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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8 months ago

Pier Review

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Eyes will focus on the pier's redevelopment.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Why it matters: Redevelopment of the St. Petersburg Pier, a St. Pete landmark, is one of the more significant projects in a generation in the city.

When St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman won re-election in November, staving off a challenge from former Mayor Rick Baker, it was also a victory for the team behind the design of the city's new pier.

The project's budget rose to $76 million in September, when Pinellas County approved a reallocation of $14 million in tax increment financing money that had been earmarked for a transportation hub.

And in early December, with Kriseman back in the mayor's office, the St. Petersburg City Council approved the final payment to Skanska, the firm in charge of constructing the next-generation pier.

Now the outline of the structure is beginning to take shape. Pilings are being driven, and that work will be followed by the construction of the pier's main pavilion, as well as the splash pad, playground, snack shack and restrooms.

What remains to be decided, however, is the causeway area leading up to the pier — a separate project known as the Pier Approach. This stretch of land along Second Street Northeast is set to undergo a $20 million redevelopment. City officials initially wanted to see two new restaurants there in addition to the restaurant that will be featured on the pier itself.

A city official says the public can expect to see a number of project milestones in 2018. The 425 pilings should be in by the end of March, and the concrete for the deck will be poured shortly after. Officials expect construction of the pier head to begin in late spring or early summer, and the entire project could be completed by March 2019.

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