First Community Conversations on Historic Gas Plant District Redevelopment draws 220 attendees
St. Petersburg, FL — On Tuesday, July 12, Mayor Kenneth T. Welch hosted his first in a series of community engagement opportunities over the coming weeks to gather public input on priorities for Historic Gas Plant District Redevelopment.
More than 220 people attended the event, which led to important feedback on priority areas for the site.
The first Community Conversations session was co-hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.
Members of the public were invited to participate in subject matter expert-led conversations addressing common themes about redevelopment priorities including but not limited to affordable and workforce housing, economic impact, jobs, sustainability, equity and community impact. Common themes shared by participants included:
- Focus the redevelopment on residents, not investors or tourists
- City should keep ownership of the land and not pass ownership to private entities
- Homeownership and rental opportunities for low-income persons—give prioritization to those displaced; social housing concept where housing costs are based on a percentage of occupant’s income
- Green spaces accessible to all
- Focus on youth career pathways and opportunities for apprenticeships and internships
- Create art that captures the history, values, and cultural icons—art should be created by local artists
- Multi-use concepts for buildings and structures; the stadium can be used for many types of events, not just baseball
- Transportation as a common nexus point of housing, workforce, and recreation; high consideration regarding the creation of a multi-modal transit system
- Innovation and sustainability as it relates to design build and workforce
“The Historic Gas Plant District, current home of Tropicana Field, represents not only our city’s largest redevelopment opportunity in decades, but also represents our responsibility to fulfill long standing promises and honor the Gas Plant community, which was displaced from their homes and businesses, and to do so in an equitable, sustainable and impactful way,” said Mayor Ken Welch.
The session utilized the same public engagement model from Mayor Welch’s original Community Conversations, held in late 2021 prior to his inauguration. The session began with opening remarks from Mayor Welch, subject matter experts and representatives from the event co-host.
Additional community engagement sessions will be held July 19 at the St. Petersburg College-Gibbs campus and July 28 at USF St Pete. Each session begins at 5:30 p.m. and will follow the same format.
The community input will be used to inform the administration’s decisions as it crafts the new Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District to be released in August.
Background: On June 29, 2022, Mayor Welch announced he was launching a new RFP process to identify prospective developers for the 86-acre Gas Plant District site, home to Tropicana Field.
More information on that announcement can be found here: https://www.stpete.org/residents/current_projects/tropicana_field_site.php
Please RSVP to a Community Conversation here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ej9v86gdd2eb49d9&llr=ian4x9bab
If you are unable to attend a Community Conversation in person, you may provide input virtually here: https://form.jotform.com/210254356325045