The Bay—the 53-acre project along Sarasota Bay on city-owned property, received approval by the Sarasota City Commission—will be getting underway with its first phase next year. Envisioned by the nonprofit Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization as a public gathering space, it will eventually transform the Van Wezel parking lot into what organizers are calling “a blue-green” oasis in the city. At build-out in 20 years, with an estimated price tag of up to $200 million, The Bay will include a new performing arts hall, a promenade, a children’s playspace, amphitheater, three pedestrian bridges across U.S. 41 and, most happily, green space to enjoy the bayfront. 

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