The city had previously issued an RFP for redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant site, where Tropicana Field is located, under the assumption that the Rays had no interest in a new ballpark at the site. And while the Rays have largely been quiet about the prospects of staying in St. Pete, the mayor obviously things the city has a chance of retaining the Rays. That, plus some other tweaks in the RFP to include greater minority representation and more commitment to affordable and workforce housing, led the city to issue the new RFP.
“This is an historic opportunity for our city to utilize a generational redevelopment opportunity to ensure equitable opportunity for all residents, visitors, businesses and stakeholders,” said Welch in a city press release. “With this new RFP we are calling for a significant emphasis on affordable and workforce housing; arts and culture; research, innovation, and education; recreation; open space, healthy and sustainable development; and intentional equity. We look forward to receiving and reviewing proposals as we prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
If you’re a development junkie, the new RFP includes some fascinating requirement for anyone want to launch a successful bid:
- Robust job creation opportunities
- St. Pete CRA resident priority hiring, both during construction and for post-development operations
- Mixed-use development
- Connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods
- Emphasizing Booker Creek as a potential water feature
- Activation of the Pinellas Trail within the site
- Emphasis on open space
- Opportunities for office, housing, retail and entertainment
- Smart City technology
- Health equity
- Healthy/sustainable building design
- Opportunities for SBEs, local small businesses, and historically under-invested businesses
- Adherence to the city’s Complete Streets plan and opportunities for multi-modal transit
- Inclusion of research, innovation and education opportunities and space
- Significant opportunities for arts and culture
That’s a lot, to be sure. But sometimes it feels like Tropicana FIeld is an island within St. Pete, and many of these measures are designed to integrate the area more with surrounding neighborhoods–a plan that should appeal to residents even if the Rays end up in Tampa and Hillsborough County. It also addresses the issue of the original Tropicana Field development displacing the historically Black Historic Gas Plant neighborhood.
Proposers are invited to respond to this RFP as private developers or as part of a development team. Responses are due November 18, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. If interested, you can read the full RFP here.
RELATED STORIES: Tropicana Field site development halted; new bidding to include Rays ballpark; Manfred once again calls for sense of urgency about new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark; Manfred: Rays ballpark search now requires “sense of urgency”; Rays pull plug on joint Tampa/Montreal tenancy after MLB Exec Council decision; Rays envision a pedestrian-friendly Ybor City ballpark; Another Ybor City site considered for new Rays ballpark; Is Tampa ballpark bid gaining momentum?; It’s back: Rays revive Ybor City ballpark plan