Any chance there may have been of building a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark at the Carillon Office Park is diminishing, as an alternate development for the site has surfaced.
Back in 2012, developer Darryl LeClair proposed the construction of a new ballpark at the Carillon Office Park. The 16.45-acre site was pitched for the ballpark and surrounding development is located in northern section of St. Petersburg, and the outer walls of buildings in the complex would have acted as boundaries for the ballpark.
The plan struggled to gain traction over time, and LeClair suggested in 2014 that he could move on from the proposal. The site’s split from the ballpark plan has taken another step, as the St. Petersburg city council will conduct a public hearing next week on LeClair’s latest proposal–one that does not include a ballpark. Now, he is pitching a plan that would lead to the construction of a development that includes retail and office space, as well as residential units and hotel rooms.
It is not as though the site, now dubbed Echelon City Center, has been completely off the radar in recent years–last summer, it was included in a list of sites that were reportedly being considered by Pinellas County officials–but the ballpark proposal never quite piqued the Rays’ interest. More from The Tampa Bay Times:
Neither the Rays nor Major League Baseball ever expressed any interest in the site, said council member Jim Kennedy. He said that forced LeClair’s hand.
“They’re not going to sit around forever waiting for some kind of response,” Kennedy said.
[Council member Charlie] Gerdes paused, then pronounced the death of the Gateway stadium with a resigned tone.
“Okay, so you’re telling me that Echelon has taken it off the table as a stadium,” Gerdes said. “Just trying to keep track of what the potential stadium sites are, that’s all.”
Meanwhile, the Rays are continuing to consider their options throughout the region for a new ballpark. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in March that he hopes to have a decision by the end of the year.
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