The iconic St. Pete pier is getting a makeover, and the public will soon get to decide what it looks like.
The existing pier is nearing the end of its life span, and officials originally discussed demolishing it entirely. But now they are considering new designs.
Architects had to submit the designs for the pier makeover by yesterday. All three of the designs try to tie in the pier as a big centerpiece or anchor into the downtown waterfront.
GALLERY: New Pier designs
In all three proposals, the parts that are actually out over the water can all be built for under $50 million. That's important since that's what the city has to work with.
This first design is called The Wave and features a big loop out over the water. That loop is actually about 100 feet tall and could have multiple floors going up the sides of the loop with a top floor and even an observation deck on top.
The renderings include activities along the bridge that leads out to the buildings on the end. It was submitted by Big Urban Designers of Copenhagen and New York, which just won a similar design competition in Paris last week.
Next we have The Lens, which features an open loop out over the water. But that loop includes a running and biking track and is taller than it first appears -- big enough to get boats inside the lens.
Also, like the other proposals, it allows for activities on the approach and the company, Michael Maltzan Architects, also shows a lot of buildings and activities in parkland along the shore. But none of that is in the budget.
The third proposal is The Eye. It's similar to the other two in some respects but it actually features a sand beach around the end structure, again complimented by other activities.
Now it's time for the public to take a look and speak up.
"When you visit these online, the public can do a survey and provide comments. It'll be open at the museum of history next week on Tuesday the sixth and there you can view everything along with models, videos, and the public can comment there as well," explained Chris Ballestra of the city of St Pete.
These designs will also be reviewed by a five-person jury and ranked for the mayor's and city council's approval, which should happen by January 20.