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Why proposed housing at new Tropicana Field site might be unaffordable for average renters

New construction permit values average $35 million around the Trop. There are concerns this will impact affordability when Rays-Hines redevelops the site.

Emerald Morrow

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Published: 3:14 PM EDT September 13, 2023
Updated: 6:56 PM EDT September 13, 2023

Block by block, a drive through downtown St. Petersburg to Tropicana Field paints a clear picture of a city on the rise: trendy restaurants, bustling businesses and lots and lots of residential construction.

The luxury market has dominated much of that construction in parts of a city that has become increasingly expensive over the last decade. This raises questions about whether the Hines and Tampa Bay Rays plan to redevelop Tropicana Field and its surrounding area as part of the Historic Gas Plant Redevelopment Project will continue that trend in an area that once belonged to a working-class, African-American community.

10 Investigates pulled new construction, multi-family permit records since 2020 for ZIP codes downtown and around Tropicana Field. Records show permit values ranging from $1.7 million to $180 million, with the average permit value around $35 million – setting a tone for an increased market rate that could impact about how affordable the area will be for the average person once the plan is completed.

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