Sarasota Bay Park Conservancy reaches fundraising milestone for park development project

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), a non-profit organization responsible for designing, developing, operating and programming a signature public park on 53 acres of city-owned land along Sarasota Bay, has raised more than $15 million for the $24-million project.

The first 10-acre phase opened in October 2022. Design and development of Phase 2, the next 14-acre $65 million development, began last summer. The completed park in total will cost an estimated $175-200 million and will take approximately 8-10 years to complete over four or more phases.

“We live in a region where the heart of generosity beats vibrantly, and indeed, The Bay has been the beneficiary and exemplar of excellent stewardship. Over the last five years, generous donors have enabled ‘one park for all’ to become a reality,” says Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation.

“From the beginning of The Bay, The Patterson Foundation has been supportive, encouraging and generous,” says AG Lafley, The Bay Park Conservancy CEO. “Debra Jacobs has been inspiring and steadfast in her support of The Bay Park Conservancy and The Bay Park.”

The Patterson Foundation has donated $9 million, including matching funds to encourage private donations for developing and operating the first phase of the park.

The Bay park is designed to be “one park for all,” The Bay is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of the community, now and for generations to come, a statement says.

“The Bay preserves, restores and transforms 53 acres of city-owned land along Sarasota Bay into a blue and green oasis – providing a sustainable bayfront gathering place for the community to experience and enjoy a wide range of park uses, free programs and events.”

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