New poll suggests majority of St. Pete residents would prefer no Pier than ‘The Lens’ design

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St. Pete Polls is out this morning with a new survey of city residents that will offer little comfort to proponents of ‘The Lens’ design for a new St. Petersburg Pier.

Nearly 52% of those polled said they would rather have “no pier at all” rather than “build the Lens Pier design.”

‘The Lens’ design, criticized by some as a just a $50 million piece of art, now includes more space for activities and entertainment. Architect Michael Maltzan recently made a presentation to the St. Petersburg City Council. There, he and his team spent more than two hours describing ‘The Lens’ in more detail, including recent changes they’ve made to the plans. The changes come after some 25 meetings with resident and business groups.

“The goal was to design a pier that presented many different opportunities,” said Maltzan, whose presentation included a description of shady sitting areas, an education center, a restaurant and bar, a bike trail, fishing spots, kayak rentals, and docking slips for boats.

Yet, despite these ‘many opportunities’, a large swath of St. Pete residents remain unconvinced about ‘The Lens.’

Members of a newly formed group fighting the Lens, Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg, are not convinced this project is the right thing for the city’s waterfront.

“It just doesn’t fit in,” said the group’s president, Bill Ballard.

Material from 10 News was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.