Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille and Teak LLC will lead the lineup at the new municipal attraction.
A handful of carefully selected retail operators are expected to breathe life into the city of St. Petersburg’s new Municipal Pier, which is slated to open in fall 2019.
But the selection process was one that took more than a year of deliberation and analysis to procure a roster of tenants that would complement each other and draw the most patrons to the 26-acre attraction, city officials say.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille; a trio of offerings from upscale restaurant to rooftop bar and casual café from Teak LLC of St. Petersburg; Tampa Bay Watch Inc.; and United Park Service Inc., which will operate Gator Jim’s Tackle & Bait Shack, a gift shop featuring local art and other beach-related offerings and a café, have been selected to open at the St. Pete Pier when it debuts.
“The public was very clear through their input on what they wanted at the Pier,” says Alan DeLisle, a city development administrator. “But the design came together sequentially.”
DeLisle credits an analysis commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International did in the second half of last year for helping provide clarity in the process.
“The work Colliers did was a tremendous roadmap for us,” DeLisle says. “We paid a great deal of attention to that blueprint, because it defined the types of restaurants and retail that would work best, their price points and other critical information.”
Doc Ford and the other merchants, which signed 10-year leases for the St. Pete Pier space, will pay a base rent plus a percentage of sales to the city, which has set a $3.2 million annual operating budget for the attraction.
The $80 million project is being designed by ASD and Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers. The previous pier, the fourth iteration of a St. Pete pier since its first one in 1889, closed in May 2013.
Colliers involvement will continue, however. Under a contract with the city, the firm and Big City Events will organize and run a minimum of 78 events at the new pier during its first year in operation.
“Colliers was so important to the process because we needed someone who could coordinate the overall and bring it all together,” DeLisle says. “And the events planned weren’t so much layered in, as they were the first thing we wanted to focus on.
“It all comes back to activating the entire pier, from Beach Drive to the pier head.”