Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization

Reflecting on a Year of Progress for Sarasota’s Bayfront By The Patterson Foundation

Posted on November 29, 2017 by The Patterson Foundation
Developing Sarasota’s bayfront into a thriving, vibrant and accessible public destination is a community endeavor. Substantial time and consideration must be given to ensure the creation of a prime waterfront location that reflects the uniqueness of the Sarasota community.

The Patterson Foundation believes that communities have the power to create their future by using a process-driven approach based on common aspirations. It’s a belief the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) has embraced continuously since its formation in 2016 to facilitate the development of a master plan for the bayfront’s future. This emphasis on common aspirations inspired The Patterson Foundation to strengthen this endeavor by providing $300,000 in catalytic funding, which helped to encourage stakeholders throughout the community to contribute $2.1 million. Throughout this journey, there have been numerous milestones worth acknowledging and celebrating as we look toward the project’s future.

November 2016: Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization Board Meets
A Framework Team of volunteers worked to create SBPO, which consists of nine members contributing their vast leadership and managerial experiences from multiple sectors. The Patterson Foundation strengthened this process, providing consulting expertise to help guide SBPO’s formation and board selection. In November 2016, SBPO held its first board meeting — thereby kickstarting a transparent, community-focused process toward a master plan for the space.

October 2017: Professional Firm Selected to Create Master Plan
Following a thorough application and review process, SBPO selected professional firm Sasaki to develop a master plan for the bayfront’s future. Sasaki brings a proven track-record of successful waterfront redevelopment projects to our region and will work over the next year on a roadmap to bring our community’s aspirations to fruition.

November 2017: SBPO Community Fundraising Reaches $2.1 Million Goal
To further strengthen the work toward developing a master plan, The Patterson Foundation provided catalytic contributions of $100,000 at key milestones of SBPO's community fundraising effort, up to $300,000. One needs look only at the speed with which SBPO achieved its $2.1 million goal from community donors — including the $300,000 from The Patterson Foundation — to understand the importance of this effort to Sarasota.

Even with the progress made over the last year, the journey ahead will continue to demand considerable time, effort, and consideration — both from those directly engaged in the work as well as the citizens and stakeholders guiding it. As one of the stakeholders in this path toward a vibrant, accessible and sustainable bayfront, The Patterson Foundation will continue to be engaged to strengthen ongoing and future efforts for this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

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