What can dome do for you?
ST. PETERSBURG -- While Carlos Pena and the boys are battling it out in Winter Haven this afternoon, Michael Kalt (at left) and his team will be in City Hall, listening to the City Council talk over the potential options for redeveloping Tropicana Field.
Representatives from all three bidders -- Archstone-Madison, Hines and Williams Quarter -- are expected to be on hand. It's another "no formal action" day, meaning we're unlikely to have any major developments. But we should get a sense of what the City Council's thinking.
The big questions:
* Is there going to be any clarity from Achstone-Madison or Williams Quarter on what they're willing to pay to purchase the 86-acre site? (Only Hines gave an actual figure, $50-million, as part of their bid).
* And, is there enough money available for the Rays to possibly finance a new $450-million stadium, and keep their promise not to ask to raise new taxes or divert existing tax revenues?
The council worksession starts at 2 p.m. Check back then for updates.
UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) -- The work session opened with a brief presentation from city officials on each of the three proposals. Now, Archstone-Madison is taking their turn at the mic. Several members of St. Pete Preserve Our Wallets and Waterfront are here, as are a group off Rays executives including Michael Kalt. None of them are expected to speak today. Following the Archstone-Madison presentation, we're scheduled to hear from Hines and then Williams Quarter. City officials are predicting Williams Quarter may increase their development proposal when it gets its chance to speak.
UPDATE ( 2:35 p.m.) -- Archstone-Madison's presentation has come and gone and we still don't understand how much they're offering to purchase Tropicana Field. Archstone vice president Daryl South said there is not sufficient initial land value at the 86-acre Tropicana Field site to support a simple, up front cash payment. So instead, developers are proposing a public-private partnership where the city would received at least $1-million a year in rent, and possibly $2-million a year, as well as some share of the developer's profits for redeveloping the site. Hines, the developer the Rays have been working with, is on the clock.
UPDATE (2:37 p.m.) -- Hines exec. Michael Harrison: "You don't find these opportunities very often in the U.S. anymore."
UPDATE (2:50 p.m.) -- Williams Quarter executives aren't pulling any punches during their presentation. They say the demand for retail Hines and Archstone-Madison (Williams Quarter called them "out of town friends") are talking about, is not verifiable. What is, however, is the need for workforce housing, they say. The Williams Quarter proposes 4,000 for-rent units.
UPDATE (2:57 p.m.) -- Bidding war? Williams Quarter just dropped the biggest bombshell of the afternoon. They're willing to pay $61-million for the Trop. What say you Hines? Time for council questions.