Residents and visitors to Clearwater, Florida, have a new destination to enjoy in their backyard. Coachman Park now welcomes guests to its redeveloped 24-acre urban waterfront. The city held its grand opening for the $84 million project on June 28. Designed by Stantec and constructed by Skanska, the reimagined park gives the community a new, engaging space for families and friends to gather, and it will play host to various events and musical performances.
Establishing a seamless connection between the waterfront and the city, the recently unveiled Civic Gateway Plaza effortlessly binds the park with Downtown Clearwater. Simultaneously, a scenic Bay Walk promenade allows visitors to indulge in panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. These linkages significantly enhance accessibility to Clearwater’s central downtown area, offering pedestrians inviting pathways to the waterfront.
The Civic Gateway Plaza welcomes parkgoers, serving as the gateway to 525,000 square feet(48774 m2) of pristine park greenspace. The park’s amenities beckon exploration, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the revitalized Coachman Park. Families and children are treated to a 10,000-square-foot (929 m2) ocean-themed playground, complemented by a nearby splash pad for a refreshing escape.
The park also includes a special emphasis on the arts. The design intertwines open areas throughout the park that will serve as blank canvases for art installations to showcase creative projects from the community and beyond. The Sound is an outdoor music venue and stage with covered seating for 4,000 people and another 5,000 on the adjacent open lawn that will host year-round performances.
The Stantec team designed the park with a focus on its environmental impact. Within 20 years, the park will achieve net zero carbon emissions. Beyond 2043, Stantec predicts the park will become climate positive, capturing and storing more carbon per square foot than it releases into the atmosphere. Over its 50-year lifespan, it’s estimated Coachman Park will capture 1,647 tons more carbon than it emits.
Sustainable features incorporated throughout the park include solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, native landscaping, bioswales for stormwater conveyance, and energy-efficient materials. Additionally, to protect the city’s investment, Stantec designed Coachman Park above the current Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements to mitigate flood risk and account for the rise in sea level.
Location: Clearwater, Florida, USA
Landscape Architecture: Stantec
Architecture and interior design; civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering; coastal resiliency analysis; and construction administration services: Stantec
Image Credit: Skanska (unless otherwise captioned)