St. Pete City Commission discuss how to move forward with the pier after the Lens rejected

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The St. Petersburg City Council is discussing a new plan for the Pier for the first time since people voted down the Lens idea. The proposal comes from the 828 Alliance.

Even after hearing Mayor Foster's presentation from the 828 Alliance Thursday, big questions remain unanswered. 

"When do you plan on starting, and how long will this take?" Leslie Curran, St. Pete Councilwoman asked. 

"I have no idea at this point, no idea as we sit here today as far putting a time frame on it," Mayor Foster said.

But according to Mayor Foster, the plan is already in the works, starting with developing a survey that will poll as many people as possible. 

"It's a hybrid between form and function simultaneously, and we'll survey the public right from the beginning."

According to the 828 Alliance, the criteria and functionality of the new pier needs to be firmed up-- including specific details about retail space, restaurants, parking, even defining the term "iconic."

"There's a high probability that a functional view point we can get a broad consensus and people will be more forgiving on what it looks like," St. Pete City Councilman Karl Nurse said.

But not all council members are on board, some saying a new plan isn't needed because the old plan is already in place. 

"That was the original plan to renovate the pyramid.  Let's keep it moving," St. Pete City  Councilman Wengay Newton Sr. said.

And what about money?  With no real action today, Councilwoman Curran, who called for this presentation, has concerns for how this plan will play out.  

Mayor Foster says lessons were learned from the lens flop, but at the end of the day, whatever the city does must be accepted by the architectural community.

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