ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Ken Welch will give his State of the City address to highlight his first-year accomplishments and outline what’s coming in 2023 — and likely will announce which group he has selected to redevelop the Historic Gas Plant district, home to Tropicana Field.
The city said in a news release Monday that Welch plans to “make a major announcement” about the redevelopment Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall. The public is invited.
Welch’s first year in office rode on issuing a new request for proposals to develop the Tropicana Field site. He rebranded the project to honor the Gas Plant neighborhood, the Black community paved over to build the dome, and demanded a significant investment in affordable housing.
The city received four proposals from Sugar Hill Community Partners, Hines and the Tampa Bay Rays, 50 Plus 1 Sports and Restoration Associates. Those development teams pitched their proposals to the public last week at the Coliseum, where Welch took notes the whole night.
Welch’s decision may affect the Rays’ future in St. Petersburg, and in the region. The team’s lease on the 86 acres downtown sunsets in 2027.