The Patterson Foundation is giving an initial $2 million contribution and will add an additional $1 million for every $5 million of private donations toward the first phase of The Bay.
SARASOTA — The Patterson Foundation has committed up to $5 million toward the first phase of The Bay, an effort to redevelop more than 50 bayfront acres near downtown Sarasota.
Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, announced the donation at The Bay Park Conservancy’s meeting Tuesday, as reported in the Sarasota Observer, a sister paper of the Business Observer.
The foundation is giving an initial $2 million contribution and will add an additional $1 million for every $5 million of private donations toward the first phase.
“The governing board of The Patterson Foundation feels it’s our responsibility — and opportunity — to continue to support the work of (The Bay),” Jacobs says.
The Bay Park Conservancy is a private group formed to implement a master plan the city approved last year for redeveloping the waterfront area surrounding the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Last month, the city approved a partnership agreement with the conservancy, which will also manage the public park once construction is complete.
The first phase of the project is located on the south end of the site along Boulevard of the Arts. Encompassing 10 acres, initial plans for the phase include a spiral pier, a mangrove inlet, an open lawn space that could host events and programming, a kayak launch and parking.
The Bay estimated the costs of implementing the first phase at about $20 million. Conservancy Startup CEO A.G. Lafley says the organization has begun discussing public funding options for the project with city and county officials.
Veronica Brady, hired in April as the conservancy’s director of advancement, says The Patterson Foundation’s donation would help the organization as it works to secure additional philanthropic contributions.