Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, waxed bullish and blunt the other day about St. Pete. He also made a candid comparison with his birthplace city, Atlanta.
On the former: “St. Pete is a hot property, and we do not want to screw it up.” On the latter: “They screwed it up.” He meant, most notably, sprawl and traffic.
As someone who previously lived in the Atlanta area, I can attest to some other things. The city, which has long marketed itself as the “New South,” “the city that’s too busy to hate” and home to America’s most viable black middle class, has issues beyond insufferable gridlock. Put it this way, there’s a reason Atlanta notoriously cooks the books on crime and school testing.
And it’s hardly happenstance that the Atlanta Braves new stadium, Sun Trust Park, is in the suburbs–and not a synergistic part of the urban core.