Out with the old and in with the new: Since the late 1800s, a pier has been the focal point of downtown St. Pete's waterfront, going through a variety of seven iconic pier structures over the years. And now time is up for the current St. Pete Pier. The city is sponsoring an international design competition for a new structure to replace the now 38-year-old Pier.
"A competition was suggested by the Pier Advisory Task Force as the best method to determine the solution for the Pier," says City of St. Pete Architect Raul Quintana. "I found that the type of projects competitions work best for are ones that are unique, that are important from a civic point of view, that will benefit from the widest exploration by the most creative minds, and where a community is in search of a solution. For example, a one-of-a-kind pier."
Open to international applicants, design teams must register for the competition by July 8. Teams are not required to provide initial concepts due to time, effort and cost, but a vision statement for the redevelopment must be submitted for the competition's five appointed jurors to take into account, along with each design team's background, experience and qualifications.
The best three firms will then be invited to the second stage of the competition, where a $50,000 honorarium for participation will be awarded to each; funds for the honorarium are provided by the $5 million tax increment financing (TIF) from the downtown St. Pete taxing district. The cost of the entire competition will be about $300,000.
"In stage one, I would expect that the design teams would demonstrate their grasp of the complexity of the project and the importance for it as a civic landmark," says Quintana of the two-stage competition. "This isn't about finding a finished product, but rather about selecting the most qualified design team with the best concept to be further developed and phased in."
The total budget for the Pier redesign project is $45 million with funds coming from TIF.
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Raul Quintana, City of St. Pete