"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.'''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.
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.''
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: