Now we have this BS from the PNJ. Duh!!!!
Get out the KY. Looks like Studer needs another go at us.
Since the 1960s, I’ve pushed Pensacola’s bayfront human-scale redevelopment, seeing an unused economic and cultural public asset bask in Florida’s sun, drenched in myth and misplaced nostalgia for pine-forest revival.
So far, no high towers warehouse plush apartments where dwellers stand and empty martini glassware as shadows streak toward Gulf Breeze. No wall-to-wall building clutter forbids the public from Pensacola Bay’s serene natural beauty.
Pensacola’s bayfront — from Bruce Beach to the Pensacola Bay Bridge — has for 50 years and more remained the hidden magnet for continued inner-city revitalization with modest success. Bayfront Parkway, or cross-city speedway originally mapped along Main Street to Barrancas Avenue, curtailed overbuilding fears yet the limited access artery fit the idea of human-scale atmospherics near water’s edge.
Fortunately bayfront building heights within the Seville Square Historic District are limited to 35 feet, increasing in upland acreage. Given the flood-prone landscape, and our fears rejuvenated when storms are near, the remaining bayfront should be left open for wide-spread public use. No need further walling off scenic vistas.
The Bayfront Auditorium demolition opened a vista with sunset popularity of Tristan de Luna Plaza; we ejected the Main Street residency of “Old Smelly,” the wastewater treatment plant, opening 19 public acres that could be a more aesthetic location for Quint Studer’s proposed four- or five-story office building, rather than jammed up next to the Blue Wahoos baseball stadium, blocking the wonderful aesthetic realignment of the Main Street frontage.
Despite agonies of building the misnamed Community Maritime Park, another of our endless bayfront squabbles, the attractive Blue Wahoos baseball stadium and bayfront amphitheater now provide a true valued aesthetic with the bridge entrance and landscaped Main Street, despite the annoying, and out-of-place palm trees.
Rarely have Pensacolians rallied with high spirits as they cheered the award-winning stadium and Double-A baseball’s charter season. The first-year excitement further buried the long past dreams of the overly ambitious Florida State Maritime Museum, cruise ship piers, major hotel, a multicultural museum and a ring of privately financed shops and restaurants on the 27½-acre, onetime petroleum depot, the last open expanse.
With the first private investment are we beginning the building crowdedness that too often blocks access to water’s edge?
Studer’s kept promise of a $12 million office complex far outshines the many missteps in public financing. But his location as the future headquarters for The Studer Group will block the view from Main street. Surely even Quint Studer, who graciously puts his money where Pensacolians in this fresh new era need to grow and prosper, would agree that better siting within the park or across Main Street that would equally serve his major business enterprises and required parking space.
Out of old feuds and misadventures Studer and other visionaries have helped created another popular place along the bayfront. Build across Main Street; let all enjoy the open pleasantries of a natural and historic bayfront.