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Recently poured concrete forms the shape for the North Bluff Walk, in foreground, as seen from the third floor of the Clearwater Main Library on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, which will provide access to Imagine Clearwater’s new 4,000-seat covered bandshell, in background, at Coachman Park.

Imagine Clearwater inches closer to completion as amphitheater is installed

The $84 million renovation of the downtown waterfront, expected to be completed in June, is taking shape.
Recently poured concrete forms the shape for the North Bluff Walk, in foreground, as seen from the third floor of the Clearwater Main Library on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, which will provide access to Imagine Clearwater’s new 4,000-seat covered bandshell, in background, at Coachman Park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
The $84 million renovation of the downtown waterfront, expected to be completed in June, is taking shape.
Published Nov. 9

Imagine Clearwater, the city’s $84 million redevelopment of the downtown waterfront, is inching closer to its targeted June completion date.

About 90 workers with Skanska construction company are toiling daily to transform what used to be the underused Coachman Park and a sprawling asphalt parking lot into a regional destination.

City officials began holding planning workshops for the initiative in 2016, but talk about revitalizing the waterfront goes back decades.

Vertical construction began in July 2021, following the installation of about 5 miles of underground utilities. Now elements of the revitalized park are beginning to become clear.

Workers have recently poured the concrete for the north bluff walk that will wind alongside the Main Library and give broad views of the park and Intracoastal waterway.

A civic gateway will serve as a connection between the park and the rest of downtown and feature a grand staircase and cascading water feature. The lower plaza and green space will feature mural walls and area for gathering.

A pedestrian bridge will allow visitors to walk over a stormwater retention pond that doubles as a way to interact with the water. Nearby, the first piece of playground equipment is being installed. A winding promenade with steps will allow visitors to stroll by or sit along the palm-lined Bayfront and downtown marina with 15-foot torchettes lit with natural gas.

The park will include underground trash bin systems, 835 new trees and extensive landscaping.

But the boldest attraction will be a 4,000-seat covered amphitheater with lawn space for another 5,000 people. The amphitheater will be a niche in Tampa Bay, an outdoor, boutique performance venue that is expected to attract international acts and host graduations and community events with the Intracoastal waterway as the backdrop. The structure will include a VIP event space for reservations of about 100 people as well as extensive facilities for the talent, like dressing rooms and catering areas.

On Tuesday, Clearwater voters approved a referendum to sell two bluff parcels surrounding the park to developers to build a $400 million apartment, hotel and retail project. The bluff projects, which are expected to break ground in 2024, were cast as the necessary catalyst to bring full-time residents and visitors around the revitalized Coachman Park.

Work continues on Imagine Clearwater’s main park area, which is designed to connect the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community. The area will include an expansive park and recreational spaces, which will be accessible through a Gateway Plaza and Bluff Walk that connects the park to downtown. The space will feature a Bay Walk promenade overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, a lake area with picnic shelters, and an ocean-themed play area with an interactive pop-jet water feature.
Work continues on Imagine Clearwater’s main park area, which is designed to connect the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community. The area will include an expansive park and recreational spaces, which will be accessible through a Gateway Plaza and Bluff Walk that connects the park to downtown. The space will feature a Bay Walk promenade overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, a lake area with picnic shelters, and an ocean-themed play area with an interactive pop-jet water feature. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
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Workers clean up an area of concrete recently poured for Imagine Clearwater’s Gateway Plaza which is designed to connect the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community.
Workers clean up an area of concrete recently poured for Imagine Clearwater’s Gateway Plaza which is designed to connect the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
A live oak tree, one of the largest to remain at Coachman Park, are among the original trees which are being preserved by the Imagine Clearwater project.
A live oak tree, one of the largest to remain at Coachman Park, are among the original trees which are being preserved by the Imagine Clearwater project. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
A system of pipes and culverts are organized for installation at the Imagine Clearwater site on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park. The system will channel storm drainage from the iconic bluff, through a filtration system, en route to the intracoastal waterway.
A system of pipes and culverts are organized for installation at the Imagine Clearwater site on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park. The system will channel storm drainage from the iconic bluff, through a filtration system, en route to the intracoastal waterway. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Catherine Corcoran, senior landscape architect at City of Clearwater, and assistant project manager for Imagine Clearwater, discusses the projects progress at the park.
Catherine Corcoran, senior landscape architect at City of Clearwater, and assistant project manager for Imagine Clearwater, discusses the projects progress at the park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Recently poured concrete forms the North Bluff Walk which provides access to Imagine Clearwater’s amphitheater from the Clearwater Main Library, in background, at Coachman Park.
Recently poured concrete forms the North Bluff Walk which provides access to Imagine Clearwater’s amphitheater from the Clearwater Main Library, in background, at Coachman Park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Masonry worker Eliseo Arreola removes uneven remnants of concrete while finishing the exterior wall of a VIP and multipurpose event space at the new Imagine Clearwater amphitheater building.
Masonry worker Eliseo Arreola removes uneven remnants of concrete while finishing the exterior wall of a VIP and multipurpose event space at the new Imagine Clearwater amphitheater building. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Workers use nuts and bolts to secure sections of a canopy which will provide shade at Imagine Clearwater’s new 4,000-seat amphitheater on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park.
Workers use nuts and bolts to secure sections of a canopy which will provide shade at Imagine Clearwater’s new 4,000-seat amphitheater on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
A worker finishes concrete on a foundation slab where sections of the project’s canopy are staged for the new amphitheater on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park.
A worker finishes concrete on a foundation slab where sections of the project’s canopy are staged for the new amphitheater on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, at Coachman Park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Canopy sections outline the location where a series of permanent tensile panels will provide shade for 4,000 guests at Imagine Clearwater’s new is the new amphitheater which will accommodate a year-round performance schedule that promises to continue Coachman Park's reputation as a premier location for diverse live entertainment.
Canopy sections outline the location where a series of permanent tensile panels will provide shade for 4,000 guests at Imagine Clearwater’s new is the new amphitheater which will accommodate a year-round performance schedule that promises to continue Coachman Park's reputation as a premier location for diverse live entertainment. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Jim Halios, director of Clearwater Parks and Recreation, tours the Imagine Clearwater site on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2022, at Coachman Park.
Jim Halios, director of Clearwater Parks and Recreation, tours the Imagine Clearwater site on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2022, at Coachman Park. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Sections of the canopy at Imagine Clearwater’s new bandshell are visible from the Clearwater Main Library’s third floor on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, in Clearwater.
Sections of the canopy at Imagine Clearwater’s new bandshell are visible from the Clearwater Main Library’s third floor on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, in Clearwater. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
A rendering of Imagine Clearwater, the $84 million transformation of the city's downtown waterfront.
A rendering of Imagine Clearwater, the $84 million transformation of the city's downtown waterfront. [ Stantec ]
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