PR problem for new pier design

Vote on The Lens is Aug. 27

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As plans continue to demolish the old pier, St. Petersburg City councilman Jeff Danner is fielding complaints about what the new pier has in store.

"What I hear is there's nothing to do out there.  It's a $50 million sidewalk to nowhere.  And that's just not true," said Danner.

Danner says the Lens will have restaurants, boating, fishing, event space and much more.

"There's anything this community decides it wants, provide that input as we move forward to refine the design, and it has evolved.  The architects have listened and there are things to do," said Danner.

Danner says city leaders could have done a better job informing the public about what the Lens has to offer. That's why he is set to propose a taxpayer funded campaign, where they will get the word out about all it's amenities.

The opposition is making sure their voice is heard.  At stopthelens.com you can read up on their many issues with a design they call ugly, saying it looks like the bottom of a pier.

They also say support for the Lens appears to be dwindling and it's not right to spend more money to try and sway voters.

Meanwhile, the old pier is closed to the public, leaving people like Eddy Velasco to take pictures from a distance.  He's not really concerned with what the new pier looks like, just as long as there's a lot to do.

"A place to eat, a place to gather. A place to visit, a place to come from out of town and take a look at and enjoy it," sadi Velasco.

The Lens project has cost the city more than $3 million, so far. The vote on whether it will ever become a reality is August 27.

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