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Four new proposals for redeveloping Tropicana Field face a lot of expectations

Exterior of Tropicana Field
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
The second round of bids to redevelop the Tropicana field site are in, with a lot of expectations riding on the proposals.

Four companies presented their proposals to redevelop the Historic Gas Plant District by Friday's deadline. Mayor Ken Welch has made affordable housing a focus of the plans.

The second round of bids to redevelop the Tropicana field site were presented on Friday, with a lot of expectations riding on the proposals.

Sugar Hill Community Partners has submitted a second Tropicana Field redevelopment proposal. The Tampa Bay Rays submitted one in conjunction with developer Hines. Newcomers include 50 Plus 1 Sports and Restoration Associates.

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch has rebranded the project as redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District, a Black community that was eliminated to make way for the Trop.

His focus has been on increasing the number of available affordable housing units in the city.

St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce president Chris Steinocher said that may be a tall order.

"That is the biggest issue we're all trying to deal with is how much affordable housing can you build on that site in downtown, " Steinocher said. "It's a hard sled to say that all of that's going to be built on that site."

Steinocher said redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District is a big deal and the city has to get it right.

"I think it's the next chapter," Steinocher said. "How are we going to create jobs at that site, how are we going to create housing at that site. How are we going to create a baseball team that stays here forever on that site?"

The city plans to release the plans on its website next week, and a community presentation of the proposals is set for Jan. 4 at the Coliseum.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.