Thursday, November 29, 2012
Putting Lipstick On The Pig Continues
The evolution of the LENS design continues as the Michael Maltzan Architectural team unveiled their latest attempt to put something out there on the $50 million jogging track/walk to nowhere that might generate some enthusiasm.
They added some shade, an undeveloped beer garden, and a slab up front for restaurant that may or may not get built.
The Mayor was exuberant saying "I always wanted an eating experience at the end of the Pier." "The design", he added, "is starting to evolve into something that people can grasp and get excited about". "No one can say it is a sidewalk to a gelato stand anymore."
Nope. Now it's a sidewalk to a beer garden. I am sure Jim Kennedy will think it's a major improvement especially if it stays open until 3:00AM.
Maybe the Coney Island folks can grab the beer garden spot, now that would drive some traffic to the LENS.
It is unclear at this point if the beer garden will be part of the actual build or there just be a hole in the design so someone else can build it. Probably not a very viable business opportunity.
The upland "restaurant" is really just a slab, no walls as the City's managing director of Development Chris Ballestra was quick to point out. Usually you build the walls, leave the floor for the tenant to build out, but then this whole thing has been backwards from the start.
After saying The City of St. Petersburg is not in the restaurant business, Ballestra did point out there is $750,000 in the Pier budget to help build the restaurants. Any guesses as to which one of our fine Beach Drive entrepreneurs will grab that money?
Lot of talk about wrapping the LENS into the waterfront master plan. Don't be confused, that is just Gov speak for getting their hands into another pot of money because this oinker is in real trouble.
Still a lot of disagreement between Danner, Nurse and others about putting in playgrounds and other amenities on the upland or just putting up a sign that says "If You Really Want To Have Fun Head Over To North Shore Park". Maybe we should build a beer garden over there.
How will we know when the design has reached its maximum state of ridiculousness? When the design team excitedly unveils the new deluxe Pelican Feeding Station with credit card and cell phone friendly feed dispensers and a sloped automatic cleaning floor. Estimated cost $1.5 million. Those pelicans can create quite a mess.
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Posted by E. Eugene Webb PhD at 9:02 AM