Clearwater’s long-awaited Coachman Park renovation postponed due to increased construction costs

Imagine Clearwater Rendering – Courtesy:

The City of Clearwater will have to wait a bit longer before it can enjoy a pending renovation in the city’s downtown Coachman Park.

Imagine Clearwater is a futuristic vision for the city, but the long-awaited revamp will have to wait due to increased construction costs.

A $64 million construction project was allocated to remix Coachman Park, which sits in the city’s downtown area and intracoastal waterway. But like most things that have suffered delays and postponements over the past year, this park can blame the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, materials costs such as lumber, oil, and steel have increased to near-record highs and are likely the cause for the delay. Demand is also at an all-time high, and the end result calls for increased budget costs that were not in the city’s plans. 

The park was expected to receive major upgrades in the form of an ocean-themed water area, a 4,000-seat covered amphitheater, and rec spaces with accessible walkways to the intracoastal waterway and downtown. 

Imagine Clearwater’s groundbreaking was originally planned for Monday, May 24, 2021, at 9 a.m., but city officials revealed, “the event will happen at a future date after officials are more comfortable with construction costs.”

Underground and utility work which has already begun will not be affected by the increased costs and is scheduled to continue with major construction expected to begin in late summer.

The project was approved back in February 2017 but has faced a series of delays regarding design and construction at multiple junctures.

“I’m not thrilled with any thought of a delay, but as long as we’re continuing moving forward, I’ll go along with this, and hopefully we’ll see if those prices come down,” council member Mark Bunker said.

As of yet, there is no official date for the shovels to hit the ground on the actual build, but city leaders believe the build-out for Imagine Clearwater will not lag behind. 

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