ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – When St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced he had chosen a developer for the Tropicana Field site, some may have questioned the timing.

The current mayor has only about a month left in office. Mayor Kriseman made the announcement surrounded by other local community leaders.

“This has been a true community endeavor,” said Mayor Kriseman. “And if done right, will continue to be a community endeavor for many, many years.”

WFLA Photo

Mayor-Elect Ken Welch is currently hosting three “community conversations” where he is asking for citizens’ input on a number of issues facing the city including education and youth opportunities, equitable development and business opportunities, neighborhood health and safety, environment, infrastructure and resilience and housing opportunities for all.

Among those, the Tropicana Field site redevelopment is also a topic for discussion.

The mayor-elect says there will be further discussion and community interaction on the plan, once he takes office.

“Even Mayor Kriseman said this is going to be a two-generation, maybe a two or three mayor project,” said Mayor-Elect Welch. “And so we need to get input from the community about what they want to see there as we move forward.”

Ferg’s Sports Bar and Restaurant owner Mark Ferguson took part in the roundtable type discussion on Friday.

“I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, so I’m very interested in what’s going to happen in the next ten or twenty years,” said Ferguson. “My kids live here. It’s a beautiful place and we’re trying to keep it that way.”

The Community Conversations are open to the public and sponsored by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.

Tomorrow’s community conversation is taking place in the student center at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg from 9 a.m. to noon. Monday’s community conversation is taking place virtually.