ST. PETERSBURG -— A showdown between the city and one of its tenants, the children's museum Great Explorations, ended Thursday when they reached a verbal agreement on a lease.
A City Council committee authorized city staff to draft a lease giving the museum five years to rent space at Sunken Gardens. Rent would start at $2,600 a month and climb up to $4,800 a month by the fifth year. The museum also agreed to pay $38,000 over that period for constructions costs stemming from an entrance project from a few years ago.
The museum would have an option to extend the lease another five years if it meets those terms. The City Council is expected to vote on the lease in two months.
Tensions between the city and the museum have risen in the past year. The city was fining the museum for falling behind on its payments for the construction, while museum officials claimed a bad economy made it difficult to meet lease terms that they called onerous. No such tension today, however.
"This stuff is behind us," said Scott Wagman, a museum representative. "The museum is not facing an imminent demise."