Tampa Bay Rays get their say for Tropicana Field redevelopment
The Tampa Bay Rays will lead the redevelopment of Tropicana Field.
Driving the news: St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced yesterday that he selected the team's proposal after mulling over four finalists since early December
Why it matters: It's likely the defining moment of Welch's first term. He's got some big goals to pull off: Keep the Rays in St. Petersburg, ease the affordable housing crisis and bring back Black families and businesses that were moved out to build Tropicana Field.
The big picture: While all the proposals included a new baseball stadium, the team now has more control over what it will look like — which could make all the difference as Tampa attempts to woo the team with its competing plans for an Ybor stadium.
- Tampa Mayor Jane Castor tells Axios she's keeping the door open for the team.
Between the lines: The Rays and Houston-based partner Hines offered St. Petersburg the most money for development rights and guaranteed a new ballpark by the 2028 season.
- The proposal also included the lowest percentage of affordable housing units, compared to competing developers.
- In a press conference after the announcement, Welch told reporters that the comparable lack of affordable housing would be worked out in negotiations over the next year.
Details: The group proposes a 7 million-square-foot, mixed-use development with a Rays stadium at its center.
- It would include 5,700 multifamily units and 600 senior living residences, with more than 850 affordable and workforce housing units on-site, and about 600 such residences off-site.
- There would be office, retail and hotel space, a music venue, a new Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, full activation of Booker Creek and a connecting bridge.
Of note: Sugar Hill Community Partners, a previous finalist under former Mayor Rick Kriseman's original request for bids, was runner-up.
- A consulting firm hired by the city named Rays/Hines and Sugar Hill as its recommendations in a report last week.
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