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City Approval Enables The Bay Park to Open Five Years Earlier


City Approval Enables The Bay Park to Open Five Years Earlier

The approved amended Partnership Agreement saves City, tax-payers and donors $20-30 million

We are pleased to announce that the second amendment to the Partnership Agreement between the City of Sarasota and the BPC was approved unanimously by the Sarasota City Commission on November 15. 

This milestone moment, backed by tremendous community support, allows The Bay Park Conservancy to bring The Bay Park to fruition at least five years sooner than expected. The amended Partnership Agreement, which enables a high-functioning, long-lasting partnership between City and the Bay Park Conservancy, will save an estimated $15-20 million in capital costs and an additional $5-10 million in BPC operating expenses, while accelerating the development and completion of The Bay for the benefit of all.

“The Commissioner’s unanimous vote will accelerate the development of The Bay, a park designed for all – the full and rich diversity of our Sarasota community,” said AG Lafley, Founding CEO for The Bay Park Conservancy. “We are extremely grateful for the support of the City Commission, the City Manager Marlon Brown, City Attorney Robert Fournier, city management staff and supporters throughout the community who helped us achieve this historic decision.”

“In putting our park together, we visited with children from all over and asked them to dream with us and imagine the possibilities of The Bay. Well, you can’t ask a kid to dream, and then not deliver,” said Cathy Layton, Board Chair of The Bay Park Conservancy. “This decision today was about giving a successful partnership the room to succeed, sooner and more cost effectively, so that those children can see their dreams become a reality.”

The amended Partnership agreement proposed a simple, streamlined process by which The Bay Park will be designed and planned, funded and built, operated and sustained. It simplified multiple agreements into one and includes the BPC Guiding Principles, the City-approved Master Plan for the park, the Implementation Agreement for managing the park, and both a Naming Rights and Conflict of Interest policy. 

“Smart delegation to qualified people is a sign of good governance and good leadership,” said Commissioner Hagen Brody. “We’re excited to take this next step in ensuring that we develop a park that can soon be enjoyed by our entire community.”

With its passing, the amended Partnership Agreement eliminated redundant approval steps and delegated operating responsibilities to City management/staff and the BPC, saving time and resources for the City, the public and the BPC. It speeds up design and development, co-funding from private and public sources, activation and programming, and the enjoyment and use of the park by the entire community.

To read the amended Partnership Agreement discussed at the November 15 Commission Meeting, visit the Resources page on the BPC website or visit here

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