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St. Pete council clears way for western and wildlife art museum

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg council members unanimously voted Thursday to lease parking spaces in the South Core Garage so the proceeds could be used to financially support a proposed western and wildlife art museum.

“This is truly a goosebumps moment for St. Petersburg,” city council member Ed Montanari said.

“This is one of the easiest votes I’ve had since being on council,” Steve Kornell said. “We’re very excited and very honored.”

The museum is the brainchild of Tom James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial. It will be known as the James Museum. The museum will be located in the privately owned commercial floors of the South Core Building, 100 Central Ave.

The agreement with James RE LLC is 50 years. Under the provisions of the contract, James RE will receive most of the parking revenue generated by the first and second levels of the parking garage.

The city would receive the income at certain times – during blackout periods for events like the Grand Prix or nights and weekends on one of the levels, for example. James RE and the city would share revenue generated from a community room.

In return, the museum would pay the city an initial $165,000 for the use of the parking garage.

That amount would increase by 1 percent each year.

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