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This rendering depicts the vision outlined in the 2007 Cultural Park Concept Plan — a vision that never came to fruition due to the onset of unfavorable economic conditions.
Sarasota Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 3 years ago

City Commission to revisit Cultural Park plan

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

On Monday, the Sarasota City Commission will begin to reexamine an ambitious plan for the waterfront that was shelved almost immediately after its approval due to the recent economic downturn.

The city spent four years formulating a Cultural Park Concept Plan to guide the development of city-owned property surrounding the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. The city’s 2020 downtown master plan identified the bayfront area as underutilized land with the potential to house spaces for various public and commercial uses.

The city approved the Cultural Park Concept Plan in 2007. A task force was formed to develop a strategic action plan for implementing various aspects of the concept plan, but abandoned its efforts in spring 2008 due to the economic conditions.

At Monday’s meeting, city staff will present commissioners with an overview of the 2007 plan. Staff is seeking a recommendation from the commission regarding how to proceed with the Cultural Park planning process.

A group of Sarasota nonprofits are concurrently reexamining the visioning process for the Cultural Park. The group has reached out to a consulting firm to begin a conversation between public and private organizations about producing an updated master plan for the land and several adjoining properties.

Visit Sarasota County Board of Directors chairman Michael Klauber said the group is hoping to get the commission’s blessing before proceeding with its efforts.

Monday’s City Commission meeting will be held at the Sarasota County Commission administration building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., as the City Hall commission chambers undergo audio/visual upgrades.

Contact David Conway at [email protected]

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