With Bayfront-HMA deal and Columbia Restaurant announcement, St. Petersburg enjoys one of its best days under Bill Foster

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He almost said it.

For a moment there, the crowd thought he would say it.

In fact, if you weren’t paying close attention, it almost sounded as if he did say it.

But, no, Mayor Bill Foster did not say, “It’s another great day in St. Petersburg,” which was former Mayor Rick Baker’s famous way of beginning almost every press conference. Instead, Foster said something about it being another beautiful day in St. Petersburg. 

Actually, yesterday was both a beautiful AND great day in the City of St. Petersburg. It certainly was one of the best days the city has enjoyed on Bill Foster’s watch.

In the blink of a surprisingly warm afternoon, city leaders announced that a new Columbia Restaurant would be built at the redesigned St. Petersburg Pier, approved the sale of Bayfront Hospital to Health Management Associates and green-lighted the designsfor the major renovation of the former BayWalk. 

Three very important announcements, all marking positive developments for the future of the city. Individually, each of these announcements would be at the top of the B section of the Tampa Bay Times. But taken together, it’s almost overwhelming how important yesterday was for St. Pete.

Yesterday, Bayfront Hospital’s future was secured.

Yesterday, The Lens design for the new Pier moved closer to reality.

Yesterday, vision for The Shops at St. Pete’s future came more into focus.

Yesterday truly was a beautiful and great day for the City of St. Petersburg. Especially for Bill Foster, who I’ve argued, does better under political pressure, than he does when left to his own devices. Foster performed best in the first part of his term when his place was unsecure and Ken Welch was still threatening to run against him. Then his ego got in the way and it’s been a long couple of years.

But now with Rick Kriseman measuring the drapes at City Hall, Foster is back to his old self. Not Rick Baker, mind you, but a worthy successor.

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.