Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

St. Petersburg to developer pitching new Tampa Bay Rays stadium: We won't sue you

ST. PETERSBURG — The prominent real estate developer who wants to pitch a new baseball stadium won't be sued by the city for talking about the proposal.

Darryl LeClair, head of Echelon and CityScape, sent a letter last week to Mayor Bill Foster asking for an audience to pitch a new baseball stadium in the Carillon business park.

The letter also sought assurance that the city won't view the pitch as meddling into the stalemate between the city and Tampa Bay Rays over a new stadium. Mayor Bill Foster has threatened to sue anyone who tries to lure the Rays out of the city, which would violate the city's contract with the team.

City Attorney John Wolfe will ask the City Council on Thursday to approve a resolution allowing LeClair to make his pitch to all interested parties with legal immunity.

"I want to give him that assurance," Wolfe told the council last week. "We will make sure our rights are protected. We're hoping to give a positive response to this."

Carillon business park is just west of the Howard Frankland Bridge in the Gateway area of St. Petersburg. LeClair controls roughly 12 acres of vacant land there where a stadium could fit, albeit a tight one.

The letter indicated that LeClair's team has met with experts in stadium design, demographics and traffic analysis, but until last week he kept his plans close to the vest.

He isn't expected to make his public pitch until sometime next month.

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected]

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