We’re getting our first peek at what could be built at the site of Tropicana Field if the Rays skip town and move across the bay to Tampa.
It could be a pedestrian promenade, a business center, offices, homes, entertainment.
Perhaps a tech campus, retail and an enlarged booker creek.
It’s all in the proposals to go where Tropicana Field now sits.
“In my career, I don’t think I’ve been more excited,” said Alan Delisle, Development Administrator for the City of St. Petersburg.
Imagining what the 85 acres might look like is opening up all kinds of possibilities.
“If you look at the development in the City of St. Petersburg, at least from downtown out, it’s going west and it’s going south,” said Delisle.
At the USF St. Petersburg campus, a large crowd packed an upstairs hall to see what’s being considered, and most importantly, offer feedback.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity for St. Petersburg to get it right. And to be honest, I didn’t love everything I saw, but I love the fact that we’re working on it, and trying to move in a direction that’s gonna satisfy a lot of masters,” said Andy Charles.
The Trop site was once a thriving African-American community, near what was the “gas plant.”
“What I didn’t hear a lot of is was how they plan to achieve the diversity issues that they raised,” said Michelle Ligon.
The Rays have until the end of the year to decide what they want to do.
The city has much more time.
“A convention center is a great idea. As far as the retail, making Booker Creek bigger is a great idea. It’s gonna bring this whole city together,” said restaurant owner Mark Ferguson.
There will be more input sessions and all stake holders are being told they will have a chance to be involved.