Gateway Master Plan Kick-Off!

PINELLAS COUNTY – In what officials are calling an “unprecedented partnership,” three cities, the county and state are launching a study that is designed to transform transportation and development in Pinellas County’s economic center – the Gateway/Mid-County area.

The Gateway Master Plan is a collaborative effort led by Forward Pinellas, the countywide land use and transportation planning agency, along with funding partners Pinellas County, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the cities of St. Petersburg, Largo, and Pinellas Park. Over the next 18 months, the study team will explore issues such as regional transportation connections, improving local road networks to relieve highway congestion, accommodating all modes of transportation including bicycles and pedestrians, transit center feasibility and associated transit-oriented development, industrial redevelopment, affordable housing and resiliency. 

In terms that matter to residents’ daily lives, the master plan is about creating a livable area that continues to attract ample jobs and includes multiple options get to work and other destinations safely and conveniently. The partnership between these local governments, Forward Pinellas and FDOT ensures that this won’t be a plan that sits on a shelf, officials said. It also coincides with the construction of the Gateway Expressway toll road, Tampa Bay Next interstate modernization projects, and the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan, all of which have possible impacts on the Gateway area.

The total funding for the study stands at $1 million. FDOT is providing half the money and the other partners are contributing $100,000 each.

“A master plan is a holistic approach to an areawide plan,” said Whit Blanton, executive director of Forward Pinellas. “It is a physical plan. We look at the big picture as well as at the street level and parcels. But it’s also a policy plan that focuses on what we need to invest, whose responsibility that investment is, and how we can implement the recommendations of the plan.”

The Gateway/Mid-County area – defined generally for the purposes of this study as the area bounded by Belleair Road to the north, Starkey Road to the west, Gandy Boulevard/70th Avenue to the South, and Tampa Bay to the east – is home to many of the county’s businesses, including the Carillon Business Park, Bay Vista and Icot Center, as well as possible sites for industrial redevelopment.

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