New St. Pete Pier The Lens: Changes coming for new St. Petersburg Pier design

10:11 AM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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St. Pete Pier design proposal: "The Lens" by Michael Maltzan Architecture (courtesy: City of St. Pete)



St. Petersburg, Florida -- We're learning about changes to the plans for the new St. Pete Pier.

Some new elements have been added, while others -- including a signature of the design -- have been eliminated.

PHOTOS: St. Petersburg's new proposed Pier

The architects in charge of building the Lens pier concept released their fine-tuned plans Monday night.

The additions do address some of the concerns many people raised at public meetings.

Some people said there wouldn't be enough to "do" on and around the new pier. Many also worried that visitors would bake in the sun along the new pier's concrete walkways.

Here's what's in and what's out in the latest plans:

What's In:

Two restaurants

One restaurant would be located out on the pier. Before now, there had only been talk of something like an ice cream shop out there. Plans now call for a full-fledged restaurant.

There's also a plan for a waterfront restaurant on land, just south of the pier.

A road -- sort of

One of the two bridges leading to the Lens will be able to handle service vehicles and a tram. That makes it possible to have a restaurant and access for a lot more people.


Shaded balconies will be placed at several spots along the pier.

What's Out:


A marina in the center of the Lens will only now handle human-powered boats like kayaks and paddleboards.

Underwater reef garden

Scientists have come out and said an undersea garden is unrealistic with Tampa Bay's dark water.

A reef attraction still shows up in the plan as sort of a someday, maybe item -- but it's officially out as a signature feature of the Lens design.

The existing Pier is being replaced because its support structure is in bad shape and would cost millions to repair.

Expect the current inverted pyramid-style pier to be removed by this time next year. You'll be able to walk out onto the new pier on its opening day in Summer 2015, according to the architect's schedule.

There is a detailed plan in the architects' new document that lays out how to do all of this within the City of St. Petersburg's $50 million budget.

You can take a look at the latest new St. Petersburg Pier design documents at this city website.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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