Monday, July 23, 2018
News Roundup

As Imagine Clearwater plans unfold, a question: How to design the bandshell?

CLEARWATER —With preliminary engineering plans now in hand, the city’s ambitious waterfront redevelopment project has one over-arching design question.

Should the new and improved concert bandshell include a canopy feature to provide shade for 2,200 seats? It would cost an extra $5 million.

Pre-design documents now estimate the Imagine Clearwater project will cost about $52.2 million, slightly below the highest original projection of $55 million. The updated figure includes infrastructure the initial estimate did not: a $5.75 million price tag on the new concert bandshell plus a $5 million shade canopy feature.

Assistant City Manager Micah Maxwell said staff will collect public input from through a town hall meeting in August, and comments from the City Council, to give Stantec consultants direction on the bandshell and other features so they can begin the remaining engineering work in the fall.

Beyond having to determine features for the bandshell, the preliminary design so far closely mirrors what was laid out in the conceptual plan finalized in February 2017.

The city is on an accelerated timeline to complete Imagine Clearwater, a redesign of the 66 waterfront acres just west of downtown in hopes it will rejuvenate the long-struggling urban core.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Is ‘Imagine Clearwater’ redevelopment plan downtown’s last hope?

Originally pitched as a 10-year project, now the city plans to have most of the redevelopment completed in 2021, including: converting Coachman Park into a garden with a playground, picnic areas and splash pad; building a green for concerts where the 429-space parking lot behind the Harborview Center is now; a nature element under the Memorial Causeway; a winding Bluff Walk with shaded paths, gardens and terraces; and a gateway plaza with water features and event space at the corner of Cleveland Street and Osceola Avenue, where the nearly empty Harborview Center now sits.

The only portion of Imagine Clearwater now expected to drag past 2021 is the redevelopment of the City Hall and Harborview sites into mixes of retail and residential uses. The city is free to demolish both buildings now but any redevelopment on the two sites must be approved by voters in a referendum.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Imagine Clearwater, Phillies renovations on the horizon. How will the city pay for it all?

Stantec’s pre-design has minor deviations from the original concept, like a revised traffic pattern for the south of the park and a slightly larger concert green to accommodate the bandshell.

What was first pitched as a brackish estuary under the Memorial Causeway with a marsh garden, lagoon and cyrpress groves has now been changed to just be called "The Lake." It could be more accurately described as a stormwater pond.

Maxwell said city staff and consultants had concerns about ongoing maintenance for a tidal body, so a retention area is a more viable option that still provides "treatment for the environment and aesthetic views."

The consultants’ concerns about safety also nixed a proposed kayak launch area on the waterfront.

Construction is not expected to begin until sometime in early 2019. But consultants have pegged the concert green and the civic gateway area — except for the mixed-use building, which must be approved by voters — to be the first portions completed.

Although design work is only in the early stages, Maxwell said the next month of analysis will be key for keeping the project on track.

"Certainly several things we’ll have to hammer out, but it’s coming along," he said.

Contact Tracey McManus at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.

Comments
Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

It was almost 11 p.m., and Emelia Holden was finishing up her shift as a server at a Savannah, Ga., pizzeria when she felt a hand on her backside.She reacted immediately, yanking the man backward by his red shirt as he tried to walk away and wrapping...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH — Police say a 12-story building on Miami Beach that was slated to be torn down has collapsed, injuring one person. Miami Beach police officials tweeted that the victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on Monday morning. A ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended until July 2019 for use of IV

Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended until July 2019 for use of IV

FORT LAUDERDALE — Ryan Lochte posted a photo for the world to see, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency noticed. It got him suspended — again. The longtime U.S. swimming star has been banned from competition until July 2019, which means the 12-time Olympi...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Co-founder of Liturgical Folk: ‘We want our music to be a fire starter’

Co-founder of Liturgical Folk: ‘We want our music to be a fire starter’

Ryan Flanigan, co-founder of the Anglican music project Liturgical Folk, writes songs with two groups of people in mind — the old and the young."When I write or sing in front of a church, they are who I am looking at," Flanigan, 38, said. "If a song ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Pasco Religion Calendar for July 27

Religion CalendarGenerations Christian Church, 1540 Little Road, Odessa, is collecting school supplies to fill backpacks for students in need. Donations are needed by Aug. 5. Contact the church for a list of needed items. For more information, visit ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restaurant review: Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s open themed spots in downtown St. Petersburg, and one fares slightly better so far

Restaurant review: Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s open themed spots in downtown St. Petersburg, and one fares slightly better so far

ST. PETERSBURG - Restaurants with heavy theming can go awry in a number of ways: too much, not enough, mixed messages, ham-fisted devotion to cliches, etc. It can be a runaway train that unduly influences the food, music, architecture, server uniform...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A portion of an aluminum beach umbrella was driven entirely through a 67-year-old woman’s ankle after it went airborne at a beach in New Jersey last week.The July 16 event was heralded as a freak accident.RELATED: London woman impaled by beach umbrel...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Florida insider poll: nominees for governor will be ... ; Hillsborough sheriff loosens rules for new hires; and more

Top 5 at noon: Florida insider poll: nominees for governor will be ... ; Hillsborough sheriff loosens rules for new hires; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:FLORIDA INSIDER POLL: NOMINEES FOR GOVERNOR WILL BE ...Florida’s busiest election cycle in decades is shaped above all by one guy, Donald Trump. That’s the clear consensus of more than 220 lo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The man shot by a Lakeland store clerk after stealing $36 worth of beer has died

The man shot by a Lakeland store clerk after stealing $36 worth of beer has died

A man who was shot by a convenience store clerk as he stole $36 in beer has died, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports. Rennie Defoe, Jr. died at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. The clerk who shot him, Mehedeun Hasa...
Updated: 1 hour ago