The conservancy is two-thirds of the way to its $20 million private fundraising goal.
NOTE: This article was originally published by Sarasota Magazine on October 16, 2019.
The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) has reported that it is two-thirds of the way to its $20 million private fundraising goal. The current best estimate of the capital cost of the first phase of the park is approximately $25 million, with the goal of the conservancy raising $20 million from private foundations and philanthropic sources, and an additional $5 million from other government sources. The City of Sarasota has appropriated $1 million for Phase 1 capital costs in its current budget for the 2020 fiscal year, and the city and county continue to discuss the potential of a tax increment financing (TIF) district to support The Bay Park initiative. BPC also continues to work with the state of Florida on additional funding options.
Additionally, with the announcement a million-dollar match from The Patterson Foundation, BPC now has more than $8 million in cash in the bank, plus another $5 million in commitments, for a total of $13 million in cash and commitments, with about $7 million left to raise. BPC also has an opportunity to trigger up to another $2 million in matching incentives from The Patterson Foundation.
With the implementation plan unanimously approved approved by the city commission last month, BPC is also focusing on a more detailed site plan for the Phase 1 of the 10-acre bayfront park. This site plan will be a collaborative process with the City Planning and Development Department and the community over the next six months, with the goal of recommending final site plan approval of Phase 1 to city commission in the second quarter of 2020. With commission approval, the construction and build-out of the first phase of the park will begin in the second half 2020, for an estimated completion by the end of 2021 or early 2022.