Protecting Mirror Lake & the Downtown National Register Historic District
Your voice is needed – Send your message to city council!

The Issue: Another massive and out of place high rise (21 stories) has been proposed to be built across the street from the historic Mirror Lake (Carnegie) Library and in the heart of the Downtown National Register Historic District. The city's DRC (Development Review Commission) approved the development plan at their December meeting. Read the newspaper story here

Feb. 7 Update: City council today voted 5-2 to allow the development to proceed. Read the newspaper story here. A big thanks to council members Steve Kornell and Darden Rice for supporting PTB's efforts and to the many, many citizens who came to the city council hearing or sent in one of the more than 800 messages received by council.

What Happens Next - Efforts will continue to seek city council support the creation of a Mirror Lake local historic district. A district designation would encourage reuse of the many historic buildings around  the Lake and discourage their demolition Your voice can make a difference! Send you message to city council! We've made it easy to do so, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link to send your message.

You can help - Ciizen action can make a difference - it did with the "Bezu" development. We urge you to stand up and speak up in support of neighborhood & pedestrian friendly development by sending your message to City Council.

Background - Downtown St. Petersburg has a special sense of place, largely derived from its mix of old and new! The importance of downtown's inventory of historic buildings to the city's special feel was recognized In 2004 with the designation of the Downtown National Register Historic District. The district generally encompasses the area between Central & 5th Avenues North.

The area around Mirror Lake is indeed a special part of downtown. Because of its numerous historic buildings and sense of place, the area has been under consideration for designation as a local historic district. Council could help minimize future development-neighborhood conflicts by voting now to start the designation process.

The proposed high rise will result in the demolition of several historic buildings built between 1916 & 1921 that were used as winter tourist accommodations, two of which are pictured. Today, this type of building, often one of the last downtown options for affordable housing, is rapidly disappearing. Across the street from the development site is the locally landmarked library, dating to 1915. Immediately to the east is the locally landmarked First congregational Church, dating to 1912. Just down the street is the historic Mirror Lake Recreation Complex, home to the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, founded in 1924 as well as the Lawn Bowling Club with its 1916 clubhouse.  

The still to be named development on property owned by Cara FL Properties LLC, like many other new large scale downtown development, will be "contemporary" in style with an apartment tower set atop a large parking garage base with mixed uses at street level. At 7 FAR (a way to measure building intensity), it will be one of the highest intensity developments in downtown. The proposed building is pictured next to the existing historic Poulsen Apartments to the tower's right. The other image is the site map with Mirror Lake at the top, 4th St. at the bottom and the development site within the dotted white lines.

Development  proposals like this clearly call on the city to determine if there are limits to the mass, height and intensity of downtown development and if the special feel of the Downtown National Register Historic District and the historic area around Mirror Lake is to be protected. It is time to for the city to make clear that keeping our city special matters! Making your voice heard makes a difference - send your message NOW to city council. Tell them yes to preserving the 'Burg and to keeping St. Petersburg special.

It's easy to send your message to city council (council@stpete.org). You can write your own or just click on the link below to sign your name to a simple, ready to use message. Thanks for doing your part! Ask your family and friends to do so too!

Keep up with what's next on this issue by being a PTB Facebook friend and a subscriber to the PTB enews. Check out our other advocay pages to get more info about PTB's efforts to protect downtown's historic resources.

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Preserve the 'Burg
P.O. Box 838
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
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