St. Pete City Council approved the final ranking of design teams bidding to undertake the city’s Pier approach project. W-Architecture tops that list and can now enter into negotiations for the $20 million project.
The uplands project is part of the city’s Comprehensive Waterfront Master Plan approved earlier this year. It’s expected to serve as a grand entryway to the Pier connecting the Pier Park design to downtown’s Bayshore and Beach Boulevards.
The team, which includes Destination St. Pete Pier designer Wannemacher Jensen, beat out ASD/Rogers Partners for the job even though that team was awarded the new Pier project.
Also defeated were Alfonso Architects, the team behind the defeated Alma design for a new Pier that had been favored by former St. Pete Publics Works Administrator Mike Connors.
Alfonso Architects came in second with ASD/Rogers Partners finishing third.
W-Architects had been behind the Pier design popular among many environmentalists, Blue Pier.
According to St. Pete head architect Raul Quintana the design phase for the approach project is set to take about three to four months. A design is expected to go to City Council for a vote in January.
City Council approved W-Architecture as the top-ranked team unanimously, but not before getting an earful from vocal community activist Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter.
“If it was raining brains y’all wouldn’t get wet,” she chided.
Lassiter accused council of failing to ever come in at or under budget on major city projects and lamented a common concern that the city is spending too much time on downtown projects while neglecting the deeply poor Midtown neighborhood.
On the claim that the City failed to complete projects within budget, City Council chair Charlie Gerdes told Lassiter that was “just flat out untrue.”