Imagine Clearwater vision begins to take shape in redo of Coachman Park

The Imagine Clearwater redevelopment of Coachman Park has hit a milestone with the start of vertical construction on the new additions to the downtown waterfront park.

Crews with the city’s contractor Skanska have started pouring the walls for the overlook feature of the future civic gateway plaza that will link the park to downtown. Stantec is the design/architect firm for the project.

Clearwater Assistant Project Manager Catherine Corcoran says the start of work on the new gateway is one of multiple phases of construction currently underway.  Underground utility work and site grading are ongoing. Site work includes hauling in 65,000 cubic yards of dirt to elevate the park’s new buildings out of the flood zone and to grade the property.

It is part of an ambitious $84 million project to transform the underutilized park in a prime location overlooking Clearwater Harbor into a centerpiece park that will draw regional visitors for concerts and other special events and city residents for a day in the park in a picturesque waterfront setting.

The plans  will add a 4,000-seat covered amphitheater at a concert venue that, with no permanent infrastructure, previously relied on its waterfront location to draw performers and crowds.

The  improvements also include a walking trail, lake, garden, a large open lawn, public art installations, a playground and play area for children, splash pads, restrooms, a grand staircase and newly planted landscaping and trees.

In an email from the city, Corcoran says crews are also installing micro-piles to support the new bandshell and seating canopy and relocating trees that will be transplanted in a later stage of the park’s reconstruction. In a few weeks, construction of  the foundation for the new bandshell is expected to start. The city expects the redevelopment of the park to reach substantial completion by the summer of 2023, Corcoran says.

For more information on Imagine Clearwater and to view a live video stream of construction, follow this link: Imagine Clearwater.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.