St. Petersburg wants a grocery store in Tangerine Plaza. Again.

City leaders also want a new developer to totally reimagine the struggling plaza with retail options and affordable housing.
The grocery store at Tangerine Plaza has sat empty since the Walmart Neighborhood Market closed unexpectedly in 2017.
The grocery store at Tangerine Plaza has sat empty since the Walmart Neighborhood Market closed unexpectedly in 2017.
Published Dec. 17, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — City officials are once again seeking proposals to redevelop Tangerine Plaza, the struggling Midtown shopping center that has seen a Sweetbay Supermarket, then a Walmart Neighborhood Market, come and go.

The city posted the request for proposals on Monday, asking those interested to pitch a mixed-use development with retail, housing and a fresh food grocer on the property, which sits on the northeast corner of 22nd Street S and 18th Avenue S.

RELATED: There’s a food desert in St. Petersburg. It’s not imaginary.

Each supermarket served as Tangerine Plaza’s anchor tenant, and both failed within a span of four years.

The Sweetbay opened in 2005 and closed in 2013. It was replaced the following year by the Walmart market — which unexpectedly closed in 2017 soon after the city bought back the plaza from the developer. Walmart still leases the space, but it remains empty.

Last year the city sought proposals, but officials were unmoved by the six ideas they received. Monday’s solicitation comes one week after Mayor Rick Kriseman unveiled his plan — branded Deuces Rising — to revitalize the Deuces, or 22nd Street S, which was once the center of black life in St. Petersburg.

The Deuces Rising concept rose last week from the ashes of a failed industrial vision for Commerce Park, the 13-acre parcel along 22nd Street S between Sixth and Eighth Avenues S, where Interstate 275 slices through neighborhoods as it dives toward Tropicana Field. The city had plans with a developer to build warehouses on that land and create jobs.

RELATED: Feds to St. Petersburg: Give back our $2.2 million for Commerce Park

A reimagined Commerce Park that Kriseman hopes will feature housing, retail and the relocated Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is the northern terminus of the Deuces Rising plan. A redeveloped Tangerine Plaza is the southern.

The requirements for proposals include a smaller-scale fresh-food store if not a full-sized supermarket, plus other retail along 22nd Street S and 18th Avenue S. The development has to be build in a sustainable manner and be bike and pedestrian friendly. It must create jobs for residents of the South St. Pete Community Redevelopment Area that pay at least $12 an hour.

Beyond the requirements, the city’s prefers developers who will include affordable, workforce and market-rate housing.

RELATED: Where does St. Pete’s Carter G. Woodson Museum belong? It’s up for debate.

In this context, affordable housing is for those who make up to 80 percent of the area’s median income; workforce is for those who make between 80 and 120 percent. The city also prefers for Tangerine Plaza’s retail space to be occupied by businesses grown in St. Petersburg’s predominantly black neighborhoods.

St. Petersburg is targeting five growth industries: marine and life sciences, specialized manufacturing, financial services, data analytics, and creative arts and design.

Spend your days with Hayes

Spend your days with Hayes

Subscribe to our free Stephinitely newsletter

Columnist Stephanie Hayes will share thoughts, feelings and funny business with you every Monday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

The deadline to submit proposals is 10 a.m. on March 23, 2020.

More Tangerine Plaza Coverage:

Chasing a Midtown supermarket, St. Pete mayors missed signs of trouble

In 2018, St. Pete hopes to revive Tangerine Plaza — once again