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New pier will provide rich programming and create a progressive, accessible, and sustainable 21st-century public destination for community and tourists alike.
The City Council overwhelmingly approved the schematic design for the New St. Pete Pier and move the project forward, providing remaining architectural and professional fees as well as appropriation of funds for the project.
Awarded in 2015 through a competition sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg, the design of the New St. Pete Pier represents a collaborative effort by a team of firms: Lead Designer, New York City-based ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers (Rogers Partners); Executive Architect, Tampa-based ASD; and Landscape Architect, New York City-based WORKSHOP: Ken Smith Landscape Architect (Ken Smith). The project won a 2016 AIANY Design Award for Urban Design earlier this year, and is on exhibit at New York City’s Center for Architecture through June 2016.
“The New Pier will become a marker for the next generation of public space on waterfronts nationwide,” said Robert M. Rogers, founder of Rogers Partners, “Through programming, landscape, and architecture we’re creating a 21st-century public place for tourists and local users alike by extending the urban and recreational features of the city into the bay itself.”
The current design of the Pier is an update to meet City and public requests for modifications. However, the current design maintains the core programming of the original competition-winning concept. It expands the fishing area and lowers it closer to the water, directly above existing underwater structures that currently support robust fishing and marine life. The design team also subtly reconfigured the lawn area to make it more viable for a variety of uses and to provide direct connection to the pierhead and newly added Café area.
Updates also include additional dining space within the restaurant on the upper level of the Pier structure that will look back toward the city. This area has also been simplified to promote more dynamic, intuitive circulation to the observation deck. The retail location and bait shop remain unmodified.
Additionally, the pierhead building has been improved so that sun-shading devices are now directly over the observation deck and will react subtly with the pier’s terminus, creating shady spaces during the day and a luminous beacon at night.
The Council approved remaining funding for the project in the amount of $40.3 million to cover professional fees and fund construction of the new Pier. Last year, it approved funding for design details, demolition of the current Pier and approach, and pre-construction costs. Demolition of the existing structure is slated for completion later this year with construction starting as early as October.
The new Pier will be a platform for a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community – from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners. It will serve as a hub for activity, not only at the pierhead, but all along its length. The design will reconnect the Pier to the daily life of St. Petersburg, tying into the city’s transportation and recreation systems – bike paths, jogging trails, parking, and public transit systems – as well as new transport options like the Looper Trolley and a potential high-speed ferry.