Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

D.C. companies get nod for Tropicana Field redevelopment

At $1.2-billion, the EcoVerde proposal, by developers Archstone and Madison Marquette, would be the largest in St. Petersburg.

Archstone-Madison

At $1.2-billion, the EcoVerde proposal, by developers Archstone and Madison Marquette, would be the largest in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — In a surprise move, Mayor Rick Baker on Friday went against the Tampa Bay Rays and chose developers Archstone and Madison Marquette to purchase and redevelop Tropicana Field.

The recommendation is contingent on the Rays' plans to construct a new stadium on St. Petersburg's waterfront. It must be must ratified by the City Council next week.

The Archstone-Madison proposal would turn Tropicana Field and its sprawling parking lots into an 86-acre urban village accented by an outdoor mall the size of Tampa's International Plaza.

At $1.2 billion, the EcoVerde development would be the city's largest. It would include 1,935 apartments, 755 condominiums and townhomes, 800,000 square feet of office space and two hotels totaling 600 rooms.

The Washington, D.C., area developers beat out finalist Hines, a Houston company that had been working with the Rays on a smaller redevelopment concept. The Rays on Friday said they supported the mayor's decision.

The selection, however, was not widely anticipated. For months, opponents of the Rays' plans complained that the process was manipulated so only Hines could win.

And some stadium supporters even believed Hines would prevail because the company was better known.

"We wouldn't have recommended Archstone-Madison if we weren't comfortable with them," said city senior development administrator Rick Mussett. "We're looking for what's in the city's best long-term interest. We felt Archstone had a little better vision."

Construction would begin in 2010 and take up to 13 years to complete, under the developers' timetable. The company so far has offered $65-million for the site, to be paid out over seven years.

Archstone vice president Daryl South did not return calls seeking comment late Friday.

City officials said Friday that if the City Council agrees with the mayor's recommendation, they hope to reach a preliminary development agreement with Archstone-Madison by Aug. 1.

Many of the pertinent issues already have been discussed, according to the city.

Archstone-Madison says, for instance, that it is prepared to guarantee up to 1-million square feet of retail development as part of its first phase and will contribute $5-million toward the demolition of Tropicana Field.

But the developers so far have been unwilling to guarantee any tax revenue that could be generated as a result of the project or pay for any environmental cleanup costs.

The city and the developers also must find a way to pay off the existing debt at Tropicana Field. The current purchase price falls a few million dollars short.

According to the city, the Archstone-Madison proposal could bring 5,574 permanent jobs to the city and create $7.5-million a year in city taxes when it's completed.

"I'm optimistic that we're at a good starting point for entering negotiations," Mussett said.

Archstone and Madison Marquette have not partnered on a project before, though the companies did bid recently to redevelop nearly 100 acres along Washington's Anacostia River. Archstone primarily is a residential developer with $20-billion in assets. Madison Marquette is an urban retail developer with over 350 employees.

For more information, see the Times' stadium blog Ballpark Frankness at blogs.tampabay.com/ballpark.

>>Fast facts

What's next

The City Council considers the mayor's recommendation of Archstone-Madison at its meeting Thursday.

D.C. companies get nod for Tropicana Field redevelopment 06/13/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa girl, 4, dies of gunshot reaching for candy

    News

    TAMPA — One day last week, 4-year-old Yanelly Zoller reached into her grandmother's purse looking for candy, her father says.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  2. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Tampa police search for man in connection to Sunday killing (w/ video)

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police released surveillance video of a man they believe might have information about a Sunday morning fatal shooting.

  4. Pinellas announces Hurricane Irma make-up day

    Blogs

    The Pinellas County school district has announced how it will make up one of the seven school days missed by Hurricane Irma.

    Residents make their way into Joseph L. Carwise Middle School to shelter ahead of Hurricane Irma Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 in Palm Harbor. The storm is forecasted to affect the Tampa Bay area overnight with winds subsiding Monday.
  5. Hooper: Hillsborough marks 100th anniversary of historic photo collection

    Columns

    Everyone ends up with a favorite.

    Or two or three or 10.

    Rest assured, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.

    Part of the Burgert Brothers collection now featured through the Hillsborough Public Library shows a beer garden on Central Avenue in Tampa from July 1942. [Burgert Brothers collection]