St. Pete Pier™ Animated Tour

The Pier District

Please note: The renderings and abstracts depicted on this website are from the developing concept of the Pier project and subject to change as the design evolves toward completion.

A New Pier For Everyone

A process that started in 2014, shortly after Mayor Kriseman took office, is underway for the development of a new Pier for St. Petersburg.

Initially, funds were allocated for the development of a new Pier, from Spa Beach to the end of the Pier Head. However, an additional $20 million to develop the Pier approach became available through TIF funds from the downtown tax district. The Pier approach connects the Pier to the downtown business core (Beach Drive and Bayshore Boulevard) and its boundaries follow the waterfront from the Vinoy to Pioneer Park.

The new pier district, encompassing the area below, will provide interactive experiences throughout this area and along its 3,065 foot length. Visitors can choose their experience throughout the Pier District, and its exploration and activity areas provide a multitude of flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community – from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners.

It is a hub for activity, not only at the pier head, but also all along its length while offering a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences.

One Project/Two Design Teams:

Two design teams are working hand-in-hand to design the Pier district. ASD/SKY, Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, and Ken Smith Workshop began designing the Pier project in July 2015. W Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Wannemacher Jensen Architects began working on concepts for the Pier approach in January 2016.

Guiding Principles:

  • Comprises a collection of activities, not a singular destination at the end of a pier
  • Incorporates all the Key Elements, as defined by the citizens Pier Working Group
  • Focuses on function over form
  • Family oriented, a place for everyone
  • Honors the waterfront master plan

Explore The Pier: Virtual Tour

Map Key



Pier Approach




Fishing Deck and Bait Shop

The Fishing Platform uses the existing caissons from the Inverted Pyramid Pier to allow visitors to get closer to the water and provide a dedicated area for fishing. The Retail Sundry/Gift Shop and Bait Shop at the Pier Head Building will be operated by United Park Services, Inc. (UPS)

Gator Jim’s Tackle and Bait Shack at the St. Pete Pier™ will provide fishing gear, tackle and nets along with a large variety of fresh and frozen bait. The gift shop will feature top quality fishing gear, name brand sunglasses, jewelry and art by local artists, clothing and beach supplies including: floats, towels, swimsuits, sunscreen, hats.


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Pier Head Restaurant and Event Space

Teak, Inc. will lease and operate the three food service concepts for the Pier Head; a restaurant, café and rooftop bar.

The three concepts include an upscale restaurant (Teak) a rooftop bar (Pier Teaki) and a café (Driftwood Café.) Sample menus indicate a broad offering including lobster tails, fish tacos, a raw bar, local craft beers and much more. Plans for the restaurant include a comfortable and elegant setting with local art on display.


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Lawn Bowl and Event Plaza

The Lawn Bowl provides impressive views of the city and surrounding marinas, and the gentle ADA-compliant slope is perfect for outdoor games, events and activities. The Lawn Bowl and event plaza can accommodate more than 3,000 people for special events, including concerts, fireworks and festivals. Or, it can simply be a place to relax on Tampa Bay.


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Discovery Center and Wet Classroom

Operated by Tampa Bay Watch, the Discovery Center will offer dynamic interactive exhibits that will educate the public and showcase the Tampa Bay estuary, as well as classroom space for school field trips and summer camp programs. They will also provide management services for the center as an event venue for corporate meetings and special events.

Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs. Established in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch performs a variety of habitat restoration and protection activities throughout the year, utilizing thousands of volunteers to help the bay recover from its environmental problems.


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There will be two breakwater elements on the north side of the Pier. They will protect Spa Beach, prevent beach erosion and encourage seagrass growth. They will also calm the waters for kayakers and paddle boarders.


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Coastal Thicket

It may feel like a nature stroll, however it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about native Florida plants, trees and shrubs. Native Florida plants in 3-feet of soil will provide a low canopy for shade along the boardwalk. Large understory trees like the wax myrtle, myrtle oak and white buttonwood, along with sables, palmettos, sea oats and native grasses, will be found in the coastal thicket.

The ADA-compliant boardwalk takes you from the Pier head to the Dolphin Parking Lot through the Coastal Thicket. Pathway lighting will illuminate the boardwalk during evening hours.


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Pier Plaza and Tilted Lawn

At the heart of Pier Plaza is an interactive water feature that is both a water fountain and a splash pad. It is being designed to offer big and small vertical water jets, so it will be fun for the young kids and the old kids, too.

The Tilted Lawn provides a relaxing, grassy surface that is perfect place to enjoy views of the St. Petersburg waterfront and skyline, while overlooking the splash pad on Pier Plaza.


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The Spa Beach Pavilion will include restrooms, a café and shade structure. The Pavilion will be managed by United Park Services, Inc. (UPS) and will offer “grab and go” food items as well as other, healthy, interesting and traditional food selections. They will operate a “green” business, committed to recycling and offering recyclable containers.


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Overlook and Restaurant

Take a slight detour from the Pier Approach and stroll down the Overlook, a tree-lined promenade that perfectly frames expansive views across Tampa Bay.

Tucked in to the South of the Overlook, and directly adjacent to the Pelican Lot, will be Doc Fords Rum Bar and Grille, elevated above the surrounding site with breathtaking views of Tampa Bay and the St. Petersburg waterfront.

With three locations just south of Tampa Bay, Doc Ford’s has already established a reputation as a highly successful destination restaurant. The restaurant’s name and Florida theme, based on the novels by New York Times best-selling author Randy Wayne White, will appeal to both residents and visitors.


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Spa Beach

Spa Beach will be expanded with a naturalized shoreline, offering beachgoers even more room to enjoy downtown’s waterfront beach park. Kayakers and paddleboarders will launch from this area.


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Near the entrance to the Pier District, a photovoltaic, solar roof structure will provide shade and dedicated space for pop-up market activities, with an emphasis on local vendors.

If you're interested in becoming a vendor at the Marketplace, visit the Marketplace page for more information


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Bioswale & Picnic Area

The bioswale includes a natural drainage for stormwater runoff and is just one of many eco-friendly aspects of the new Pier.

Enjoy one of St. Petersburg’s best views along the shaded sitting edge overlooking the North Basin towards the Vinoy. Picnicking will also be encouraged in this area, and spaces for smaller events are incorporated.


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Family Park/Kid’s Play Area

Kids can have a place to burn off energy in a safe, fun environment. Designed by one of North America’s premier playground designers, the play area will have a nautical theme. It will be strategically located near the Pier splash pad, welcome center and Spa Beach, which all work together to create one play zone. The play areas have child-friendly nodes of activity to interest kids of all ages.


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Walking Waterfront

See the boats in St. Petersburg Municipal Marina and imagine where you could go on each one. The walking waterfront provides a continuous sidewalk and large pedestrian path along the Approach’s southern edge. It loops south past the restaurant and then to the Pier.


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Welcome Plaza

The Welcome Plaza marks your arrival at the Pier and the beginning of a vital new place. It will facilitate pedestrian movement between the Pier District and the downtown core and serve as a transportation hub for the entire Pier District.


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Courtesy Boat Docks

There will be 25 courtesy slips on the south side of the Pier Approach for boaters coming to enjoy a short visit to the Pier.


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Nick Ervinck

“Olnetopia” The sculpture will be created in bronze with a patina finish. inspired by macro photographic images of splashing water and thus sculpturally interprets the encounter between nature and technology.

As the viewer moves around the sculpture, he sees how everything becomes wider and narrower. The sculpture represents the dynamic power of life and provides a warm welcome to the St. Pete Pier™. The site provides space for reflection and innovation. It is a sculpture that is openly in dialogue with the environment (the sea), and asks for a new look every time.

Read more on the Public Art page.


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Nathan Mabry

“Myth (Red Pelican)” This design is inspired by the geometry of the new pier design and the symbol of the pelican (a symbol for kindness, generosity, friendship and love) as the emblem for St. Petersburg. Nathan found inspiration in the accessible and universal visual language of Origami, the art of folding paper. The notion of an abstract metal monument rooted in something as intimate, delicate and timeless as folded paper became his focus.

The “Myth (Red Pelican)” structure will be approximately 120” high, fabricated from thick aluminum plate metal with a satin single color painted finish.

The structure includes the three realistic pelicans atop the origami style pelican.

Read more on the Public Art page.


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Xenobia Bailey

“Morning Stars” As an artist, Xenobia primarily works in fiber arts, creating crocheted mandalas which consist of colorful concentric circles and repeating patterns. For projects such as the one she has proposed for St. Petersburg, she will crochet several mandalas with brightly colored fiber medium and will then work with her fabricators to scan the images and create the design digitally so it can be transferred and applied as a mosaic design to the surface. Her work on the St. Pete Pier™ will consist of colors as shown below, of these, a portion of the tiles will have an iridescent finish to allow them to sparkle like stars as the sun rises from the east and passes over the city.

Read more on the Public Art page.


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Tram Stops

The city will buy three 12-passenger, gasoline-powered trams, each pulling a 35-passenger trailer. The trams, which are similar to those at Busch Gardens, will be ADA accessible and are designed to be able to carry an additional 35-passenger trailer, if needed. The City will also purchase two electric powered vehicles, which will carry 11 passengers each. The electric powered vehicles will be used during slow times and for special events, like weddings.

The vehicles will make three stops along the Pier; at the former Pelican parking lot, where the Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille is being built, at the Pier head, and a third close to Bayshore Drive NE.



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First Airline Monument

On New Year’s Day, 1914, a small seaplane named “The Benoist” lifted from the St. Petersburg Central Yacht Basin, launching the World’s First Airline. The “St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line” flew two round trips daily between downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa, just ten years after the Wright Brother’s first powered flight. During three months of operation it’s two airliners flew over 1,200 passengers. The airline was the creation of Percival E. Fansler of Jacksonville, Florida. The president of the airline was Thomas Benoist, an airplane manufacturer from St. Louis, Missouri, who provided the planes. The airline’s chief pilot was pioneer aviator Tony Jannus. It’s first passenger was St. Petersburg Mayor Abe Pheil. The airline was financially supported by the St. Petersburg Board of Trade and the hangar was provided by city government.

To commemorate this historic event, the World’s First Airline Monument will be installed at the location of the original hangar and first flight takeoff site, on the south side of the Pier Approach. The monument is being gifted to the city by “Flight 2014, Inc.,” a coalition of aviation history organizations and enthusiasts.

monument monument placement map


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