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St. Pete’s Pier Park won’t be named Pier Park

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The new St. Pete Pier won’t be called Pier Park. The design concept originally pitched as Pier Park will remain the same, but the name itself will not. Instead the new Pier will simply be The St. Pete Pier.

The city was notified of a potential copyright infringement in June. The St. Joe Company, a Florida real estate developer, has already staked its claim to the name Pier Park. The company developed a mixed use area of land in Panama City that includes shopping and various entertainment at the beach front location.

The company filed to trademark the name in 2004.

“St. Joe and its project partners have spent millions of dollars in developing, managing and promoting these developments and promoting the PIER PARK (emphasis theirs) brand in connection with these projects,” a letter to the city dated June 17 reads.

The letter asked that the city, in order to avoid litigation over the name, stop using the name Pier Park for its new Pier design. They also referenced a domain name purchased by the city,, as a potential infringement to their rights to the name.

That url immediately redirects visitors to the city’s New St. Pete Pier site with a new url by the same name.

It’s also worth noting there is a Pier Park in Portland, Oregon too.

Media reports and even information contained on the city’s own websites used the name Pier Park during the Pier selection process. The design was chosen by the state-mandated selection committee at the end of April with City Council approving the design in early May.

All references to the chosen design are now made under the name St. Pete Pier. However, the city didn’t drop the Pier Park moniker right away. An analysis of the Pier website shows the design was still being referred to as Pier Park as recently as September 22.

And the media is still calling the design Pier Park as well. News reports in November by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9 call the concept Pier Park.

The issue flew under the radar for months, but surfaced when the letter to Mayor Rick Kriseman was posted on the anti-Pier Facebook page called As usual, the existence of any error whatsoever prompted outrage among a handful of critics. The histrionics include questions surrounding the ASD/Rogers Partners design team’s ability to lead such a project and the Mayor’s failure to inform anyone of the issue.

However, the questions are all basically moot now that the Pier Park name has been abandoned by the city.

Though, because St. Pete Pier isn’t the sexiest of names, this reporter poses an alternative name – Prince style. That would be “The Design formerly known as Pier Park.” Any takers?

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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