St. Petersburg City Council reviews transformative Historic Gas Plant development proposal promising affordable housing, economic growth, and cultural revival


Florida Construction News staff writer

City of St. Petersburg staff, Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays presented the proposed Historic Gas Plant Development agreements to St. Petersburg City Council at a May 9 meeting.

“I am incredibly proud of the agreements we brought forward to Council, and the progress we have made toward creating a vibrant, prosperous and inclusive Historic Gas Plant Neighborhood,” said Mayor Kenneth T. Welch. “It addresses affordable and workforce housing, opportunities for existing minority-owned businesses and disadvantaged workers, an investment in developing future business-owners and a skilled workforce and activates an area with Major League Baseball and other events, open spaces, retail, office, and conference/convention spaces.

“This agreement will provide transformational economic and cultural benefits to St. Petersburg and restore a community that was once erased in the name of progress.

The agreements are for development of 67 acres of the Historic Gas Plant – the land other than the stadium – including target and minimum development requirements, community benefits, infrastructure, land disposition, affordable/workforce housing, and the proposed financing plan.

The plan includes:

  • 5,400 residential units (600 senior living units included)
  • 1,250 units of affordable/workforce housing
  • 1,400,000 gross sq. ft. of Class A office / medical / medical office
  • 750 hotel rooms
  • 100,000 gross sq. ft. of Entertainment
  • 90,000 gross sq. ft. of conference / ballroom space
  • 14 acres of Open Space

A Community Benefits Agreement for the project requires:

  • commitment to use Certified Businesses to provide materials or services in an amount equal to 10% of the Applicable Costs of Vertical Development
  • $16.75 million investment job training, apprenticeship programs, entrepreneurship and other workforce development initiatives
  • $15 million investment in education
  • $10 million investment in a new Woodson African American Museum of Florida
  • $7.5 million investment in affordable housing
  • restoration of Booker Creek

Hines/Rays will pay $105 million for just under 36 developable acres over the term of the agreement. The City will contribute $142 million dollars for infrastructure costs related to the development. All other construction costs, including any overruns, will be the responsibility of Hines/Rays.


  1. The developer can pay $25,000/unit to avoid building any affordable housing, the $50 million in intentional equity is a payment in lieu for the publicly owned land, not a developer contribution. We are contributing more in infrastructure than the developer is paying for the land. The debt we incur for the stadium subsidy and infrastructure contribution is $686 million, more than the tax revenues we’ll earn on the development. The public is paying for a private developer to profit, not share any profits, and promises of affordable housing are empty. Facts matter, don’t fall for the empty promises!


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