The designs are in and you can see them at http://www.stpete.org/theNewPier/ . They are allinteresting, some more than others.
I am going to let the public way in on their choice on which design they like. I have a preference, but I’ll keep it to myself.
Instead, I am going to focus on the process, because I think that is where the problems will arise.
From the administration’s perspective, I can honestly say I have never seen the administrative team more focused on finding out what the public wants and following through on their desires. At all levels there seems to be a genuine desire to get it right this time.
The public spoke loud and clear in the LENS referendum and the message has really sunk in. The staff is committed to follow the public input process.
In the public survey portion of the process, social media will play a big role as the Kriseman administration asks the public to way in with their choice. It’s up to you to go on line and be part of the process and the final decision. I’ll have a lot more to say on the survey portion later.
If you look at the designs, they all include significant impact on the uplands. If this design concept moves toward Beach Drive and begins to look like it may provide some competition for Beach Drive look for some powerful opposition to arise.
As long as the Beach Drive Barons don’t see the Pier as major competition everything should go pretty easy.
It will be interesting to see where the St. Pete Chamber lands. Heavily populated with Beach Drive interests, the Chamber may be forced into walking a narrow line if there is opposition to the public’s choice for the new Pier.
The good news so far is: the Kriseman administration has done a good job in keeping the Chamber and Beach Drive interests in perspective.
At this point I think the process is most vulnerable right after the survey is completed. That’s why it will be extremely important for a large number of people to weigh in with their choice.
The final selection committee is the most critical step in the process. That’s where the last Pier choice went astray, and it could happen again. If the power players are going to try and exert influence this is their opportunity.
For now Kriseman, Connors and the Pier Team seem to have it all under control.