Marley, part golden retriever and part German shepherd, bounded ahead of his owners Monday as they strolled on the Pier approach.
Jane and David Anderson live in Tampa, frequently boat over to St. Petersburg and own a downtown condo at Signature Place.
The couple used to visit the Pier, but has rarely done so in recent years.
It's not a nice place to go anymore," Jane Anderson said.
"We like the Lens," she said of the proposed replacement, adding that the design is integrated with the land in an interesting way. "It just isn't a thing stuck out there."
Her husband, owner of David E. Anderson Architect, praised the design.
"It seemed to me it just wasn't an iconic structure out at the water,'' he said. "It became more of an experience. You don't have to come back the same way.
"It's just the beginning of a wonderful development. It has an ongoing future that will be a draw for St. Petersburg."
The Lens, he said, "just seems to fit with the spirit" of the city's vibrant pedestrian downtown.