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After coronavirus delays, city debuts new pier

Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the revamped St. Petersburg downtown pier’s premier will anchor a 26-acre tourist and retail attraction.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. July 3, 2020
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COURTESY RENDERING -- The revamped St. Pete Pier will debut on July 6, after a $76 million to the 26-acre downtown property.
COURTESY RENDERING -- The revamped St. Pete Pier will debut on July 6, after a $76 million to the 26-acre downtown property.
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Of all the delays and postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic along the Gulf Coast this year, few have been as emotionally wrenching as the one that pushed back the re-opening of St. Petersburg’s Municipal Pier.

Originally scheduled to debut in March and then again at the end of May — after a more than two-year design and construction process — the St. Pete Pier, as it is known, is now scheduled to open to the public at 5 p.m. on July 6.

The $76 million project also will be the centerpiece for a 26-acre visitor attraction that features playgrounds, water attractions, a concert venue, open space, 17 retail and food vendors and restaurants Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille and Teak.

The re-opening of the Pier, which has been closed for more than seven years, is significant, too, because it is among a handful of municipally-led economic development initiatives that are expected to further boost downtown St. Petersburg’s already thriving nightlife.

In addition to the Pier, the city most notably is working on a master plan to repurpose the more than 80-acre site outside downtown that comprises Tropicana Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays.

Mayor Rick Kriseman says in a statement that the new Pier will be a “dynamic, 26-acre waterfront playground” that will “serve residents and visitors for generations to come.”

Last December, the City of St. Petersburg selected 17 Pier Marketplace vendors that will initially occupy the pier’s retail space, a list that included The Poppery, McTavish’s Cookie Shack, Hey Mon Sauces, Sunshine City Arts, Land of Gaia, Flamed Copper, Kashien Chanterell and Ancient Herbal Care.

The vendors will be open Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

But while the Pier is opening, COVID-19 still looms large. Because of the ongoing effects of the virus, the city says it won’t hold a “mass gathering” official opening to unveil the attraction’s completion.




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