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Will new affordable housing be built on a redeveloped Gas Plant site?



Will new affordable housing really be built on a redeveloped Gas Plant site? There is no guarantee under the current Rays/Hines proposal.


The current agreement between St. Petersburg and Rays/Hines proposes 600 affordable/workforce housing units, a promise widely touted as incentive for the city to finalize the deal. However, there's an easy out clause. Rays/Hines can later renege on building these affordable units for a small penalty of just $25 million, a fraction of the $545 million under market value that Rays/Hines is paying for the land.


The proposal as it stands includes mixed-use housing, businesses, retail, office and medical space, public parks, senior living residences, and the Woodson African American Museum of Florida. The redevelopment aims to generate economic benefits and rebuild the Black business community that was displaced when Tropicana Field was built​​.


While the Rays-Hines stadium deal promises significant redevelopment and economic benefits, it faces challenges and controversies regarding its financial implications, impact on the community, and the potential transfer of wealth from public to private interests.


It cannot be ignored that St. Petersburg is losing significant value by tying up a large portion of the Gas Plant site for the stadium and selling the remaining land to the Rays-Hines group at a price deemed too low. There's also concern about the transfer of wealth from the public to the private sector and the potential negative impact on the quality of life in surrounding areas due to traffic and crowd congestion​​​​.


This raises concerns about fulfilling commitments to those displaced for the stadium.



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