St. Pete mayor prepares to make design pick for redeveloping Tropicana Field land

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said he will make his pick for the developer to reshape the Tropicana Field land by June 30 – but first he has some deeper questions for the two finalists.

He made the announcement while reflecting on his first 100 days in office on Monday.  

Earlier this month along with the city council, Mayor Welch sent a letter asking 15 additional questions of the Midtown Development team. They've pitched 6,000-8,000 residential units with 1,000 of them being for workforce families, along with new office space, a hotel, retail, a larger booker creek and areas for artists.  

The Midtown team is what former Mayor Rick Kriseman picked over developer Sugar Hill, which is similar but also includes a massive convention center.   

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The mayor and city council have said they want to learn more about how supply chain issues would affect their construction plans along with if the change in demand for office space would impact their plans. Welch also wants to know more about how the developers plan to honor the Gas Plant community, made up of African Americans who were displaced when the Trop was built.  

Mayor Welch was raised there.  

"We understand the history of the Gas Plant and that it was a thriving community that was dislocated and promises were made – then you’ve got a different approach on how it should be developed," Welch said Monday.  

The mayor said he’s continuing to have conversations with the Tampa Bay Rays – on where they would build a new ballpark for the team when their lease is up in 2027.