Administration Presents Proposed Historic Gas Plant Development Agreements to Council 

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St. Petersburg Administration Presents Proposed Historic Gas Plant Development Agreements to St. Petersburg City Council  

May 10, 2024 – City of St. Petersburg Administration, Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays presented the proposed Historic Gas Plant Development agreements to St. Petersburg City Council at a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on Thursday, May 9. 

Comprised of all City Council members, the COW is responsible for deliberating various issues relevant to the City. Actions taken at a COW meeting are not an official action of City Council unless and until approved by City Council at a regular meeting.  

“I am incredibly proud of the agreements we brought forward to Council, and the progress we have made toward creating a vibrant, prosperous and inclusive Historic Gas Plant Neighborhood,” said Mayor Kenneth T. Welch. “It addresses affordable and workforce housing, opportunities for existing minority-owned businesses and disadvantaged workers, an investment in developing future business-owners and a skilled workforce and activates an area with Major League Baseball and other events, open spaces, retail, office, and conference/convention spaces. This agreement will provide transformational economic and cultural benefits to St. Petersburg and restore a community that was once erased in the name of progress. 

Mayor Welch continued, “I want to acknowledge and thank the Council for their feedback and comments on the term sheets, and we look forward to their discussion and feedback on these agreements. The ultimate approval of these agreements rests in Council’s hands. While the documents were developed and reviewed by our team in preparation for the COW meeting, I want Council to know that our City Attorney’s office will conduct another, final comprehensive legal review of all of these agreements before a final vote by City Council. The process is important, and Council’s due diligence and feedback will make this an even better and more impactful partnership for our community. This is what collaboration and inclusive progress looks like. Let’s keep moving forward!” 

Thursday’s meeting provided an overview of the agreements for development of 67 acres of the Historic Gas Plant - the land other than the stadium - including target and minimum development requirements, community benefits, infrastructure, land disposition, affordable/workforce housing, and the proposed financing plan.  

Target Development Overview:  

  • 5,400 residential units (600 senior living units included)  
  • 1,250 units of affordable/workforce housing  
  • 1,400,000 gross square feet of Class A office / medical / medical office  
  • 750 hotel rooms  
  • 100,000 gross sq. ft. of Entertainment  
  • 90,000 gross sq. ft. of conference / ballroom space 
  • 14 acres of Open Space 
  • Community Benefits, including: 
  • A commitment to using Certified Businesses to provide materials or services in an amount equal to 10% of the Applicable Costs of Vertical Development 
  • A $16.75 million investment job training, apprenticeship programs, entrepreneurship and other workforce development initiatives  
  • A $15 million investment in education 
  • A $10 million investment in a new Woodson African American Museum of Florida 
  • A $7.5 million investment in affordable housing 
  • Restoration of Booker Creek   

Hines/Rays will pay $105 million for just under 36 developable acres over the term of the agreement. The City will contribute $142 million dollars for infrastructure costs related to the development. All other construction costs, including any overruns, will be the responsibility of Hines/Rays.  

A Committee of the Whole meeting regarding the stadium operating agreement is scheduled for a later date and a vote is anticipated in Summer 2024. If approved, vertical construction will begin in early 2025; the ballpark and additional Phase A development will open in Spring 2028 and district development will continue through 2054.   

Background for the Historic Gas Plant RFP:  

On September 19, 2023, a historic agreement was announced - the Tampa Bay Rays are “Here to Stay” in St. Petersburg. The City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Tampa Bay Rays, and Hines Development team agreed to move forward with a new state-of-the-art ballpark and a transformational development of the Historic Gas Plant District, the 86-acre site where the team’s current stadium sits. The agreement advances a project that will include 8 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development. If approved by the St. Petersburg City Council and Pinellas County Commission, the development - which will be done in three strategic phases - will invest more than $6 billion in St. Petersburg over a 20-year period - and will be the largest development project in Tampa Bay history.  

The development agreement focuses heavily on the equitable, intentional, and restorative delivery of community benefits and economic impacts, specifically to honor the legacy of the Historic Gas Plant neighborhood’s residents and businesses. This includes a $50 million commitment to intentional equity initiatives in partnership with South St. Petersburg that include affordable housing funding, employment and business support, education programs, and Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises hiring commitments.