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HKS Tweaks Plan for Tropicana Field Site

Tampa Bay Rays

After revealing a plan for the Tropicana Field site that includes a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark, HKS is revising its work. 

This summer HKS was given the task of conceptualizing a new development for the Tropicana Field area. The entire site would be overhauled to include mixed-use development and green space, with the Trop being demolished and a new ballpark being built at the site of a nearby U-Haul facility.

To better incorporate the development into the surrounding area, HKS originally proposed removing a ramp for Interstate 175. However, HKS plans to restore the ramp after hearing feedback on the original design. More from the Tampa Bay Times:

Turns out not many people, or at least those with clout, were happy with the idea of getting rid of the mile-long highway spur that runs to the south of the Trop, said Randy Morton, who is leading the project for HKS. “Architects are at the bottom of the totem pole,” he said.

Mayor Rick Kriseman withheld his opinion when the idea first surfaced in August. At that time, Morton told city officials the interstate’s concrete barriers effectively shut out Midtown from the anticipated benefits of a revitalized Trop district, which could add 9 million square feet of development over the next three decades.

City officials have said they’d like the plan ready within the next month or so. The city and the Tampa Bay Rays paid $420,000 to HKS to develop the plan, which involved several public forums this summer.

It remains to be seen whether the Rays will follow through with this plan. The team is receiving pitches on locations in both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, with the Tropicana Field site being the only location offered within downtown St. Petersburg. Thus far the team has not committed to a site.

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