St. Petersburg Pier Approach Design

$90 million





Reimagined a 130+ year-old City-owned asset into a marquee destination that reflects the values and priorities of the community, generating excitement, pride, and economic activity.


Developed parking and multimodal connectivity, sustainability, and resiliency leading-edge solutions to address complex challenges within a constrained waterfront project site.


Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2022 Americas Awards for Excellence and 2022 Global Awards for Excellence winner

The St. Petersburg Pier (St. Pete Pier) is a unique waterfront attraction and pedestrian-friendly experience that boasts unmatched sightseeing, retail, dining, and entertainment opportunities. This $90 million, 26-acre Pier District fully realizes a master planned vision of an enhanced open space, connecting the shoreline to the downtown core of St. Pete. Kimley-Horn staff from multiple disciplines and offices contributed to the success of this project, involving an unprecedented level of coordination and collaboration among various design teams working together to achieve one unified Pier District.

Kimley-Horn provided the following services for this project:

Sustainable Solutions

The Kimley-Horn team proposed multiple innovative design solutions to solve complex challenges, including designing the stormwater system for the entire Pier District to exceed minimum requirements of the water management district, providing additional water quality before discharging into the bay. These sustainable water management methods, including the design of stormwater gardens and bioswales with native ecology, create an enjoyable and educational discovery experience for visitors while establishing natural habitats for wildlife.

Enhanced Parking and Transportation

Our transportation team assisted with a parking demand study for the project area, which had no existing parking codes. In conjunction with a previously completed citywide parking plan, the Kimley-Horn team refined the parking demand model to include three redevelopment scenarios while maintaining the pedestrian engagement and focus of the project to the active spine (pedestrian welcome plaza and market pavilion), family park, and waterfront edge. Additionally, we provided transportation planning services for a trolley service that connects Pier visitors with the City core, parking, restaurants, and attractions.

Kimley-Horn also completed roadway design for a gateway between Beach Drive and the Pier entry, which features a road diet and four-way stop.

Key Elements of the Pier Approach include:

  • Realignment of the existing entry road to dedicate a central space to the pedestrian experience
  • Gateway plaza and solar powered open-air market with permanent vendor stalls along the active spine
  • Creation of an ADA-friendly family park, including an aquatic-themed playground, natural water features, and picnic areas
  • Creation of an accessible waterfront promenade with tree-lined seating, shade, and views of the Bay
  • Sustainable stormwater management improvements
  • Trails and gardens with native plant design
  • Public tram access across the approach and out to the Pier
  • Transformative nighttime lighting features
  • A signature Janet Echelman netted sculpture (Bending Arc)

Kimley-Horn’s efforts helped to create this must-visit landmark, harmonizing unique engineering, problem solving, thoughtful design, and economic vitality. The Pier is not only an iconic public space for the City of St. Petersburg, but a world class destination.

Project Recognition

Quick Facts


City of St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg, FL


“I’m proud that we’re part of this defining project for our community, helping to create an accessible, sustainable public space that generations of people from all around the world can enjoy and create memories in. I’m also proud of how much the Pier exemplifies what makes Kimley-Horn and our people so special. The level of technical innovation, creativity, and teamwork displayed to complete a project of this size and complexity is truly an accomplishment. It’s a legacy project; we carry the experiences and lessons learned onward to every new assignment. It’s proof of what we’re capable of achieving together.”

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