The City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida has approved $19.5 million in funding for W Architecture & Landscape Architecture‘s Pier Approach, the lead-up to the new Rogers Partners–designed St. Pete Pier.
In addition to approving the design, the city council expanded W Architecture’s scope of service to include detailed design and construction documents.
The Brooklyn-based architecture firm is collaborating with ASD Architects and Rogers Partners on the redesign. Rogers Partners designed the pier itself, which will be connected to W Architecture’s approach.
W Architecture and local partner Wannemacher Jensen Architects are working on the Pier Approach. Tampa-based firm ASD is the executive architect on the pier. The aim of the approach is to connect the pier, located at Spa Beach, to downtown St. Petersburg.
Plans for a new pier have been in the works since at least 2012, but that year a group of residents organized a referendum that rejected a design from L.A.-based architect Michael Maltzan. Rogers Partners won a new city-issued design competition in 2015. When The Architect’s Newspaper profiled the project in May, W’s concept phase was just wrapping up.
Rogers Partners design offers a 13-acre public space that, together with the approach, integrates the water with the waterfront. Some of the amenities that will be available to the public include restaurants, a kid’s play zone, a fishing deck, and bait shop. Ken Smith Landscape Architect is also part of the pier design team.
Chris Ballestra, the city’s managing director of development coordination, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that a lack of activities was a key reason the previous design was scrapped. However the new design may have raised concerns about too much activity, as the pier’s three restaurants were reportedly a point of discussion.
The city’s timeline has the pier and approach both completed by the end of 2018. The pier and approach will be treated as separate projects throughout the design, permitting, and construction processes, with progress on the approach following slightly behind the pier itself.
The pier is currently in the schematic design phase, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Public outreach showcasing the final pier and approach designs together will follow.