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Atlanta Braves Could Play Ball In Pinellas

Pinellas County
Pinellas County is considering development at its former Toytown landfill site.

The Atlanta Braves are talking about moving their spring training home out of Orlando, and Pinellas County is one of the contenders.

A $662 million sports complex proposed to be for the Braves is one of three plans being considered by the Pinellas County Commission, at the county’s former landfill north of St. Petersburg on a property known as the ToyTown site.

“It's basically a sports park that involves a minor league stadium for the Atlanta Braves - the single A baseball team and of course the spring training among other sports fields like soccer fields, baseball fields, etc.,” said Joe Lauro, director of purchasing for Pinellas County.

The 240-acre site is just north of St. Petersburg on I-275. Other proposals that will be considered at an Oct. 6 commission meeting feature a retail complex and a solar panel site.

The baseball plan comes from a St. Petersburg developer, Darryl LeClair, and Tampa resident and retired major league player Gary Sheffield.

The Toytown landfill closed in the early 1980s, and Pinellas County has wanted to lease or sell the parcel for years. Lauro said attempts to develop the former landfill stalled a few years ago during an economic downturn.

“So now that times are better, there are several firms that have expressed interest and the county administration decided that the timing is right to send another request for negotiation out and see what kind of proposals we would get back," he said.

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