Pinellas County, Florida - The St. Petersburg City Council has approved the rezoning of the Toytown landfill site, near I-275 and Roosevelt Boulevard. The site has been mentioned as a possible future home for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The developer hopes to build an open-air "contemporary shopping destination" on the 247-acre site.
Plans include 2,113 multi-family units, two million square feet of office space, 1.564 million square feet of retail space, 375 hotel rooms and 70 acres of recreation or civic area.
Rick Macaulay, manager of the city's Planning and Economic Development Department, said the project would be completed in five phases over 10 years.
But the proposal is subject to a long-term permit issue from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Thursday, council members raised concerns over whether the site is safe, considering it was a landfill for nearly 30 years.
It has "less hazardous waste," said developer Bill Tippman with Tippman Holdings, LLC, who added that his company and two associated companies have completed at least two redevelopment projects on other landfill sites, although none were as large as the Toytown site.
Tippman also presented a graph that illustrated soil levels and settlement that has occurred since the site was a landfill.
In February, the St. Petersburg Planning and Visioning Commission voted unanimously to get behind a developer's plan to build a community on the Toytown site. The plans would include a light rail stop, a large amount of homes, offices and retail space and a possible new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Pinellas County Commissioners approved a purchase and sale agreement for the old landfill site two years ago.
At the time, the developers expressed interested in transforming the old Toytown site into a community called the Villages at Gateway Fields by 2014.
Janie Porter, 10 Connects