St. Petersburg moves forward following pier vote - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Petersburg moves forward following pier vote

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

St. Petersburg's iconic inverted pyramid has stood out on the waterfront for years.

But it closed earlier this year because of structural issues.

That's why the idea for a replacement called "The Lens" came about, but the $50 million dollar project, also failed before the voters.

St, Pete resident Volker Dommel said, "I was a little disappointed, I was hoping, I mean we have to have something better than what is there now. It is a lot of money but I think it would have been a step in the right direction."

By a two-to-one margin, voters rejected "The Lens" project.

But supporters say they haven't given up hope that "The Lens" or a variation of the structure, could still be built.

Orlando Acosta with the group "Citizens of St. Pete pier said, "36 percent of voters like "The Lens," we cannot toss that aside. I will be completely surprised if the 828 commission completely disregards that."

The 828 alliance is made up of a number of groups for and against "The Lens" and they met with St. Petersburg's mayor to figure where to go from here.

St. Pete resident Justin Spence says, "I think with the geographical location and everything that is brought to St. Pete from a tourist point of view, I think a lot of people could be brought there we just need to find the right thing."

Fred Whaley who is with the group "Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg" said he believes voters turned down "The Lens", because it didn't meet the specifics of an earlier task force.

Whaley said, "They basically didn't have shelter on the pier, much less air conditioned space, so it really did not serve the functions that was requested by the original task force and I think that was the biggest difference."

The 828 alliance did suggest to the mayor that any future pier project have input from a broader based group of people.

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