St. Pete Pier Could Generate $80 Million a Year, Consultant Says
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
The findings from an economic impact study were released today (May 17).
ST. PETERSBURG – Revenues from the new Pier could, in the first year, equal or exceed the construction costs, according to a report from Lambert Advisory, a real estate economic consulting service firm hired by the city.
Lambert estimates that the Pier would bring in about $80 million a year in revenues. That’s about $14 million more than the $66 million St. Petersburg has currently budgeted to build the structure.
That $80 million would come from monies that would be spent in restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. Lambert also estimates the Pier will create about 1,080 new jobs with a total of about $33 million in wages. Lambert predicts about $935,000 a year in new bed taxes.
Those are the long-term benefits that Lambert foresees. Lambert also laid out estimated short-term gains created by construction of the Pier: 365 construction jobs, $17.5 million in total construction wages, and $3.5 million in fees to professional firms (architectural, legal, etc.).
Lambert, based in Miami, came to its conclusion by reviewing and assessing the impact of two other piers that have multi-use activities – the Santa Monica Pier in California and the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.
“I am thrilled that the new St. Petersburg Pier District will not only be a world-class destination for residents and for visitors from around the world, but that it will also have such a strong economic impact,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.
Kriseman added, “It will bring jobs as well as millions in revenue from tourism, food and beverage, and bed taxes. Construction on the new pier begins soon, and that means the impact of the $16 million in construction wages will be felt soon, too. My thanks to Lambert Advisory, an independent economic advisory firm, for conducting this important study.”
The Pier District takes up about 26 acres on the city’s waterfront at the eastern end of Second Avenue NE. The Pier District comprises a total of about 26 acres, with 5 acres of development directly on the pier and the balance containing the connecting upland area. Construction is expected to begin next month and be complete by the end of 2018.
The estimated cost of the Pier is $66 million. But recently Kriseman has floated the idea of adding “enhancements” to the Pier using about $14 million in tax increment financing that was earmarked for a transportation hub that is no longer needed.
The TIF money would come from tax revenue that was collected in the area around the Pier. TIF money is designed to be used for development, redevelopment and other projects in the area from which it was collected.
If the City Council agrees to using the TIF money for the enhancements, that would bring the total cost of the Pier to about $80 million, or about the same as the total annual economic impact Lambert predicts.
For information about the Pier and to read Lambert’s full report, go to newstpetepier.com.
Photo courtesy of the city of St. Petersburg.
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