Leading global design firm Stantec has completed the design and construction documents for Imagine Clearwater—a 24-acre urban waterfront park development in downtown Clearwater, Florida. Also known as Coachman Park, the US$64.5 million project will transform the area into a high-amenity environment that will support community engagement and reinvestment from local residents, visitors, and developers. Stantec is providing architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, civil engineering, structural and MEP engineering, coastal resiliency analysis, and construction administration services for the project. Skanska will lead the construction of the project.
Designed to connect the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community, Imagine Clearwater includes an expansive park and recreational spaces, a gateway plaza and bluff walk that connects the park to downtown, a bay walk promenade overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, and a lake area with picnic shelters. Families with children will be able to enjoy an ocean-themed play area with an interactive pop-jet water feature. The reduced parking area and addition of ride share drop-off areas aim to reduce vehicular traffic and promote walkability and the use of public transportation. The Stantec team also incorporated spaces throughout the park that will provide the city with a blank canvas to feature art installations that showcase the community and its culture.
The additions to Coachman Park also include an outdoor performance bandshell and stage with covered seating for 4,000 people, which will accommodate a year-round performance schedule. The bandshell will encourage visits from residents and tourists, helping to stimulate downtown commerce.
These amenities will help support the activation of the downtown business community, the adjacent Clearwater Public Library, and marina. Additionally, a natural capital analysis conducted by Stantec found that the reduction of paved areas and increased greenspace would enhance property values of the surrounding downtown area.
“The Imagine Clearwater project illustrates how important parks like this are to our communities,” said Hamid Sahebkar, Stantec principal and project manager for Imagine Clearwater. “Our team is proud to have designed a space that the City of Clearwater and its residents can take pride in and enjoy for many generations to come. We look forward to our continued work with the city in seeing this vision for Coachman Park come to fruition.”
To mitigate flood risk and the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, the park’s buildings were designed to exceed the current and proposed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. This creates a more resilient site solution to protect the public’s investment for future generations. Stantec has also incorporated sustainable features into the design, such as solar panels, a native landscape palette, bioswales for stormwater conveyance, and EV charging stations. All buildings throughout the park will employ continuous insulation, including insulated glass, to reduce energy use for cooling. The team selected interior finishes and materials based on the amount of recycled content.
“Imagine Clearwater is a generational project, one that we believe will serve Clearwater families and guests for decades to come. Finally, we will be taking full advantage of our unique downtown waterfront,” said Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard.
Stantec has a long history of providing community development services in the Tampa Bay area. As a subconsultant, the firm provided architecture and engineering services and served as the landscape architect of record on the award-winning Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa—a destination park with event space capable of accommodating 10,000 people. Stantec recently played a key role in bringing the vision for Water Street Tampa to life. The firm provided early planning, zoning, and infrastructure studies and design that is helping turn more than 50 acres of parking and warehouses in Downtown Tampa into a sustainable, walkable, urban district.
The Imagine Clearwater project aligns with Stantec’s focus on Coastal Resilience, as outlined in its strategic plan and further reflected through work underway nationally, such as the Blue Green Corridors Project in New Orleans to reduce flood risk and encourage neighborhood revitalization. The firm recently released the concept design renderings for the Battery Coastal Resilience Project in Lower Manhattan, which aims to protect against the impacts of sea level rise ensuring the usability of the iconic public space for New York City’s millions of annual visitors.
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.
We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.
We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.
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