The approved amended partnership saves City, tax-payers and donors $20-30 million
Sarasota, Fla. – November 16, 2021 – The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of 53-acres of City-owned land along Sarasota Bay into a public park, is 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.
About The Bay
The approved Bay Master Plan will conserve 53 acres of city-owned land and create an iconic public park along Sarasota Bay. The Bay is on track to open phase one of the park in the summer of 2022, providing an iconic destination that will welcome everyone to Sarasota.The Park will cost about $100-150 million and will take between 7-10 years, over 3 or more phases to complete. The Blue Pagoda serves as a welcome center for visitors and an on-site office for The Bay Park Conservancy. For more information or general inquiries about this initiative, please visit www.thebaysarasota.org or call 941-203-5316.
About The Bay Park Conservancy
The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) was formed as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization in 2019 to implement the master plan approved by the Sarasota City Commission to conserve 53 acres of public land for a community park on Sarasota Bay. The BPC entered a long-term partnership with the City and will fund, develop, operate, and sustain the park for the benefit of the community, now, and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.thebaysarasota.org.