Last night, the Pier Selection Committee approved the design known as Pier Park as its top-ranked team. That design was number two in the city’s public survey. Destination, the public’s top ranked team and the only design that would have renovated the current inverted pyramid, was ranked number two by the selection committee.
The issue has been a contentious one. Following a ballot referendum in 2013 in which voters overwhelmingly rejected the previous chosen design called the Lens, the city went back to the drawing board.
Mayor Rick Kriseman came out with a new design competition process he touted as being all inclusive and patching the holes in the previous process in which the public indicated they were largely left out of the conversation.
Part of that public engagement was in a non-binding public survey that ran from late February until early March. Results from that survey showed a huge majority of respondents picked Destination St. Pete Pier.
But during the marathon 12-hour meeting last month, the selection committee seemed poised to rank another design, Alma, in the top spot. That design fell at number five in the city’s public survey.
This drew outrage from people who cried foul – the city is ignoring the will of the public became the battlecry of Destination St. Pete supporter.
It wasn’t long before Pier Park supporters saw a light. The committee seemed indifferent about Destination St. Pete and the public seemed to be rejecting Alma. The compromise was clearly Pier Park.