Skyway Marina District leaders want $5,000 for design plan development - SaintPetersBlog

Skyway Marina District leaders want $5,000 for design plan development

St. Pete City Council’s Public Services and Infrastructure committee will discuss a potential $5,000 grant to the Skyway Marina District for design plan development services next week. The board is expected to fast track a decision.

Steve Kornell, whose City Council district includes Skyway Marina, brought the item before full council at its regular meeting Thursday. The small appropriation is intended to allow the Skyway Marina District board to hire a consultant to develop a design plan for the corridor.

That plan would include the types of businesses desired for the area, architectural style preferences and even a list of suggested colors that would work best in the reimagined South 34th Street area.

“Time is of the essence,” Kornell said.

That’s because a number of construction projects are already underway. Both the Burger King and Wendy’s in that district are being replaced and the Publix being rebuilt. Other shuttered businesses including what was once a Ponderossa Steakhouse at the northern portion of the district will also likely be torn down and replaced.

“We want to make sure that we have the tools to give developers to say this is what we’d like to see here,” Kornell said.

He explained the Skyway Marina District board did not have the experience or expertise required to develop a design plan.

City Council member Charlie Gerdes suggested taking a vote during the meeting rather than referring the issue to a committee for further discussion. However, Kornell said he hoped to have conversations with staff about where to pull the $5,000 from.

Kornell suggested the money could come from the BP oil settlement money without making a dent in other proposed projects. But City Council member Darden Rice said she’d prefer to see the money come from other sources like the planning or neighborhood affairs departments.

“I’m fine with that,” Kornell said.

He was given assurances by city legal staff that the measure could move through the rest of the parliamentary process quickly after next week’s committee stop.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.
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