Proposals & Concepts to Update & Upscale the St. Pete Pier

The iconic Inverted Pyramid of St. Petersburg is ready for its next act!
There have been a number of proposed plans presented to the City of St. Petersburg to update the current Inverted Pyramid while replacing the "approach" (bridge) and surrounding "pier head" (pier deck around the perimeter of the Inverted Pyramid and its own separate foundation).  This was the original intention of Mayor Baker when the $50 million dollar budget was established. But in 2010, with Mayor Foster's agenda to destroy the Inverted Pyramid and build a lasting tribute to his single term as mayor, all refurbishment recommendations, proposals, assessments & engineering reports have been routinely delayed and dismissed.  Because of this, the general public has not been aware that these proposals had been offered.  Here are also some more recently developed design concepts.  

This illustration from page 28 of the Pier Advisory Task Force Report, shows there was a clear intention to include an option to refurbish the Inverted Pyramid.  As noted in this site's Current Condition page, the condition of the Inverted Pyramid and its foundation only needs the usual updating for any forty year old building.  Since the 100 foot wide, 1026 foot long "approach" or bridge to the Inverted Pyramid needs repairs and replacement, perhaps this is the best opportunity to create a real showplace destination to draw residents and visitors alike to downtown St. Petersburg.
On page 13 of the Task Force's Report, it was noted that other successful pier venues around the world had some things in common, including the fact that the "program" or elements of interest & attraction such as retail merchants, cafés & food/beverage vendors, amusements rides, exhibits, etc., were located starting at the beginning of the piers.  The other commonality was that there was a continuous sequence of these elements of interest, located a short walking distance from each other.  The psychological effect is that when the visitors are being stimulated with sights, sounds, the fragrance of fresh foods with tempting flavors, the distance being walked is less likely to be an issue, or even noticed.

One proposal for a cost effective update and upgrade for the St. Pete Pier and its Inverted Pyramid building comes from the local architectural firm of Arkedezin. Based on the assessment and cost estimates by Archer Western Contractors, this proposal includes enclosing the building with glass walls and transforming the interior with a natural light atrium.  These renderings also include a federally subsidized electric urban rail transport system to link the Inverted Pyramid to the retail merchants and cafés along the south side of the approach, to the parking areas and downtown St. Petersburg.

                                    based on the Archer Western Contractors Proposal at $49.5 million 

This view from above shows retail shops and cafés along the south side of the approach, separate areas for boaters to tie-up to docks and other docks for boat rentals.  A curved fishing pier also acts as a breakwater to protect the dock areas from waves.  The updated and enlarged Inverted Pyramid also features a fully enclosed 5th floor with a new, larger observation deck on the 6th floor.  A decorative and functional "solar sail" tops the building with photo-voltaic solar cells to generate much of the electricity the Pier would require.


"Pyramid of the Sun"   click for detailed information

This proposed concept by local designer Mr. Van Ivey, presents a grand palace destination for retail, dining, entertainment and convention facilities on Tampa Bay,
by enclosing the existing Inverted Pyramid inside an Upright Pyramid providing a climate controlled, interior garden atrium throughout the complex.  While there
is no estimated cost or budget proposal on this concept, Mr. Ivey can also provide ideas that allow this project to be completed in phases as funds allow.


For more detailed information on this concept, Click Here!

"The Gem & Pier Boulevard Village" Concept       click for detailed information

This concept was prompted by two questions: 
  • What would be a year around draw for tourists and residents alike to downtown St. Petersburg that we don't already have? and
  • At this time in our culture, what popular, financially successful venues do people already flock to and support?
This concept is based on the Option One from the Pier Advisory Task Force Report and an "urban mall" design in which the same elements that are found in an upscale mega-mall, are located throughout the downtown area.  Key to this design is the integration of a variety of transportation options which allow visitors to shop, dine, catch a film or live performance, visit the museums in any weather, and with less walking than what a traditional shopping mall would require.  An electric urban rail system links main points of interest with various parking venues, the convention center, major department stores located in downtown, major hotels and the St. Pete Pier.  High-speed water taxi brings convention attendees and cruise ship passengers to/from downtown Tampa.  All transportation options come together at the The Pier complex, which has its own people movers allowing visitors to ride or walk to their particular destinations along the two level approach (bridge).  

The Gem building utilizes the structure of the Inverted Pyramid and features seven floors of dining, shopping & entertainment venues, including a top floor "Mirador" with a café and butterfly garden. Three sides of the upper half of the Gem building are covered with recently developed transparent solar photo-voltaic cells.  Also covering the entire building are hundreds of thousands of tiny LED lights connected to a special computer for nightly light shows.  This concept is driven by the fact that malls & shopping villages are the most popular places for people, both residents and tourists, to support, 365 days a year, and the fact that Pinellas County does not have an upscale shopping & dining complex like Tampa's International Plaza or Wiregrass Village.

The Pier Boulevard Village on the Pier's approach provides shoppers with easy access to all of the shops and cafés from the lower level, even in rainy weather.  On our more typical sunny days, shoppers will be more inclined to browse from shop to shop on the upper level.  The Pier Boulevard Village also offers free package delivery to the Pier's parking areas. When shoppers return to their cars, even if they park in one of the downtown parking garages, they can simply pull up to the covered package pick-up depot located at the Dolphin parking lot, where their items have been safely stored in the climate controlled building.  No need to carry arms-full of packages during holiday shopping! 

As this concept answers the first two questions, the next obvious question is:  How can this be financially possible?

By partnering with the right retail development & management company, various technology companies, plus currently available Federal subsidy programs, the centerpiece of St. Petersburg's downtown can also serve as a showplace for smart urban development. Perhaps best of all might be that the City could grant a long-term lease to the development company who would pay for the construction and then manage the property and pay the bills when it is completed, - leaving the City to simply collect a percentage of the monthly rent.

In this early concept cross section, the utility lines and plumbing would be in a protected environment with easy access for maintenance and upgrades. The quiet, electric rail system throughout downtown, stops at the parking area, two stations along the Pier Boulevard Village and Gem building.  If additional transport options are necessary, either a moving sidewalk system or an electric transport pod can take visitors directly to their destinations along the Pier.  

Click for Photo Gallery 
Frequent updates, check back often!    

This website is the result of unpaid volunteer efforts with no political or financial connections with any person or business involved with the issues of the St. Pete Pier or City government.
Content is compiled from many sources available on the Internet, - and corrections, additions & suggestions are welcome!