Historic Gas Plant District Redevelopment (2023)

Historic Gas Plant District Redevelopment

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Project Overview

Spanning 86 acres nestled in the middle of St. Pete, with one of the most vibrant and walkable communities in the nation, the Historic Gas Plant District (formally known as the Tropicana Field site) represents an opportunity unlike any other in the Southeast. The new Request for Proposal process will ensure intentional equity, vibrancy and economic vitality for years to come.

A Message from Mayor Welch

2022 Request For Proposals Process

After careful consideration, we determined the RFP resulting in a developer recommendation in late 2021 was outdated and did not adequately reflect current economic conditions, new workforce trends or comprehensive city needs.

A new RFP was issued to ensure proposals reflect current needs regarding affordable housing, recreation, hotel and convention space, jobs, community impact and placemaking, among other considerations.

The new RFP was released in August, with responses due by mid November.

Developer Pre-proposal Meeting

There was a pre-proposal meeting planned for developers interested in submitting a proposal on September 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This hybrid meeting was accessible either by attending in-person at the USF Ballroom or by Zoom.

  • View the list of attendees here.
  • Watch the recorded Zoom meeting.

Historic Gas Plant District RFP

RFP Addendum #1

Historic Gas Plant RFP Questions and Answers

View the answers to questions asked about the Historic Gas Plant RFP here.

Community Engagement

The city hosted a series of community outreach events to solicit public input on development priorities and concerns.

Community Conversations Report Re Comm

Historic Gas Plant District RFP Public Comment

(Video) Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment planning is 'independent' of Tropicana Field, city officia

Timeline

An aggressive timeline has been established to ensure the process continues expediently.

The timeline anticipates:

  • August 2022: RFP is released
  • Mid-September 2022: Pre-proposal development meeting with prospective developers
  • November 2022: Community outreach and internal review
  • December 2022: Strengths and weaknesses presented to Mayor Welch
  • Before end of 2022: Mayor Welch selects recommended developer
  • May 2023: Term sheet completed with preferred developer
  • September/October 2023: Development agreement presented to City Council for approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the original RFP cancelled?

Much has changed in our city since first contracting with HKS Architects in 2016 to develop a conceptual site master plan. The concept including a new ballpark was completed in March 2017 and the concept without a new ballpark was completed in November 2018. From there, the city spent much of 2019 and early 2020 evaluating sustainable and equitable best practices for the site before opening the RFP in July of 2020. Since then, our city has suffered through the economic effects of a pandemic and is currently in the midst of a nationwide affordable housing crisis. These effects were not fully realized in the original plans. A new set of priorities and considerations should be given to the site with these new challenges and opportunities the city is facing.

Will a new process create delays? If so, how long?

We expect a new RFP process to be relatively quick. Based on previous public input, we understand much of what the community is looking for in a redevelopment plan, including access to high-wage jobs, affordable housing, recreation, economic activity, education, and inclusivity for the community displaced by the original stadium development. We will hold a series of public outreach events to receive input on citizens’ vision and priorities. The original RFP process included a developer recommendation but did not progress further than that. The new process will include developer proposals and additional public input reflective of our current challenges, priorities, and opportunities. We expect the RFP planning, release, and selection process to move quickly.

Will a new process cause costs to rise considering construction prices have risen since the original RFP?

Supply chain challenges and inflation have indeed caused prices to rise, which will be reflected in new proposals. However, those cost increases would have been absorbed into the original RFP proposals, meaning a new process will not have any meaningful impact to the overall cost or city contribution to the project at the time of construction.

(Video) Community conversations on St. Pete Historic Gas Plant District Redevelopment: When and where?

What priorities are you looking for in new proposals?

  • Stadium model: We are soliciting proposals containing a new baseball stadium, in lieu of including proposals that contemplate a site without one. We believe this model will provide certainty as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Affordable Housing: As our population has increased, and with a new housing demand that is rapidly increasing property values and rents in our city, affordable housing must be a key component of any new development at the Historic Gas Plant District site.
  • Gas Plant Promise: The site also must effectively recognize, honor, and support the community displaced due to construction of the original stadium, in an impactful and sustainable manner.
  • Support Community Pillars for Progress: Further, the site should consider equitable access to all residents, visitors and stakeholders while continuing to pursue equitable opportunities for education, youth opportunities, economic activity and recreation. We are also mindful of any city subsidy and will consider that in all proposals.

This option is available to the Rays as they chart a path forward for continued Major League Baseball in St. Petersburg.The new RFP process will allow them to bid and/or partner. Any proposal they choose to participate in will be considered through the same lens as other proposals. The overarching goal is to choose a site plan that advances the vision of our community for inclusive progress.

Did you have concerns with the development proposal recommended by former Mayor Rick Kriseman? If so, what were they?

The decision to open a new RFP process is not related to former Mayor Kriseman’s recommendation. Mayor Kriseman and his teamconsidered community input and city needs within their criteria. However, the length of time since the RFP issuance, and our current environment and circumstances, warrant a fresh look. We recognize the prior administration’s diligence and look forward to building on their foundational work.

Can you legally cancel the existing RFP and start anew?

(Video) Next phase in 'Historic Gas Plant District' redevelopment is underway

Yes. The RFP contains language that allows the city to cancel for any reason and start anew.

Do we expect legal challenges?

Because it is clear the RFP can be canceled, there would be no basis for legal challenges.

What does the new RFP include?

That will be determined during the 4-5 week RFP development process. We know we will be soliciting proposals with a baseball stadium to provide certainty on the stadium question. We will also host a series of public outreach sessions and solicit public comment on our website seeking input on community priorities.

What is the new timeline for developer selection?

We hope to have a selection by end of year.

Yes, and we encourage them to continue to engage in the process.

Previous RFP History

Learn More

Tropicana Field Conceptual Master Plan

The City of St. Petersburg and HKS Architects developed two conceptual master plans for the redevelopment of the 86-acre Tropicana Field Site, one including a baseball stadium and one without, referred to as Scenario One and Scenario Two. The importance of this site to the future of St. Pete can't be over-emphasized. It is a once-in-a-generation chance to create new opportunities for growth, economic development, and an enhanced community!

  • Tropicana Plan Scenario 1 (with stadium): Conceptual Master Plan - Scenario 1
  • Tropicana Plan Scenario 2 (without stadium): Conceptual Master Plan - Scenario 2

Development Partner Selection

Midtown Development best represented the criteria contained within the RFP, which represented years of community feedback, ideas, and input. The firm has a proven track record of executing large, mixed-use developments and will have an opportunity to showcase their vision for the site in the months ahead.

  • Full Proposal
  • Executive Summary
  • Project Renderings
  • Video
  • Midtown Development Team Matrix
  • 21 Guiding Principles
  • Questions for Tropicana Field RFP Finalists
  • Sugar Hill Response
  • Midtown Response

To see the full list of responses submitted prior to shortlisting, visit the City's Real Estate webpage.Guidance for Tropicana Field Site Redevelopment Concepts: view the Roadmap.

Proposal Review Documents

The Staff Review documents represent the strengths and weaknesses of key City staff members across numerous departments and areas of expertise. Note that these strengths and weaknesses were based on the team’s original written proposals. The Project Comparison provides a direct comparison between Midtown Development and Sugar Hill Community Partners for specific, measurable areas of importance. This document was completed by City staff at the request of the Mayor. The Response Summary documents provide an overview of commitments made by the development team, based on their original written proposals, subsequent community meetings, and conversations with administration.

  • Midtown Staff Review
  • Sugar Hill Staff Review
  • Midtown and Sugar Hill Project Comparison
  • Midtown Response Summary
  • Sugar Hill Response Summary

The proposal evaluation, compiled by HR&A Advisors, evaluates the shortlisted proposals related to their development program, economic impact, fiscal impact, and social impact. informed by the information contained in the written proposals and subsequent community meetings. HR&A was hired by the City as a third-party, objective consultant to review the proposals​ independently from City staff.

Community Engagement

The City of St. Petersburg, community organization partners, and potential development partners have remained committed to engaging the community from the early days of redevelopment discussions.

While not exhaustive, key community engagement events are summarized below.

Key City of St. Petersburg-Led Engagement

DateMeetingApproximate Attendance
July 2016Public Meeting #1 on Scenario 1 of the Tropicana Field Redevelopment Plan at the Coliseum300
July 2016Public Meeting #2 on Scenario 1 of the Tropicana Field Redevelopment Plan at Campbell Park Rec Center170
July 20165 targeted Stakeholder Meetings on Scenario 1 of the Tropicana Field Redevelopment Plan68
August 2018Public Meeting on Scenario 2 of the Tropicana Field Redevelopment Plan at USFSP300
August 20185 targeted Stakeholder Meetings on Scenario 2 of the Tropicana Field Redevelopment Plan36
September 2020Tropicana Field RFP Pre-Proposal Meeting #190
September 2020Tropicana Field RFP Pre-Proposal Meeting #270
April 2021Trop Shortlisted Community Meeting #1, Virtual300
April 2021Trop Shortlisted Community Meeting #2, Coliseum200
April 2021Trop Shortlisted Community Meeting #3, Coliseum180
April - July 2021Community Center Showrooms + Comment Boxes for (all applicants, then for the two finalists) Proposal Teams:
  • North Library: 861 70th Ave. N.
  • Mirror Lake Library: 280 5th St. N.
  • J.W. Cate Rec Center: 5801 22nd Ave. N.
  • Enoch Davis Rec Center: 1111 18th Ave. S.
  • Thomas Jet Jackson Rec Center: 1000 28th St. S.
  • South Community Library: 2300 Roy Hanna Dr. S.
  • Gladden Park Rec Center: 3901 30th Ave. N.
  • Campbell Park Rec Center: 601 14th St. S.
TBD
April - July 2021Community Center Proposal Viewing and Comment Boxes for (all applicants, then for the two finalists) Proposal Teams:
  • Sunshine Center (330 5th St. N.)
  • Enoch Davis (1111 18th Ave. S.)
  • Lake Vista Rec Center (1401 62nd Ave S)
  • Main Library (3745 9th Ave. N.)
  • Walter Fuller Rec Center (7891 26th Ave. N.)
  • Willis S Johns Rec Center (6635 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N.)
TBD

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Program: Voices Heard Voices Matter Engagement

DateMeetingApproximate Attendance
May 2021Virtual Conversation w/ Two Finalist FirmsTBD
May 2021Enoch Davis Center Open House w/ Two Finalist FirmsTBD
May 2021Enoch Davis Center Open House w/ Two Finalist FirmsTBD
May 2021Enoch Davis Center Open House w/ Two Finalist FirmsTBD
May 2021VHVM Community Support VideoTBD

Other Organization-Led Engagement

DateMeetingApproximate Attendance
April 2021NAACP Town Hall50
June 2021World Café Conversation25
January 2020Holocaust Museum hosts Community Presentation to include Trop Site History & Launch of Where Have All the Mangoes Gone w/local Author and SpeakersTBD
April - Present (ongoing)Proposal Finalists Midtown Development Creekside & Sugar Hill Community Partners participated in at various engagement sessions with many civic and community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, multiple neighborhood associations, multiple faith based organizations, as well as information booths at many local events like Saturday Shoppes, Collard Green Festival and more. The finalists also each produced videos made available on the city website.-

Public Input Opportunities

Public Comment

Watch a recording of a public meeting. While the live Q&A dates have passed, residents can still submit their feedback in the comment form below.

(Video) St. Pete city leaders meet with developers to discuss Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment


Request a Speaker

Organizations, associations, and groups can submit a request for a member of the City's Economic Development team to present during a meeting using this online form.

Request a Speaker

(Video) St. Pete mayor looking for input on redevelopment of Gas Plant community, Tropicana site

Videos

1. Community weighs in on historic St. Pete redevelopment plan
(ABC Action News)
2. Historic Gas Plant District: Community Conversations Recap | St. Pete, FL
(St. Petersburg, FL)
3. Welch to hold community talks over Gas Plant, Tropicana site redevelopment
(10 Tampa Bay)
4. Gas Plant and Laurel Park neighborhoods reunite to honor past
(10 Tampa Bay)
5. Mayor Welch Message: Historic Gas Plant District RFP | St. Pete, FL
(St. Petersburg, FL)
6. St. Pete hosts first community meeting on redevelopment of Tropicana Field site
(WFLA News Channel 8)
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