Downtown push for Lens design as pier vote nears | News
St. Petersburg, FL - Stroll along Beach Drive and you'll see fantastic restaurants, amazing museums, and a common message: Support the Lens design, and build the new pier.
Many Downtown St. Pete businesses see the Lens as a solid anchor for the city's future.
In some spots, tabletop signs are encouraging diners to get behind the new design and consider what happens if the Lens project is shut down by Tuesday's vote -- there is no ready alternative waiting in the wings.
Any new pier project would start from scratch and face another political fight.
St. Pete voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to build the new Lens pier.
Supporters of the Lens make the case that:
- The Lens offers an outdoor cafe over the water and another restaurant on shore, plus events, sightseeing, fishing, boating, and exercise.
- Tourists will be drawn to it, but mainly locals will use it.
- And it takes downtown St. Pete in a 21st Century direction.
Opponents of the Lens design argue:
- There's a lack of function on the Lens and they'd prefer a family destination there.
- It's more of a work of art than a usable pier.
- And there's no air-conditioned space to avoid the elements.
St. Pete voters, be aware: The wording on Tuesday's ballot is backward and confusing.
You're really voting on whether to scrap the Lens and cancel the contract with its designer.
So if you don't like the Lens and want it canceled -- you need to vote "yes" to kill the contract.
If you do like the Lens and want it built -- you need to vote "no" to not cancel the contract and keep the Lens alive.