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St. Petersburg Residents Offer Feedback To Tropicana Site Finalists


Representatives of the four teams picked to submit redevelopment plans for the Tropicana Field site in St. Petersburg had the chance to make their pitches at three meetings this week, the last of which took place Thursday night.

Audience members submitted questions on cards or through an app before the hour-long discussion on housing, transit, local businesses — and if the Tampa Bay Rays will stay at the site.

But most of the questions centered on the area's past. The Gas Plant neighborhood, a hub for St. Pete's African American community, was razed in the early 80s to make way for the stadium.

WATCH: Developers Explain Their Plans For Reimagining Tropicana Field

Former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is a member of the Sugar Hill Community Partners team. He said whoever is picked for the site must honor its heritage.

"I told them I said, 'Look, if you didn't notice, I'm an African American, I can put it a different way, I'm Black,'" Johnson said. "So that's gonna be my unapologetic commitment to make sure what we do is going to represent the black community of St. Pete."

Architect Bernard Zyscovich is working on a plan submitted by Unicorp National Development.

"It's about putting it all together in a way where everyone is invited, and that those who have been dishonored in the past have an opportunity to express their anger and their disappointment, and to make sure they're included," he said.

Starting Monday, St. Petersburg is opening what it calls "immersive showrooms" where residents can see the proposals in greater detail.

The locations:

  • North Library: 861 70th Ave. N.
  • Mirror Lake Library: 280 5th St. N.
  • JW Cate Rec Center: 5801 22nd Ave. N.
  • Enoch Davis Rec Center: 1111 18th Ave. S.

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Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.