CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Can you imagine? A $60+ million dollar project being built downtown with a lot of walking space by the waterfront, splash pad for the kids to play, serene relaxing space and an amphitheater concert venue to draw people in from around the state and nation. It’s called Imagine Clearwater and Monday City Council spent time trying to solidify its vision.
Some council members voiced their excitement and others voiced their concerns. For all the details about the vision for Imagine Clearwater click here.
In a nutshell, City Council members tell us this project is expected to cost between $60-$65 million dollars. Some council members are concerned that the costs are going to end up being much more than that. They continue to work out finalized numbers and plan to know more details on finances within the coming months. There is also a discussion about how big the theater should be.
One of the concerns about this facility is that not enough people come to downtown Clearwater to use it. “I’m an optimist,” said Council Member Hoyt Hamilton. “I have faith that if you build it they will come.”
The Assistant City Manager tells us taxpayers will not have to pay more anytime soon. They implemented a tax increase that went into effect last year in anticipation of these costs. The city also plans to have bonds issued to help pay for the project and are still working out the final details.
The city hopes to break ground on the park surrounding the amphitheater within the coming months. The Assistant City Manager tells us they hope to have the project done by the end of 2021 or early 2022. The City hopes to have this project plans 60% complete by this February and almost done by March or April.