ST. PETERSBURG — An outdoor entertainment venue in the Warehouse Arts District passed its first hurdle at City Council last week, when council members voted unanimously to change zoning rules.
The zoning change makes it easier for outdoor performing arts spaces to capitalize on underutilized industrial areas.
While the rule change would go into effect citywide, the council’s decision was one step forward for a particular project. Couple Robert and Cherie Beaman own a triangular property of nearly 2 acres along the Pinellas Trail, just west of 20th Street and north of Fifth Avenue S, that they want to convert to an outdoor art space. The venue would sit behind a glass and metalworking shop the Beamans also plan to set to go up along 20th Street.
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster threw his weight behind the project, advocating on its behalf in front of City Council.
“It complements the Edge District, it complements Grand Central, it complements the Deuces, and it’s certainly an arts venue within the Warehouse Arts District,” he said. “There’s nothing like it in the city. We’ve got Vinoy, we’ve got Albert Whitted, we’ve got Jannus. We’ve got 2,000 to 20,000, but we don’t have anything to really support the arts and outdoor entertainment in a medium range.”
Another hearing on the rules change is set for Feb. 21.