CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – On Tuesday consultants presented the Clearwater City Council with the draft of a master plan to revitalize the city’s downtown waterfront area.
The proposal is called “Imagine Clearwater.” It includes a design for a future waterfront park. The consultants also recommended a set of projects to stimulate the downtown and looked at how different elements may fit into the overall area. The council heard the potential next steps it can take with the community to implement the plan.
The renderings show new green space, and more parks, restaurants and shops. There are also pedestrian-friendly paths and an event lawn with a new amphitheater.
“We want to make downtown walkable, vibrant, and we think that these plans will help us achieve those goals,” Mayor George Cretekos said.
The goal is to put downtown Clearwater on the map as a must-visit destination.
“I think it’s an opportunity for a much more heavily utilized water front,” said Michael Delk, director of the city’s planning and development department. “I think it’s one that will be a much bigger draw to the public. I think it will engage them and I think it improves the inner activity between downtown Clearwater and the waterfront.”
City leaders have held several public meetings to get input from residents on what they’d like to see. The initial plan was derived from ideas gathered at the meetings.
Vasko Ugrinov has lived in Clearwater for almost five years. He hasn’t attended any of the meetings but says downtown needs a makeover. Right now he only comes to the marina to fish. “Unfortunately, I live five minutes away and I drive right past here because it has nothing to offer,” Ugrinov said.
Instead he heads to Clearwater Beach or downtown St. Petersburg.
“I’d like to see downtown Clearwater be built back up. There’s a lot of empty businesses, vacant. I’d like to see more restaurants, right here by the marina. That way we can have a prettier scenery,” Ugrinov said.
Consultants will hear from residents Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Clearwater Main Library.
Once public input is collected and a comment period has been closed, the consultants will revise the plan and present it to the council for final approval.
Consultants hope to have the final draft ready by the end of the year.
For residents who are unable to attend a community workshop, written input will be gathered from now until early December. Go here to see the renderings and leave comments.