SARASOTA -- A new group in Sarasota is hoping to come up with ideas to revitalize a prime piece of waterfront property in the city.
The group Bayfront 2020 is a diverse group of businesses, non-profit organizations and everyday citizens that are working together to redevelop Sarasota's bayfront.
Residents still enjoy some shade at the Centennial Park in Sarasota and use boat launch to head out to sea, but the majority of the 42-acre city owned property on Sarasota Bay is a relatively unused parking lot.
Many feel the property could be put to better use.
“What we are talking about is some of the most spectacular waterfront property anywhere on the gulf coast of Florida,” said Michael Klauber, member of Bayfront 2020. “This property could be used for many, many things. Primarily it will be cultural and arts organizations. That will be the centerpiece of it.”
The group is also hoping someone buys the adjacent property, formerly known as the Sarasota Quay, which has sat vacant for years.
“Our hope is that when the Quay property is sold, that the purchasers would be willing to work with the city to come up with best uses that would complement the 42 acres in play,” said Klauber. “We hope we can see some significant results by the year 2020 and also the ocular 2020 because we know its going to take very focused vision.”
Leslie Power the General Manager of Hotel Indigo is excited to see some change in the area.
“I think when any area develops we see a spike in our business,” said Power. “Adding something to the bayfront would be excellent for our area and for our guests to have another resource to enjoy while they are vacationing here.”
Once Bayfront 2020 has their exact vision in place they will present it to the city commission. They are hoping to present their proposal in the fall.