For the city of St. Petersburg, and its residents, the choice of a new design, and design team, for its well-known pier has been a long time coming. And there's still one more formal step to complete before it becomes official, but it looks like a final plan is almost in place. That's because on April 23, the city's Pier Selection Committee chose the design concept known as "Pier Park" for the once and future project.
The Pier Park concept was proposed by a team of Rogers Partners Architecture+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith. (Image courtesy of the city of St. Petersburg)
It was actually the second go-around for picking a new design for reworking the city's now-dilapidated pier. And this most recent decision took longer than planned. Originally, the pier selection committee had been scheduled to make its recommendation to the city on March 20. But that meeting extended well beyond the amount of time that officials had originally alotted, and featured considerable public input about which design the committee should choose. So the committee opted to not choose a design at that time, and instead scheduled another date, April 23, for final selection.
As noted here previously, the city of St. Petersburg had conducted an online survey that residents could use to make their preferences known. This extended approach to a design selection can be attributed to the project's recent history, which dates back to 2011, when the city launched an international design competition that ultimately resulted in its selection of Michael Maltzan Architecture's "Lens" concept in January 2012. However, locals didn't care for that selection, and eventually successfully petitioned to get the matter onto the August 2013 ballot, where voters roundly rejected the design.
Now, as it stands, the Pier Park selection will next go before the city council for final approval. If that happens, St. Petersburg will begin negotiations with the first-ranked design team, Rogers Partners Architecture+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith.
In a statement posted on the project's web site, www.newstpetepier.com, Mayor Rick Kriseman noted: "We established a pier process that citizens on every side of this issue agreed would result in a fair and objective decision. I am proud that we have stayed true to that process and that it has been transparent and open to the public throughout.... The iconic St. Petersburg Pier has often been the source of passionate debate in the Sunshine City, but it is also a source of great pride. I'm looking forward to the day we cut the ribbon on a new St. Petersburg Pier."
The city of St. Petersburg posted this video of the Pier Park concept during an initial stage of review. The city notes that not all features included in the video are still accurate. But it still provides a good snapshot of the Pier Park concept.
Video posted to Youtube by the city of St. Petersburg.