Bryan Friesen Photography - Sunrise at the St. Petersburg Pier
St. Petersburg, Florida - Now that voters have overwhelmingly sunk the Lens, what's next for the waterfront?
Mayor Bill Foster remains steadfast in his thinking that rehabbing the existing pier and approach is too costly and that a new pier design is the way to go.
"The slogan of Stop the Lens was 'we can do better' and I agree whole-heartedly, we can do better, says Foster. "But sticking to the past, I don't see that as an option."
RESULTS: St. Petersburg Primary Election
Foster has already created a group called the 8/28 Alliance, named for today's date. The group's report, expected to be finalized on Wednesday, outlines a process for selecting a new pier design. The report calls for a citywide survey, more meetings, the involvement of local architects, and a greater number of people doing the actual picking.
"I think we got 2/3rds of the people together to make this vote and I think we can get a lot of people together on what we should have for the future of our pier," says Fred Whaley, a member of the Alliance, who had also opposed the Lens.
But even as this pier replacement process gets rolling, a new mayor could take office in January. Will that be a pier game changer?
While candidate Rick Kriseman has his own plans and timetable for replacing the pier, if he wins the election, he says he'll consider any groundwork that's been laid.
"I would hate to have to start over, because that again sets us back," says Kriseman. "It will be nice to build on whatever is going forward."
The next step in this process is for Foster to present the 828 Alliance report to the city council.