Developing The Bay Park
The Journey Continues
Born from a group of community stakeholders, the journey to The Bay has continued to evolve.
Bayfront 20:20 is formed. The goal was to create consensus among community and neighborhood leaders about what the future could be for the bayfront. A vision statement was created to allow for broad community support and input: “We support the creation of a long-term master plan for the Sarasota bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region while ensuring open, public access to the bayfront.”
Sarasota City Commission adopts the Guiding Principles
Through the outreach of Bayfront 20:20, community groups begin to sign on board for a unified common vision statement. A crucial accomplishment is the development of Implementation Guiding Principles in support of the vision. The Sarasota City Commission adopts the Guiding Principles to guide bayfront redevelopment efforts.
SBPO is formed as a non-profit 501 (c)(3)
The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization is formed as a non-profit 501 (c)(3). Comprised of a nine-member citizen volunteer board, this group is tasked with searching for a master planning firm and presenting a vibrant and sustainable master plan for the City of Sarasota and its community that is fiscally feasible, operationally viable, and environmentally sustainable for the 42-acre Municipal Bayfront site.
Sasaki chosen for master plan of The Bay
After an exhaustive global search, Sasaki is chosen to proceed with a master plan of The Bay. The selection occurred after an open and intensive interview process that involved 4 design and planning firm finalists shortlisted from among 22 firms who provided submissions in response to the Request for Qualification.
City Commission approved the Master Plan
On September 6, 2018, the Sarasota City Commission approved the Master Plan developed by the SBPO and Sasaki. The SBPO will take the next steps to evolve into the permanent organization, the Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), that will partner with the City of Sarasota to develop, implement and maintain The Bay Master Plan.
Bay Park Conservancy is created
On January 1, 2019, The Bay evolved from a community coalition to a park conservancy, creating the Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), in order to create, co-fund, build, and operate a park for our community and our city.
City commissioners vote unanimously to approve the partnership with The Bay Park Conservancy
On April 15th, 2019, the Sarasota City Commission unanimously voted to approve the partnership between the city and The Bay Park Conservancy, allowing the organization to take the lead on new building developments and authorizing them to move forward with the first phase of the project. This partnership between the Bay Park Conservancy and Sarasota has made way for immense developments in the 53-acre city-owned bayfront land project. The agreement has been seen as a monumental step forward in conservation, connecting the city and the community.
The Patterson Foundation invests up to $5 Million into The Bay
On May 16th, 2019, The Patterson Foundation announced its contribution of up to $5 million toward the first phase of The Bay, a redevelopment project committed to revitalizing over 50 bayfront acres in downtown Sarasota. The organization will donate an initial $2 million to the project and will add an additional $1 million for every $5 million in private donations toward the first phase of the project, which emphasizes the redevelopment of 10 acres on the south end of the project site along Boulevard of the Arts.
Restoration of the Ecological Shoreline
On August 20, The Bay finished the first environmentally revitalized piece of The Bay Park, the resilient ecological shoreline. The shoreline stabilization solution was brought to The Bay through the collaboration of the City of Sarasota, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Resilience, and Coastal Protection’s Resilient Coastlines program. It features the restoration of an existing living shoreline, and replacement of an old, crumbling seawall with a sloping shoreline that dissipates wave energy.
Sarasota City Commission Approves The Bay Implementation Plan for Phase 1
On September 16, commissioners were unanimous in clearing the project to take its next steps, which will include community workshops, two public hearings and a stop at the city’s Planning Board before returning to them. In a compelling first phase, following an unprecedented and inclusive master planning process, The Bay Park Conservancy is designing, implementing, and programming a 10-acre public park that will serve as the Living and Learning Lab.
The Bay Sarasota files site plan for first phase
The Bay Sarasota has filed plans with the city for the first phase of a long-term bayfront redevelopment effort, submitting site-specific proposals for what the group envisions as a living and learning lab and a park for all of Sarasota. The Bay submitted the site plan application to the city on Dec. 16.
The Bay Fountain Garden Opens
On January 15, The Bay Park Conservancy announced that the Fountain Garden in The Bay Park is now open to the public. The Fountain Garden, located on the corner of Boulevard of the Arts and North Tamiami Trail, features Florida-friendly vegetation, walking paths, park benches, and a restored fountain in a historic pond. The milestone occasion was celebrated alongside friends, supporters, and key stakeholders.
Mangrove Bayou Walkway Groundbreaking
On January 31, The Bay Park Conservancy celebrated the start of construction on the Mangrove Bayou Walkway with a public groundbreaking ceremony that took place on The Great Lawn overlooking Sarasota Bay. The Conservancy’s founding CEO, AG Lafley, and Chief Implementation Officer, Bill Waddill, as well as Sarasota Mayor Jennifer Ahearn Koch and Chair of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Rebecca Harris Barancik, offered brief remarks alongside donors, stakeholders, and city staff.