City Prepares to Break Ground on Pier

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The Pier continues to take shape in the Sunshine City. On May 31, the city received a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction on the project. City Council Chair Darden Rice said, “With this permit in hand, the next stage of important work begins on our new St. Petersburg Pier. This is one of many critical steps to ensure the pier will be built in a sound way compatible with lessened impacts on the bay.”

On June 28, at 9am, the City St. Pete leaders, citizens, and members of the Pier design will break ground on the new St. Pete Pier and Pier District. The event takes place on the north side of the Pier Approach, in front of Spa Beach.

Pier to have major economic impact

Earlier in May, Lambert Advisory, an economic advisory service firm contracted by the City of St. Pete, completed an economic and fiscal impact analysis for the new Pier District. Their findings revealed a direct economic impact of $80 million — a complete return on investment in the first year of operation.

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The report also showed an estimated $15 million in annual hotel expenditures, 1,080 additional full-time equivalent Pinellas County jobs, and approximately $935,000 in annual bed tax revenue.

I am thrilled that the new St. Petersburg Pier District will not only be a world-class destination for residents and for visitors from around the world, but that it will also have such a strong economic impact. It will bring jobs as well as millions in revenue from tourism, food and beverage, and bed taxes.

– Mayor Rick Kriseman

Methodology for this study compared financial impact of other major Piers in the U.S. as well as outside the U.S. It also assessed the economic impact on the local economy of ongoing Pier operations and visits to the park by both local and out-of-area visitors.

Project is underway with $50 million budget

The Pier is underway with a budget of $50 million. The budget was approved by City Council in 2005 and in addition to construction includes all demolition, permitting, development and design fees.

The design team, a partnership between ASD Architects, Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers and Ken Smith Landscape Architects, created a Pier District that includes space for restaurants, retail, fishing and more.

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Event plaza, splash pad, open air market and more

This pier will feature space for open air markets, a fishing deck with a bait shop, restaurants, and a signature art element. There will also be children’s play equipment, a picnic area and family park, and a plaza with a tiled lawn.

You can see a full overview of the Pier plan online.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me