Our region is faced with a unique confluence of timing and opportunity. Along Sarasota’s Bayfront, 42 acres of property—including aging or dormant arts and cultural facilities—are now being reexamined or awaiting development. When will we ever see such significant waterfront assets in play like this again? And how will decisions made today affect future generations?
Community and civic leaders began taking action on these unique circumstances in late 2013. They started a dialogue about creating a common vision for the future and collectively forming a roadmap for the next phase of the Sarasota Bayfront. The only pre-ordained outcome of this visioning process: to create a legacy that will promote a sustainable Sarasota region for the next century.
The group called the initiative Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 for two reasons.
First, participants hoped that by the year 2020, Sarasota could see significant results.
Second, it will take clear focus—20:20 vision—to see this effort through.
This long-term planning initiative aims to create a world-renowned destination along the Sarasota Bayfront.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been a leader in Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 from the start. We know that quality-of-life amenities, cultural activities, entertainment options, and recreational access are all assets on which successful regions compete. That’s why leveraging and enhancing our region’s unique places is among our strategic regional priorities.
It’s how we can maintain our advantages and build our reputation as a high-performing, innovative, and welcoming region.
With this Bayfront property, our region has an urgent, once-in-a-generation chance to create a sustainable source of jobs while enhancing both economic and cultural development.
In the process, it will protect and enhance our region’s greatest natural asset.
Gulf Coast is among more than 55 philanthropic, arts, neighborhood, and business groups that have formally endorsed Sarasota Bayfront 20:20's vision statement and roadmap for sustainably redeveloping the Bayfront.
Now, a nine-member volunteer board, the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO), is overseeing the master-planning process.
A new umbrella brand—"The Bay"—was created to bring together and communicate the collective efforts of the SBPO, Bayfront 20:20, and the City of Sarasota to reimagine and redevelop this area. TheBaySarasota.org serves as the information source to keep the community informed about the master-planning initiative as well as events planned for the Bayfront site.
Gulf Coast manages the charitable fund established by Bayfront redevelopment leaders to ensure that this community-driven effort to moves forward. Donations can be made here.