St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is on a spending binge. Spending on two signature projects, a new police headquarters and a new Pier, have mushroomed. The city needs a new police station, and it has had a Pier for generations. But the prices have grown more than 70 percent since inception, now hovering around $80 million apiece. At City Hall, cost is of no concern when building legacy landmarks.
5 Months Ago
6 Months Ago
8 Months Ago
Police headquarters and shooting range
How $50 million became $85 million
2009: $50 million
That was the initial estimate to replace the department's aging, cramped headquarters.
2011: $32 million
A slumping economy forces city leaders to plan a smaller station while refurbishing the existing headquarters.
Then-Mayor Bill Foster scraps the whole project, citing money woes.
2015: $70 million
The economy rebounds, and new Mayor Rick Kriseman adds $20 million in Penny for Pinellas sales tax money to the original $50 million projection.
2016: $81 million
Soaring construction costs drive up the price tag.
2017: $85 million
The price jumps another $4 million to pay for additional parking spaces and energy efficiency features.
The final product will be a 167,500-square-foot station at 1301 First Ave. N that can withstand a Category 4 hurricane. Plans also call for a secure parking garage next door and a new shooting range and training complex in Woodlawn Park. Construction could start this spring.
The new Pier
How $46 million became $80 million
2013: $46 million
Of the original $50 million budget, $4 million was spent on the Lens, which voters rejected in a referendum.
2013: $66 million: A month after City Council members approved a new design, known as Pier Park, Kriseman proposes another $20 million for features linking the Pier to downtown.
2016: $80 million: After escalating costs force some Pier features to be removed, Kriseman wants to add $14 million in "enhancements" to make the Pier better, using funds freed up from a failed transit referendum.
If approved, the enhancements would include:
$3.4 million: Water recreation zone including floating docks, flight deck and kayak barn
$1.6 million: expanded pavilion with cafe, more shade and restrooms
$1.3 million: playground and splash pad enhancements
$2.6 million: "destination differentiators," described as a signature art element, market stalls and a signature recreational element
$1.68 million: movable fixtures and equipment such as outdoor furnishings, bike racks and a sound stage and lighting;
The new Pier would be a four-level structure over the water facing downtown with a restaurant. The entire 26-acre district would feature a lawn that hosts concerts, educational areas, a "coastal thicket" of native plants, a welcome center plaza with a covered tram stop, playground and splash pad, fishing areas and kayak rentals and a second restaurant near the marina.
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