Themes emerge after second Community Conversation on Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment

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Themes emerge after second Community Conversation on Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment

St. Petersburg, FL — Mayor Ken Welch and the City of St. Petersburg are currently hosting a series of community outreach events to solicit public input on development priorities and concerns. 

More than 100 people attended the second event last week, which led to important feedback on priority areas for the site. 

The second Community Conversations session was co-hosted by the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA). 

Members of the public were invited to participate in subject matter expert-led conversations addressing themes about redevelopment priorities including but not limited to affordable and workforce housing, economic impact, jobs, sustainability, equity and community impact.  

Participants echoed many of the same sentiments from the first Community Conversation, including providing social housing, emphasizing city ownership of the land, and providing community gathering spaces for multi-use recreation and performing arts uses.  

The second session also included additional themes: 

  • Play/Visit
    • Integrate Booker Creek into the design and use it to activate surrounding neighborhoods
    • Flexible public space and outdoor open areas for local talent to perform and practice
  • Work
    • Youth and future workforce training, apprenticeships, career path opportunities 
    • Skill building pipelines for jobs being created
    • Prioritize local hiring
    • Variety of business types and sizes
    • Transportation and affordable childcare
  • Live
    • Affordable, attainable housing, including a social housing concept, for all ages
    • Variety of suggestions related to housing programs such as a workforce development housing program and an innovator/entrepreneur in residence program
    • Prioritize past Gas Plant residents for home ownership
    • Provide pathways to ownership 
“As we move through these conversations, we are learning valuable lessons from our constituents about their personal priorities in redeveloping this important site. Governance works best when we are informed, and even better when we’re informed by the people we serve,” said Deputy Mayor Stephanie Owens. “We look forward to utilizing the information gathered during these meetings to inform our redevelopment process to guarantee success at the Historic Gas Plant District site.” 

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. 

One additional community engagement session will be held July 28 at USF St. Pete.  The session begins at 5:30 p.m. and will follow the same format. It is also available virtually.  

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: 

In-person attendance for the upcoming Community Conversation is full, however we are providing a virtual option at the same time. RSVP to participate virtually here: 

If you are unable to attend a Community Conversation in-person and do not wish to participate virtually, you may provide input online here: