The late John Lennon didn’t have Coachman Park in mind when he wrote “Imagine,” but nonetheless it’s a fitting moniker for a project that most certainly strains the boundaries of imagination. We’re talking here of a $84 million redevelopment of the waterfront abutting downtown that’s fittingly known as Imagine Clearwater.
What can $84 million buy? A lot! The bulldozers have already started plowing for what will be 24 acres that includes a 4,000-seat covered Amphitheater, a spectacular gateway plaza and bluff connecting the park to downtown, a lake area with picnic shelters, a bay walk promenade, an ocean-themed play area with an interactive pop-jet water feature and so much more.
The city of Clearwater held an Imagine Clearwater kick-off ceremony on Friday, September 3, at the Clearwater Main Library overlooking Coachman Park, to celebrate the highly anticipated project.
Attendees included past and present Clearwater council members, city department heads and employees, community leaders, local dignitaries and members of Stantec, the design firm.
Members of the public and television news cameras were also present.
Karen Mayer, representing Congressman Gus Bilirakis, and Florida State Senator Ed Hooper also attended.
Florida District 13 Congressman Charlie Crist sent a video greeting.
Mayor Frank Hibbard reminded everyone that former City Manager Bill Horne, who passed away unexpectedly three weeks ago, would have been proud to see Imagine Clearwater evolve from a foggy idea hatched many years ago to becoming a defined reality.
As Mayor Hibbard put it, Imagine Clearwater will be something of great pride to generations of residents and visitors, and that it promises to continue Clearwater’s reputation as a premier destination offering diverse activities, with something for everyone.