ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Dozens gathered inside Bethel Community Baptist Church Thursday evening, wanting to see a historic Black community restored.

Ada Davis was there for the discussion, which reminded her of the pain she endured 40 years ago when her neighborhood was dismantled.

“It was a place where people were happy,” Davis said. “They were happy because they couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Davis was forced to move away from what was considered the Historic Gas Plant District.

The 86-acre site was cleared to make way for Tropicana Field, which is now home to the Tampa Bay Rays.

“It was pushed out to build Tropicana, but why there when there was all the other property in the city?” Davis said.

Residents and businesses were forced to relocate with the promise of jobs, opportunity and equitable development, which did not materialize.

However, through this new redevelopment project, the city has the opportunity to fulfill those unrealized promises to bring St. Petersburg new attainable housing, equitable business opportunities, and overall equitable and impactful economic development that benefits all.

However, several people are wary about how the project will unfold.

The non-profit Faith in Florida is putting more pressure on the mayor and city council to create enough affordable housing to meet the increasing demand. The organization is also worried the city will sell the property to private developers.

“We want to see the Gas Plant return to its former glory,” Jameka Williams said. “He believes he’s making a difference, but in our eyes it still remains to be seen.”

The City of St. Petersburg released the following statement to 8 On Your Side:

“We are still in the process of conducting active negotiations with Hines and Tampa Bay Rays on behalf of all of our communities in St. Petersburg. It would be most prudent to share those specifics and answer questions once negotiations have concluded and an agreement is crafted for the St. Petersburg City Council to review.

“We are hopeful to adhere to the previously released timeline, which would deliver a term sheet to our City Council for review this summer. The term sheet would give City leaders the opportunity to get feedback and input from residents.”