ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The next step in the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site is expected sometime this summer. According to the city's project timeline, a use agreement term sheet for developer Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays with details on how the project will move forward and be financed.
Before it was the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Trop site was home to the bustling Gas Plant District.
"It was thriving," said Alexa Manning. "It was a place to go, especially if you were looking for, you know - it was always crab cookouts, always barbecue."
Manning's grandparents lived in the predominantly Black community. She said they'd left by the time residents were displaced to make way for the baseball stadium. Thursday evening, she was among about 30 people at a Faith in Florida meeting on the site's redevelopment.
"We definitely need to see housing being developed in that area. We are really in a crisis to get those homes built for people, a place to live affordable," said Manning, who volunteers with the group.
That kind of input was the reason for the gathering.
"One of the things that we feel like has been missing for awhile in the negotiations around the Gas Plant District is just community members getting to be a part of it," said Nick Carey, a lead organizer with Faith in Florida.
Last month, the group made a banner where residents could write what they'd like to see included in the project. The goal was to get the attention of city leaders. Carey and other organizers told attendees at their latest meeting that it's not too late to make their voices heard.
The city referred Spectrum Bay News 9 to a previously released statement, which reads, "We are still in the process of conducting active negotiations with Hines and Tampa Bay Rays on behalf of all our communities in St. Petersburg." The statement goes on to say, "We are hopeful to adhere to the previously released timeline, which would deliver a term sheet to our city council for review this summer. The term sheet would give city leaders the opportunity to get feedback and input from residents."
According to the city's project timeline, the next step after the term sheet is presenting a development agreement to city council for approval, which could happen in September or October.