Friday, August 25, 2017

A challenge from across the Bay requires a real leader to move St. Petersburg forward

Who will you want to put together a plan to develop St. Petersburg’s last remaining primer piece of real state?

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

Strategic Waterfront Properties the real estate developer backed by Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates has created a 50 a master design for Tampa called the Water Street Tampa. You can get the details from Justine Griffin Tampa Bay Times staff writer; Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation

You might think that this has very little to do with the upcoming St. Pete Mayoral election, but you would be dead wrong.

Tampa is putting together plan to be the premier living location on the West Coast of Florida. This announcement sets in motion a designed and developed master plan and a developer with sufficient backing to make the plan actually happen.

Compare that to the way downtown St. Petersburg has developed with a hodgepodge of varying height buildings with no central theme or direction.

The Pier and Pier Park are a classic example of a lack of integrated planning.

The questions to be answered are, with the departure of the Tampa Bay Rays and the reality of 80 plus acres to develop in downtown St. Pete:

Who will you want to put together a plan to develop St. Petersburg’s last remaining premier piece of real state?

Who do you want to review those plans?

Who do you want to select the developer or developers to rebuild the Trop site?

Who do you want to make sure all, of those who gave so much for the Tropicana site are protected?

Who can you really trust to have all of St. Pete’s citizen’s interests considered?

Rick Kriseman and his band of political cronies that pander to the political party, deny the will of the people on the Pier, ignore the necessary infrastructure to support growth and lie about their problems. A mayor who takes care of his friends and political allies first and puts the public’s interests second.

Or Rick Baker a former Mayor who has the leadership experience, the business acumen to manage the planning of the scope of the Trop site redevelopment and the skill to put together a team that can honestly and fairly manage a project of that scale.

There is every reason to believe that the future of the Tropicana site will be determined in the next four years. The planning will begin, and direction of the Tropicana site will be determined.

We have already seen what happens when that type of planning goes bad with the Bay Walk project. It took years to recover and no meaningful overall plan ever emerged.

Tampa will not be waiting. They have the plan and resources to move forward. St. Pete cannot afford to have the Tropicana site redevelopment become a political plumb.

The next mayor needs the proven ability to attract high profile designers, developers and investors and convince them St. Pete is the place invest their time and resources.

The only person on the Ballot that can do those things is the one who has already done them – Rick Baker.

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Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

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