A rendering of the Bay Park on Sarasota Bay.

A rendering of the Bay Park on Sarasota Bay.

On Nov. 15, the second amendment to the partnership agreement between the City of Sarasota and the Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), which oversees operations for The Bay Park, was unanimously approved by the City of Sarasota commission—which means the 53-acre waterfront park planned for downtown Sarasota will come to fruition five years sooner than expected, while saving taxpayers, donors and the city $20 million to $30 million.

Specifically, the amended partnership agreement will save an estimated $15-$20 million in capital costs and $5-$10 million in BPC operating expenses, while accelerating the completion of The Bay Park, which will be open to the public.

It consolidated multiple agreements and included the city-approved master plan for the park, the implementation agreement for managing the park, and both a naming rights policy and a conflict of interest policy. It also eliminated redundant steps of approval and delegated operating responsibilities to city staff and the BPC, saving time and resources for the city, the public and the BPC.

“We’re excited to take this next step in ensuring that we develop a park that can soon be enjoyed by our entire community," said Sarasota mayor Hagen Brody.

The Bay is on track to open Phase One of the park in the summer of 2022. It will cost roughly $100-150 million and take between seven to 10 years to complete, even with the shorter timeline. To read the amended partnership agreement in full, click here.

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