Friday, December 7, 2012

Carillon Proposal Taken Off the Table?

The developer who pitched a new Rays stadium in St. Pete's Carillon/Gateway area is running out of patience, according to Stephen Nohlgren with the Tampa Bay Times:
"It has been an intense year,'' St. Petersburg developer Darryl LeClair said recently. "I am going to tell our team, 'Enjoy the holiday season. Relax. And next year we are going to start aggressively pursuing other options for the Carillon holdings.'''

LeClair and his companies control about 17 acres in the mixed-use park, which houses several national or regional headquarters, residential units and a Hilton hotel.

Development possibilities include more offices, apartments, retail space and another hotel, LeClair said. All were included in the stadium proposal, jam-packed around the field, even sharing walls with the stadium.

"To the degree we can pursue opportunities that will preserve the stadium footprint, we will,'' LeClair said. But at some "crossover point'' a few years down the road, he said, further development with impinge on the footprint, "and we will be forced to make a decision that will lead to Carillon taking itself out of consideration'' as a stadium site.
Most importantly, a Carillon stadium never had a chance unless St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster or Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg changed their strategic positions, which neither has.

Sternberg still refuses to negotiate on any Pinellas site unless he can explore options in Hillsborough as well. Foster still uses the Trop contract to forbid any cross-bay dalliances.
"What we have done is totally prevented Mr. LeClair or anybody else from educating the Rays, selling, convincing or advocating why a site on this side of the bay is the perfect place,'' Gerdes said. "Mr. LeClair undertook, on his own, a pretty expensive proposition and it is just sitting there? Come on.''
We all saw this writing on the wall, but just as Jeff Vinik ended his pursuit of the Channelside Bay Plaza in Tampa, a developer is never really out of the prospecting game until there's actually a building sitting on his land.


  1. Ah Noah, I wanted to share an article about building a stadium that says it all, OR at least makes the argument against all the glass-half-empty, Rays-are-taking-money-out-my-pocket-people, baseball-sucks type people... Beazy

  2. Not sure what parallels you can draw from that article to a MLB stadium.

    Nor am I sure how much stock you want to put in research about Minor League Baseball's benefits to a community when that research is conducted by Minor League Baseball.....

  3. A lot! It was a good article that with money aside, brought to light the focus of the rest of the pie (real estate, small business development, attracting relocating people to Tampa oppose to them moving to Orlando, Jax, ect. instead, community moral, the jobs, which like the article states, a lot also depends on the location of the ballpark. But, again, I thought it was a good article by the Star-Banner in Ocala that didn't solely focus on the tax dollars involved like most of the other articles written by the other news outlets in Tampa...

  4. The problem is the article had no facts - it was all theoretical and the creator of the theory was the league!

    I certainly believe in the value of pro teams; I've written about it here:

    But it's hard to make the argument in Tampa right now when the city has little disposable income; residents don't seem to want to pay any new taxes; and downtown is thriving despite the lack of major sports.

  5. Again, development comes with location. Everyone wants to use the Marlins ballpark as an example, ever been there, it's the equivalent of putting a brand new Major League baseball in East Tampa, makes no sense. People don't want to go with there families to a neighborhood with a high crime rate at night, ask the Yankees how that's working out for them these days...
    Besides, are you trying to say a new ballpark won't attract relocating people from other places in America? Are you saying a new ballpark won't attract new development(?), because new pop. means more pop. which means new development. Your crazy if you think other wise, northerners from MLB cities will chose Tampa over other places for there love baseball for the next century. Unless you live in the bubble of what my city is like means everywhere else is the same, you would know you got over 15 major deep rooted baseball cities up north that will be snowbirding for many generations to come. I know, I'm from Pittsburgh, moved to Ocala w/ my family, became a "adopted" Rays fan 6 years ago, my family moved to Jacksonville, I moved here to Wesley Chapel to be closer to St. Pete...
    Now, I'm not saying if Stu, Vinik, and others (yes, Vinik and "others") want a ballpark built in Tampa that they shouldn't carry a lot of burden, I'm saying that not only having a MLB game going on in Tampa over 81 games (plus playoffs, and the All-Star game we would get) would be great for the communities moral, but that Tampa shouldn't beifit from huge profits for the next century (which benefits the residences) without an "investment". The same reason Hillsborough put up 8 mill. for a Bass Pro shop, or the same reason they give tax breaks to attract big businesses. I mean, it's like a tree that's leafs fall to the ground, and spouts new trees around it, plus give the kids a place to a tree house to play. Bottom line, your crazy if you think Hillsborough hasn't profited from the 1/4 of a cent tax on Ray Jay, and your crazy if you think repaving a couple roads in se Hills co. (or any other gov. waste would be spent on) then having the Rays downtown wouldn't be money better spent for Tampa's future, and the money wouldn't come from Tampa's residence, and downtown does thrive, until 6 pm. I know it's hard for most to understand, because it isn't a black or white thing, there's a lot benefit of gray, or like they call in politics, trickledown effect that's hard to see...