a new Ballpark is also included in the program, though assumed to be outside of the PTL development scope.”
Here are pictures of Portman Holdings design plans:
3. Tropicana Field Site: SROA, Holabird & Root, ARGO Proposal
“The design and development team set out to create a vision for a community inclusive of
the diverse programmatic requirements that respects the original pre-Rays stadium urban fabric and community, and combines that history with a forward-thinking, environmentally- friendly pedestrian scale vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
The historical and current site offer unique attributes and opportunities that can be enhanced and positioned in order to fulfill this future vision.
Amongst these attributes are Booker Creek, Pinellas Trail, the adjacency of the Campbell Park to the south, the vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhoods, proximity to the downtown commercial core and an ability to plug in and network to a broader system of trails, waterways, and transit infrastructures already in place and planned within St. Petersburg.
The planning vision is a synthesis of the historical context of canal communities and cities within Florida’s urban planning history, and the restoration of a vibrant mixed-use, diverse neighborhood that respects and connects to the already in-place infrastructures and urban fabric.
The opportunity to combine a living working community with the possibility of a large entertainment venue such as a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays requires an integration of mixed-use entertainment programming with the desired residential and commercial mix.
In our design, it was important that the land
use parcels were not exclusive to one use or purpose; but are programmed to accommodate and promote a mixture of complimentary uses.
This integration of diverse program throughout
the site provides an even and equitable distribution of economic opportunities.
The entire site is not only a place for living and working, recreatiion and entertainment; it also creates a diverse range of employment opportunities within the site.
The canals become the major organizer of the diverse set of experiences and opportunities distributed throughout the site. 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, coming to
do business, see a baseball game, visit the museums, or learn about and experience the rich cultural offerings of St. Petersburg.
Within and along the canals, is native vegetation intended to promote local habitat, and restore and remediate the Booker Creek ecology and water quality.
Additionally the purpose of a broader canal system within the site is to manage storm water and storm surge within our own site limits without burdening adjacent neighborhoods and larger city-wide infrastructures further afield.
As one additional measure of sustainability, the canals could distribute water to support geothermal thermal cooling of buildings within the site.
The vision attempts to reintegrate the city grid and where possible, connections are proposed to extend adjacent city streets to and through the site.
We have created a variety of street-scapes
in order to accommodate a full range of transportation modes, with an eye toward “complete streets” that integrate automotive, rapid transit, bicycles and scooters, pedestrians and green space, regardless of scale, and which include street level parking one at least one side for all locations, and both sides where adjacent to commercial uses.
Municipal parking structures are integrated within mixed-use buildings to support larger events and for general use by the public and visitors.
Our vision for the site includes a broad bandwidth of building types, sizes and programmatic uses.
The placement and arrangement of the buildings and their respective programs are intended to reinforce the intended variety of experiences within and along the pathways of the site.
The network of pathways and canals respond in scale and use in regard to their interaction and adjacency to planned buildings within the site.
The buildings and their internal arrangements around the courtyards, gardens and recreational spaces offer a variety of experiences in order
to create unique identities for the multiple neighborhoods within the site.
The placement, scale, and massing of the buildings are purposely arranged respond to neighboring contexts and to maximize daylight, quality views, access, natural ventilation within the building complexes and throughout the site.”
4. Tropicana Field Site: Sugar Hill Community Partners Proposal
Four Urban Strategies will be used in the Sugar Hill Proposal:
“The masterplan is organized around four urban strategies that give physical form to the principles of development. Although there are two masterplans outlined in this proposal, one with a ballpark and one without, they are both founded on the same fundamental aspiration of creating a vibrant, diverse, and connected neighborhood at the heart of St. Petersburg.
Reconnect, Rebuild, and Remember
First and foremost, the street grid will be reconnected with a clear hierarchy that creates a range of urban environments,
from the wide pedestrian filled ramblas, complete streets
with integrated bike lanes, planting and pedestrian friendly environments that put people first, to the efficient, service based loading streets. This ambition to reconnect is also realized through the creation of parks over and under the highway. A land bridge extends from Booker Creek to Campbell Park and south St. Petersburg over I-175, replacing the old pedestrian bridge with a wide greenway including bike lanes and pedestrian paths through lush plantings. Under I-275 a new pop-up art park will connect to the warehouse arts district and Deuces
Live. Local artists, found in collaboration with the St. Pete Arts Alliance, will be invited to activate what is now underutilized space with murals and interventions. This park will celebrate and enhance the cultural diversity and authenticity of the city.
These enhanced connections will bring the local community into the new development and the vibrant neighborhood design will make it their new home. The housing in the development will
be family-oriented places that create a truly diverse populace. Laid out as courtyards with small laneways, the scale of the residential neighborhoods will feel intimate and active. Pocket parks, outdoor gyms, green space, and bike paths will be right outside everyone’s front door, inspiring an active and healthy
St. Petersburg lifestyle. The development will rebuild what was lost here when the ballpark was constructed not so long ago, a community.
What can’t be rebuilt will be remembered. The first African American school, library, and theater in St.Petersburg were all demolished to make way for Tropicana Field. These places will be memorialized through public art and informative plaques that tie back to the African American Heritage Trail, created in collaboration with the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg and the Carter G. Woodson Museum, expanding the history walk onto the site.
Extend a Human Scaled Downtown
The second strategy is to extend the downtown. A major feature of the master plan is a pedestrian promenade filled with small scale retail that continues the urban fabric of Central Avenue established by the St. Petersburg Storefront Conservation
Corridor Plan. The promenade is wide enough to allow Cafes to spill out and lots of planting, seating and art to fill the space. The promenade starts at the rotary on Central Avenue and 11th Street, intersects with the park, and ends at the iconic new conference center and public plaza. This diagonal trajectory across the site to the southwest helps to promote reconnection to the adjacent southern neighborhoods.
The shops and entertainment venues lining this promenade as well as the other commercial streets will provide a framework for economic development, making this a place to both live and work. The commercial spaces will be places for St. Petersburg to shop and opportunities for local entrepreneurs and small businesses to build thriving businesses. With facades broken down to human scale, each street will have a rich and wide- ranging architectural character on display. These blocks create active streetscapes for all of St. Pete, not just residents of this new development area.
Connect Through Nature
The third urban strategy is to connect through nature. The walls that retain the creek will be removed, making way for gently sloping hills and pebble beaches that invite the community to get down and touch the water, as the children who once lived
in this neighborhood did long ago. This will be possible through remediation of the site and creek that lies next to a brownfield where the gas tanks that this district was once named for stood. Booker Creek will become the green heart of the project and the intersection of connections. Lining its edges will be walkways that allow for cafes and restaurants to spill into the park, creating an active green space through the day.
The fourth and final strategy for 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.
These four urban strategies driving the design create a connected, vibrant, urban community with a strong identity, inspired by the surrounding neighborhoods and city, but truly unique in form.”
5. Tropicana Field Site: TRS Development Services
“The development will be a public-private collaboration that incorporates the goals of the City. Our development team will collaborate with the City to develop the appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed development.
The development will honor the site’s history, celebrate and enhance the cultural diversity and authenticity of the City, and provide opportunities for economic equity and inclusion in agreement with the Community Benefit Program by providing the following: jobs in line with the Grow Smarter Strategy, a job/skills training center that provides continuous workforce development, entertainment with opportunities for arts and culture, mixed-income housing, and family-oriented places that promote economic development for the surrounding community.
The development will also include a minimum of 50,000 square feet of conference space attached to a major flagship hotel, include a space for research, innovation, and higher education uses in partnership with the University of South Florida, include childcare facilities for residents and employees of the site, and include a retail component prioritizing small local businesses.
Booker Creek and the Pinellas Trail will be central features of the development, and green space will be featured throughout. Strategies consistent with the City’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan will be utilized. A significant contiguous park component and public gathering space will also be made available throughout the site, and we will remediate any environmental issues existing.
The development will incorporate smart city technologies, Health in All Policies strategies, healthy urban planning and design elements, and healthy building design elements. We have multiple LEED-certified professionals on our team to aid in the design and planning of sustainable features.
The development will connect the site to the surrounding neighborhoods using a variety of transportation modes and connectors and will tie into the regional transportation network. Complete Streets Implementation Plan strategies will be used to ensure accessibility for people of all mobility ranges.
The development will connect to south St. Petersburg physically, economically, and emotionally. We will implement a strong community outreach program, seeking input from all community stakeholders.”
6. Tropicana Field Site: Wendover Housing Partners Proposal
“The City of St Petersburg is a unique and historic Florida city that exemplifies the deep character, nostalgia and community of small-town America, while encouraging progress and business growth to become a renowned urban growth market. The City has focused on developing strong ties in the community to maintain local culture, while working hard to improve quality of life for its residents. This makes it such a wonderful place to live and visit.
Wendover Housing Partners and our Development Team’s vision incorporates the elements identified through extensive research by City staff into their desired future, and introduces our knowledge of realistic expectations for the size and scope of new development that could be successful on this site. The key is merging idealistic with realistic — and promoting a phased development that is financially feasible while meeting most of the desired initiatives.
The timeline of this project will span an estimated 10 years, and allows the design team and City to first develop the infrastructure needed to knit the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods back into this site and extend the urban grid system to improve flow and continuity. By focusing efforts early on connectivity, you can improve the lives of existing residents and convert them into ambassadors for our redevelopment project. In addition, improving traffic flow and public access is a key initiative for the City’s transportation plan as we re-integrate this site back into the grid.
Our approach focuses on extending St. Petersburg’s vibrant cultural diversity and history… into a space that was lost with the original development of the Tropicana Field stadium. Embracing the artistic and Black communities in the nearby Warehouse Arts District. And Deuces Live neighborhood will be key to earning local support.
We plan to develop a streetscape that is walkable, safe and provides great opportunities for art, sculptures, green space and neighborhood businesses to thrive. The adjacent districts have a high percentage of residential development but need more to expand and support local businesses.”
That’s all of the proposals!
Do you have a favorite? Please share your thoughts with the City of St. Petersburg by clicking here: Submit Public Comment
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