St. Petersburg, Florida-- With residents shooting down the Lens design at the polls, a pier-sized question looms over the city. "What now? What now?" queried Councilman Bill Dudley at Thursday afternoon's meeting.
City council members and Mayor Bill Foster talked about how to move city plans forward. Foster's 8/28 Alliance group recommended an extensive survey of residents, more meetings for community input, and recommendations from architects. And Foster told the council that those steps were a good guideline.
However, to Dudley, it all seems like deja vu.
"I'm very frustrated; here we go again!"
Councilman Wengay Newton says there's no need to look far for answers; just glance over at the waterfront. Newton believes the inverted pyramid can be rehabbed and that a new, narrower approach can be built within budget.
"I think we can short up what we have, build a smaller approach, make the building more green and I think we'll be fine, because the people will support that," Newton told 10 News before the meeting.
And talk of another contest to get designs for a new pier also brings concerns. After what happened with the Lens, Councilman Jim Kennedy wonders if any architects will want to play. "I'm very concerned that the creative community would by gun shy," he says.
Photos: The Lens: Design previously proposed for St. Pete's pier
And while the next steps for the city seem to be following a familiar path, Mayor Foster is hopeful that this time around the city will end up with a pier.
"There were things that were done in the previous process that can be avoided," Foster told the panel. "We won't be going down that road again."
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