Bayfront 20:20: What You Need to Know

The North Downtown Waterfront

Downtown Sarasota is undergoing a major transformation!  Redesigning Sarasota's bayfront area has been a topic of conversation for many years.  The land currently occupied by the Van Wezel and Centennial Park is part of a large conversation about the direction of Sarasota.  

The vision of Bayfront 20:20, which is the name of the initiative and team of industry leaders who are taking on the massive task of re-envisioning and executing a new waterfront destination in Sarasota, is to support the creation of a long-term master plan for the Sarasota Bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region while ensuring open, public access to the Bayfront. 

Bridge the Divide Concept Chosen

Original concept of  Bridge the Divide

Original concept of Bridge the Divide

After years of public input, and a recent survey offered to the Sarasota community at large, the internationally-renown design firm Sasaki offered up the results of the survey: After proposing 3 different designs and allowing the community to vote not on overall designs, but on individual aspects of each design that they liked or disliked, the Bridge the Divide concept was selected as the final vision for the Bayfront.  Based on community comments, however, Sasaki is tweaking and adjusting their design to accomodate for aspects that were determined to be most important to our community in the survey:

  • Keep and repurpose Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  
  • Increase waterfront access and recreational space.
  • Aesthetic focus of cultural amenities, such as the proposed amphitheater, to be the bayfront view, as opposed to canal.
  • Pedestrian and vehicular traffic concerns addressed.

Next Steps?

Sasaki plans on presenting the City Commission with a final master plan at their September meeting.  Stay tuned, for much is to come on the development and reimagining of what our bayfront can be.

For more information on Bayfront 20:20, click here, and for details about The Bay proposals and phases, click here.

Original concept of  Bridge the Divide

Original concept of Bridge the Divide