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Innovation District Update: Dalí Expansion, ARK, Albert Whitted

Innovation District Update: Dalí Expansion, ARK, Albert Whitted

An aerial view of St. Pete's downtown waterfront
Photo courtesy City of St. Pete

The Innovation District, stretching from Albert Whitted Airport to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and south to the marinas of Salt Creek, continues to thrive and attract millions of dollars in investment. The district bordering Bayboro Harbor is home to much of the city’s crucial infrastructure, including two major hospitals, a university, and economic drivers like the Dali Museum and the Poynter Institute. 

In case you missed it, here are some exciting recent updates: 

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  • In addition to this weekend’s debut of the Dalí alive 360°, The Dalí Museum has received approval from the Pinellas County Commission for $25 million toward a proposed $34 million, 30,000 square foot expansion along with more than 250 added parking spaces. 
  • The ARK Innovation Center’s doors will open this fall. The facility on 4th Street will host an array of energy, artificial intelligence, financial and blockchain technology startups. 
  • The Albert Whitted Airport master plan was recently approved by the St. Petersburg City Council, a procedural requirement for pursuit of FAA and DOT grants. The approval also prompted Mayor Ken Welch to pursue a study of future aviation and non-aviation uses for the airport property. A contract has yet to be initiated for the study. 
A map showing projects in the Innovation District
Photo courtesy Innovation District

The Innovation District, run by an 11 member board and Executive Director Alison Barlow, plans to initiate its own master plan addressing everything from streetscape and placemaking to adding amenities and leveraging underutilized resources like the port. Stay abreast of the latest developments at regular Innovation District gatherings: 

  • Tech X-change, monthly networking event. District stakeholders and interested residents are invited to attend monthly “Tech X-change” at the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub (450 8th Ave S.) This event happens on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4pm, featuring a brief speaker followed by Q&A and a networking happy hour.
  • Innovation District Trolley Tours – each quarter the District hosts a tour highlighting the District’s pillars: life science, marine science, data/technology, art, entrepreneurship and education. The next tour is Friday, Oct. 13 at 2pm. Reservations will open on the Innovation District’s website one month prior. 

The district, formed in 2016, is a public/private partnership with over 50 members. More information at https://www.stpeteinnovationdistrict.com/

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