By Breanne Williams – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal
The city of Clearwater is hosting a topping-out ceremony for the bandshell being built in Coachman Park.
The ceremony marks a crucial milestone for the Imagine Clearwater project — the $84 million redevelopment of the park — and will be held on Jan. 6, 2023. The bandshell itself seats 4,000 people, and an additional 5,000 will be able to fit on the bandshell lawn.
“We’re proud to work collectively with the city of Clearwater and Stantec to bring Imagine Clearwater to life,” Chuck Jablon, Skanska, vice president of construction, said in a release. “Our dedicated tradesmen and women are ecstatic to support shaping the future of our community through transformative public spaces such as this incredible project.”
The topping-out ceremony will not be open to the public, but attendees will have the chance to sign the canopy piece before it is placed at the structure’s highest point. City staff, construction members and dignitaries will be on site for the event.
The amphitheater and bandshell are a major part of the Imagine Clearwater redevelopment. The 19-acre park also includes 4 acres of flexible event space, a splash pad, a playground with $1.2 million in equipment, a lake with a pedestrian bridge, picnic pavilions and new bathrooms.
According to the city, construction workers have logged more than 150,000 hours on the project. The project is expected to be complete in July 2023.
Ruth Eckerd Hall will manage the amphitheater and will have a minimum of 35 events a year at the venue. The city will have 10 events a year and the right to use the amphitheater on July 4 and July 5.
The park and the events at the amphitheater are expected to draw thousands downtown each year. The park will be the spark of revitalization for downtown. Adjacent to the Imagine Clearwater project are two bluff parcels that have a combined $400 million redevelopment planned. The developers have until the end of 2024 to get a final site plan and close on the city-owned sites.