Baker On One St. Petersburg And A Changing City
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03 / 20 / 16
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Construction crews are hard at work to turn an entire city block into brand new high-end condos and a world-class hotel.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Work has only been underway for about two weeks and already ONE St. Petersburg is a sight to behold.

Construction crews are hard at work to turn an entire city block into brand new high-end condos and a world-class hotel.

Imagine how long a football field is. Now, imagine one and a half football fields stacked up right in the downtown St Pete Skyline.

10News caught up with the man behind it all -- former St. Pete Mayor and president of the Edwards Group -- Rick Baker.

"What is going through your mind as you see this idea actually coming to life before your eyes here," asked 10News' Mark Rivera.

"You know there's a lot of positive impacts that come from something like this," responded Baker as he stood in front of the active construction site.

"First, all the jobs that are associated with the construction project," he said gesturing to those working. "And a lot of places for people to live right in the heart of the downtown."

That's the point. ONE is part of the changing face of St. Petersburg Baker says started even before his decade-long tenure as mayor.

"I describe the redevelopment and success of downtown St. Pete as a 25 year overnight success."

It's a success that saw the reopening of the major Sundial Plaza landmark about a year and a half ago, and just last week celebrated more than a decade of Grand Prix IndyCars burning rubber on the roads.

"You know, 15 years ago, nobody would have ever guessed we would have this many people living in downtown St. Petersburg," Baker said, "But it has become a neighborhood in and of itself so that people want to become part of that neighborhood."

And that neighborhood will have a new skyscraper in 2018 if all goes well. The ONE tower will be the tallest building in Pinellas County and among the tallest on Florida's west coast.

We'll check in with Baker and its progress for you along the way.

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