The Pier Selection Committee charged with ranking design choices for a new St. Pete Pier has officially been relieved of its duties.
Mayor Rick Kriseman officially thanked and dismissed committee members during a meeting in his office Thursday afternoon.
The team ranked Pier Park at the top of its list during a meeting last month and St. Pete City Council subsequently approved that ranking and opened the door for Kriseman to begin negotiations with that design team.
Those negotiations are expected to wrap up by July with council approval of those terms set for July or August.
Should negotiations fail, the second ranked team, Destination St. Pete Pier, would be on deck followed by the design concept known as Alma.
Kriseman’s dismissal of the committee means that if a negotiation is not successful among any of the teams, a process would have to begin anew.
While the move was expected once City Council approved the committee’s recommendations, it’s not without concern.
Tension over the committee’s pick has led to a chorus of complaints from supporters of Destination St. Pete Pier. Groups have already rallied attempts to force a voter referendum that would kill the project.
The now defunct committee was comprised of St. Pete Public Works Administrator Mike Connors at the helm. Also on the committee were City of Tampa architect James Jackson Jr., Tampa Bay Rays vice president Melanie Lenz, director of the Pinellas County Economic Development department Michael Meidel, Associate Dean of the USF College of Marine Science Gary Mitchum and preservationist Kai Warren.
The city expects construction to begin on the new Pier in 2017 with the project completed in 2018.