Tampa Bay Rays’ $1.3B stadium development with Hines moves forward

City council nears final vote on 86-acre project

Tampa Bay Rays’ $1.3B Stadium Development Moves Forward
Hines' Laura Hines-Pierce and Jeffrey Hines with rendering of Tampa Bay Rays and Hines’ stadium development (Hines, Getty)

The Tampa Bay Rays and Hines just cleared a major hurdle in their path to build a $1.3 billion stadium-anchored mixed-use development.

St. Petersburg’s city council has set the stage for a final vote on the project, which calls for redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District on the 86-acre site where Tropicana Field, the MLB team’s current stadium, is located, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported

Along with a new stadium, the development is slated for 5,400 residential units, 750 hotel keys, 1.4 million square feet of office and medical space and 750,000 square feet of retail. It will also include 14 acres of public open space, entertainment and a slew of other amenities. 

The project is expected to revitalize the Midtown area by creating a constant hub of activity even when games aren’t being played. 

At the recent city council meeting, each item pertaining to the Gas Plant redevelopment was approved with a 5-3 vote, with council members Richie Floyd, John Muhammad and Lisset Hanewicz dissenting.

One point of contention was the lack of final documents for the Rays-Hines redevelopment proposals. Several council members, including Muhammad, were reluctant to support the project without them. 

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The council is expected to receive final documents two weeks before the final vote, following the city attorney’s review. Council members will further analyze the agreements on July 9, and if documents are not ready by then, the final vote may be delayed to July 18.

Muhammad raised concerns over the land appraisal values, suggesting a history of undervaluation in African American communities. 

Council was also divided on allocating additional funds to the Minneapolis-based law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, hired to assist in the Gas Plant redevelopment negotiations. The firm, hired in February 2023, was approved for an additional $400,000 in March and is now requesting another $550,000 due to extensive work hours, the outlet reported.

For Houston-based Hines, meanwhile, the St. Pete project isn’t the only stadium-anchored development up its sleeve. The firm plans to deliver 300 hotel rooms and 60,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space adjacent to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. The project aims to create an entertainment district that can be utilized year-round, catering not only to Astros games but also other events in Houston.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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