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#1 (11/20/17)

A Fundraising Goal is Achieved!

SBPO reached their $2.1 million fundraising goal to ensure the delivery of a professionally prepared master plan for the sustainable development of our Sarasota Bayfront!


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“In addition to being proud to have worked with two amazing people who volunteered their time to make this goal a reality, we are extremely thankful for all those who said yes to investing in the future of our Bayfront,” said Drayton Saunders, President of Michael Saunders & Company. “The 42- acres carries with it the aspirations of a community and the tremendous potential to continue to define the best of what a community can achieve when it collaborates.” 

“We are very grateful to all of our investors for supporting the future of our Bayfront,” said Veronica Brady, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “This project has tremendous potential and the success of this campaign will allow us to more effectively attract future investment opportunities for what’s to come along our bay.” 

Aside from nearly 60 donors who have invested in the planning initiative, several foundations provided financial support including The Patterson Foundation, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. 

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“Each member of our community has the opportunity to help our Bayfront evolve into a resource that will be accessible and enjoyable for generations to come,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, which provided $300,000 in catalytic funding to support SBPO’s work. “SBPO’s commitment to engaging the very best master-planning team and working deliberately with stakeholders from multiple sectors to inform the project’s path going forward will surely result in a positive return on everyone’s investment.” 

The funds will be used to hire the leadership team along with planning and design firm, Sasaki, to create a financially feasible, operationally viable, and environmentally sustainable master plan for the City Commission to review and approve in the Fall of 2018. 

#2 (11/20/17)

Meet the Managing Director of the Project

The Board of Directors of Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization announced William Waddill as Managing Director to lead the Master Plan development to reimagine the 42-acre city-owned Bayfront.


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Bill joins the team with over 30 years of experience in transforming public spaces like:

Bradenton Riverwalk

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Perry Harvey Park in Tampa

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Baker Park in Naples

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He comes to us from local planning and design engineering consultants, Kimley-Horn. Bill knows our community.

“When I decided earlier this year to retire from Kimley-Horn, I knew I wanted to find an opportunity that would allow me to use my experience in a way that could make a difference in our community; maybe even create a legacy for the future. I can’t imagine a better opportunity than The Bay. The SBPO selected a stellar design team in Sasaki, for whom I have a great deal of respect. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to help our community to imagine the possibilities of this waterfront project.”

 Beginning on January 3, 2018, we are looking forward to his oversight while reimagining The Bay!

#3 (12/01/17)

Design and Planning Firm Selected

Boston-based Sasaki has been selected by the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization to proceed with a master plan of the property known as The Bay.

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Out of 22 firms who submitted responses showing interest in the project, Sasaki proved to be the best fit for our community and the reimagining of the 42-acre site after an intensive interview process with community leaders and stakeholders in early October.

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This marks a major milestone towards presenting a vibrant and sustainable master plan for the City of Sarasota and our community that is fiscally feasible, operationally viable, and environmentally sustainable for the 42-acre Municipal Bayfront site.

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Next step:  Hire a Managing Director who will lead the process of Master Plan development to a successful and accepted conclusion in late 2018!  The possibilities are endless!