St. Petersburg Mayor announces developers for Gas Plant District
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Tampa Bay Now) - The wait is finally over! St. Petersburg Mayor, Ken Welch announced the new developers of the Gas Plant District: Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The historic area covers 86 acres and includes the Tropicana Field.
"We had a community that supported itself, therefore we had our own black businesses, lots of green space, fruit trees galore," said Alexa Manning, a resident in St. Petersburg.
Alexa Manning has lived in the Gas Plant District her whole life, and says the area used to be rich in culture and was run by the residents who lived there.
"We still have a chance to be a part of that rebuilding of the gas plant area," said Manning.
On Monday, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced the new developers of the Gas Plant District: Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays.
"As a child of the historic Gas Plant District, I consider it to be sacred ground," said Mayor Welch.
Welch says he hopes to bring back what the Gas Plant District previously was known for.
"It was evidence of the African American community that endeavored to turn a red line part of our city into a neighborhood of commerce, faith and family," said Mayor Welch.
Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays redevelopment plan includes family entertainment, retail building space, a new baseball stadium, and housing, which includes affordable housing.
St. Petersburg City Council-member, Richie Floyd, and other organizations like Faith in Florida, are asking the city to keep the land under its ownership and to continue to have at least partial control of the land.
"The city can run housing specifically just so that people can live. And that is what really needs to be said here today. Is the reason we have a housing crisis is because we rely on people who want to make a buck off of our living to provide that housing," said Floyd.
Nick Carey with Faith in Florida says he hopes the city listens to the community when it comes to the development plan.
"Development must be focused on former residents, their descendants, and the residents of South St. Petersburg through education of the history of this community and substantial economic benefit towards these residents," said Carey.
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