At the 2023 State of the City address on Jan. 30, Mayor Ken Welch announced Hines & Tampa Bay Rays as his selection for the master developer of the Historic Gas Plant Redevelopment Project.
ST. PETERSBURG — At the 2023 State of the City address this morning, Mayor Ken Welch recounted some of his administration’s key accomplishments from 2022, expressed his appreciation for his city team and partnership with the community, shared his priorities for 2023 and announced Hines & Tampa Bay Rays as his selection for the master developer of the Historic Gas Plant Redevelopment Project.
“We are guided by our overarching goal, our North Star: Progress for All,” said Mayor Welch. “I’m excited to tell you that the State of the City is strong and focused on Inclusive and Principled Progress, progress that provides opportunities for everyone to move forward while leaving no part of our city behind.”
Welch said he saw a need to build a better path forward by prioritizing the community’s need for affordable and workforce housing both on and off-site.
“And as a child who visited many a restaurant, corner store and worked at my grandfather’s woodyard, the opportunity for restorative economic opportunities needed to be a clearly stated priority.”
Welch thanked the four development teams who responded to the city’s RFP for the Historic Gas Plan District, for believing in St. Petersburg and for investing their resources in their proposals. He is also grateful to the 2,000-plus residents, stakeholders and multiple faith, business and community organizations for sharing their thoughts and recommendations.
“I am naming the partner and a concept for a project that will last over a decade and will span multiple administrations. As the plan moves forward under my administration, we will adhere to our model of inclusive governance, asking for input from all stakeholders, including the community, to ensure that we are meeting the goals of this development. I know our St. Pete community will stay engaged and informed as this project takes shape.”
The mayor said it was a complex decision, with two solid proposals from capable teams. His administration received input and feedback from diverse groups and individuals, along with staff and consultant analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals.
Welch said he did his homework and is confident that the “best path forward” is Hines & Tampa Bay Rays.
“This team is the best partner for this generational endeavor, and now the next phase of work begins to bring this dream to reality for everyone in St. Petersburg,” Welch asserted.