St. Petersburg's mayor gathered the media Thursday afternoon to announce the latest development in plans for the city's landmark Pier.
Mayor Bill Foster says the city has reached an agreement in principle with the Columbia Restaurant to build a new, 7,500 square foot restaurant at the site of the proposed new pier.
The Columbia will invest $3 million to build indoor dining facilities for more than 200 diners, with additional seating for more than 100 diners on a sea-view terrace. The proposed 10 year lease must first be approved by St. Petersburg's city council.
Columbia President Richard Gonzmart says, " We're looking to create over 130 jobs. We're looking to invest more than 3-million dollars in this project. We're looking to put people back to work. We're looking to make this an exciting place to visit."
Despite opposition, the city is moving forward with the design known as "The Lens", to replace the aging inverted pyramid that currently sits at the end of the pier. Many St. Petersburg citizens want to put that decision up for a vote.
Mayor Foster says, the old pier must come down. Foster says, "The inverted pyramid has its structural limitations. I mean the second floor is very challenging.The third floor hasn't seen a tenant since Great Ex, moved out fifteen years ago. The only useable space is really the 4-th and the 5-th floors."