Dozens of merchants and vendors have submitted applications to be a part of the city of St. Petersburg’s Municipal Pier Marketplace offering, which will compliment a slew of restaurants and other retailers at the planned $76 million attraction.
Stephanie Addis, director of retail services at commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International Tampa Bay, which has been coordinating the planned Pier retail for the city, says 70 applications were received by an Aug. 19 deadline.
“The number of responses was pretty overwhelming,” says Addis.
Just as impressive as the number was the stipulation that the applicants not be exclusively food purveyors because of a lack of preparation and cooking space at the Marketplace.
“We had responses from merchants wanting to sell various items, such as art, accessories and in several specialty food categories,” Addis added.
The applicants will be competing for 17 Marketplace slots in all: Seven “market stalls” and 10 pop-up tents.
Each application will be evaluated by a selection committee and Mayor Rick Kriseman, Addis says, in advance of an October decision on who will be selected.
The 26-acre Pier property, now under construction by Skanska USA from an ASD and Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers plan, is expected to debut next March.
In addition to the Marketplace, the Pier is expected to include retailers and restaurants such as Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille; Teak; Gator Jim’s Tackle & Bait Shop, Tampa Bay Watch Co.; and a gift shop with local artwork.
The Pier also will include a kayak launch, educational center, playground, splash park, open space and event space. Colliers and Big City Events’ contract calls for the Pier to host at least 78 events during its first year of operation.
“I think the business community recognizes what a fantastic opportunity the Pier is, and the Marketplace applications reflect that,” Addis says. “To be that close to Beach Drive and the other activities, for the amount of rent that’s being sought is really amazing.”