St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman’s storefront plan gets go ahead from city council

Council will revisit the plan in June.

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St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman’s storefront plan gets go ahead from city council
Photo via Flickr/City of St. Petersburg

A Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan from St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman got the green light from city council members on Thursday afternoon.

Council voted 6 to 2 to approve the plan as written, and to consider an amendment to the plan in June that would include an exemption for adaptive reuse, which provides some leeway for buildings with historic, architectural or cultural value.

Council members Ed Montanari and Darden Rice voted no while council members Brandi Gabbard, Amy Foster, Steve Kornell, Gina Driscoll, Lisa Wheeler-Bowman and council chair Charlie Gerdes voted to approve.

Kriseman’s plan is supposed to promote independently-owned businesses, maintain a pedestrian-friendly streetscape and promote the conservation of historic assets.

The proposal affects properties on long Beach Drive and Central Avenue, from the waterfront to 31st Street, by regulating the size of storefronts that can open on those streets and also establish a minimum requirement and maximum width for pedestrian level, publicly accessible storefronts (the storefronts would’ve been categorized into medium, large and small).

Most property owners on the affected blocks agree with wanting to preserve the character of downtown St. Pete’s most popular streets, but some said that Kriseman’s proposal needs some work.

Mark Feldman — an owner of downtown’s BB&T Tower (aka First Central Tower) the Northern Trust Building and the Morgan Stanley building across from Sundial — told the Tampa Bay Times that he and other property owners would be willing to partially pay for a study that would examine the potential consequences of Kriseman’s proposal.

While the vote is a big win for the mayor, council did say that it will revisit the issue in June, when it will take up a potential amendment that might give the property owners more flexibility on how to use their buildings.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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