The St. Pete Pier Selection Committee are ranking the top three designs.
The deliberations continued late into the night.
Two meetings were held at St. Petersburg City Hall on Thursday. During the first meeting, the committee held a final question and answer session with the architects of the top three designs. After that, they reconvened to hear from the public and begin deliberations.
The three remaining designs are Alma, Destination St. Pete Pier and Pier Park. There are strong and conflicting opinions about each design, which is why the meeting drew such a large crowd of residents. Some of the comments included;
"Pier Park was the only design of the top three that provides seamless transition from upland to Pier and Pier to Pier head in a way that none of the others did."
"Destination St. Pete Pier serves everything that we need."
"If I were to go down to the Pier, I would want to have a place to play. And have fun. And Alma doesn't really doesn't have that opportunity for kids."
Once the committee ranks the next three designs, city council members will vote whether to accept it at their next meeting.
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says regardless of these meetings, he doesn’t think a new pier will be built anytime soon because of all of the requirements that must be met.
From budget and cost restraints, to public opinion and approval, and then environmental regulations on top of that, Foster says he feels sorry for Mayor Rick Kriseman for being tasked with trying to make this tough decision.
“He’s getting a lot of the same flack I did for looking at all the variables to see if what the public wants even can be built,” says Foster.
At its last meeting, the group leaned towards the Alma, but a public poll showed Destination St. Pete Pier as the public’s top choice. Then, there’s Pier Park.
Foster says he thinks the current administration learned from what his went through with “The Lens” pier fiasco, and they realize the importance of public support for the design, but he says there also lies the challenge.
“Admittedly looking at pretty pictures on a website and voting is one variable, but it’s not the only variable.”
The Pier: The final three designs
- Includes four zones: the Gateway, the Garden, the Pier and the Tower
- Low maintenance and low capital costs; high revenue expected
- Waterfront restaurant could be hard to permit because of existing sea grasses
- Offers multiple observation opportunities and includes a 3,000 square foot air conditioned observation room/event space
- Designed by Alfonso Architects, Inc.
DESTINATION ST. PETE PIER
- Keeps inverted pyramid
- Only proposal that allows vehicles to drive on the approach
- Includes multiple dining options, 360-degree viws, an enhanced Spa Beach, and a fishing deck and bait shop
- Mid-range ranking for revenue because committee says not enough leasable space
- Designed by St. Pete Design Group
- Potential permit problems because of the size and over-water coverage
- Extends pier activity along its length, creating a "bay side city experience"
- Offers a platform for a multitude of smaller, more flexible experinces for tourists and locals
- Designed by ASD/Rogers Partners/KSLA
Learn more about each design at newstpetepier.com.