The Mayor selected the two from a group of four developers who advanced from the original applicant pool after a citizen- and city-involved review process. The city released the initial seven proposals in late January.
“All four finalists have impressive visions for the site and the experience to execute this generational project, but I believe the Midtown and Sugar Hill proposals best reflect the community’s desires and that these firms are well-positioned to provide additional details and ultimately transform this site,” Kriseman said in a statement.
The ultimate development team the city selects will be tasked with redeveloping the historic 86-acre Trop site, which currently houses the stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Each development proposal features a plan with a baseball stadium and one without, to account for the potential the Tampa Bay Rays will leave the city when their contract is up in 2027.
Most recently, Kriseman has said that negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays on a stadium deal at the site are at a standstill due to an ongoing lawsuit brought by several of the team’s minority owners against principal owner Stu Sternberg. The suit calls for the removal of Sternberg, and if successful, would void potential deals involving the stadium, Kriseman said.
The baseball team has indicated a lack of interest in a stadium on the site, submitting a proposal declined by the city that would have given the Rays nearly 60% control over the site.
Moving forward, the Mayor and his team will meet with the final two teams to continue inquiries, and the City Council will hold a meeting to press the finalists. It is unclear if an offer will be extended to the Rays to meet with the two developers to discuss the site.
The community will also be able to provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the final two plans, which will be taken into consideration before the finalist is chosen.
According to the city’s timeline, the city will reach a development agreement with the final development team near September or October this year.