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Sarasota Tuesday, May 21, 2019 1 year ago

Patterson Foundation announces donation to The Bay

The foundation’s initial $2 million contribution could grow to $5 million as The Bay Park Conservancy embarks on the first phase of its park project.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The Patterson Foundation is committing up to $5 million toward the first phase of The Bay, an effort to redevelop more than 50 bayfront acres near downtown Sarasota.

Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, announced the donation at The Bay Park Conservancy’s meeting today. The foundation is giving an initial $2 million contribution and will add an additional $1 million for every $5 million of private donations toward the first phase.

“The governing board of The Patterson Foundation feels it’s our responsibility — and opportunity — to continue to support the work of (The Bay),” Jacobs said.

The Bay Park Conservancy is a private group formed to implement a master plan the city approved last year for redeveloping the waterfront area surrounding the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Last month, the city approved a partnership agreement with the conservancy, which will also manage the public park once construction is complete.

The Bay Sarasota phase 1
The Bay Park Conservancy is refining its vision for the first phase of the bayfront project. Image courtesy The Bay Park Conservancy.

The first phase of the project is located on the south end of the site along Boulevard of the Arts. Encompassing 10 acres, initial plans for the phase include a spiral pier, a mangrove inlet, an open lawn space that could host events and programming, a kayak launch and parking.

The Bay estimated the costs of implementing the first phase at about $20 million. Conservancy Startup CEO A.G. Lafley said the organization has begun discussing public funding options for the project with city and county officials.

Veronica Brady, hired in April as the conservancy’s director of advancement, said The Patterson Foundation’s donation would help the organization as it works to secure additional philanthropic contributions.

“I look forward to bigger and better updates,” Brady said at today’s meeting.

This article has been updated to incorporate the latest plans for Phase 1 of The Bay project.  

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