Rick Kriseman announces new St. Pete Pier to open by 2017

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On Thursday, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unveiled a new timeline for the future of the St. Petersburg Pier, with construction beginning in 2016, and a scheduled opening in 2017.

Kriseman announced the new plan at press conference today at Spa Beach Park in the downtown St. Pete waterfront.

The path for the iconic landmark begins with a 3-month Pier Program Development program to define the requirements for a replacement of the inverted pyramid.

Kriseman’s next step will include requests for quotations (RFQ) from architects and engineering firms that will then be narrowed down to a shortlist of 5 to 8 teams. That process is expected take up to four months.

Public feedback will be an important part of the design and selection of the new landmark, which will come through a non-binding vote to indicate preferred concepts, after which begins the process of selecting the concept, as well as negotiating contracts.

Named to the Mayor’s working group on the Pier: Peter Clark, Jackie Dixon, Emily Elwyn, Jen French, Jopie Helson, Paul Hsu, Bud Karins, Lorraine Margeson, Brother John Mohammed, Ed Montanari, Jim Moriarty, Marlene Murray, Ross Preville, Barbara Readey, Steve Westphal, and Lisa Wheeler-Brown.

Final project design, permitting – and additional public outreach — will begin in 2015, with construction commencing in 2016. Building the new pier should take about 18 months.

The new plan is a little longer than that Kriseman promised during the campaign, when he vowed the city will have a replacement built by the end of 2015.

However, since the inauguration, the mayor’s staff had been a bit more cautious, saying that City Hall would probably begin calling for submission of new proposals in March 2015, with a possible reopening sometime in 2017.

This new timeline announced Thursday appears accelerated from that plan, as somewhat of a middle ground between the two proposals.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.