Tampa Bay Times endorses Clearwater Bluffs referendum
Image via Yes for Clearwater.

Clearwater Bluff rendering
'Downtown cannot be left to wilt any longer.'

The Tampa Bay Times is backing the Clearwater referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot, noting that Clearwater’s downtown “has been sleepy for too long.”

“The core of the region’s third-largest city too often feels like a ghost town — quiet, empty, listless,” the editorial board wrote in its endorsement. “Downtown cannot be left to wilt any longer. This project will provide a needed spark.”

The referendum would allow the city to sell property on key downtown waterfront property adjacent to Coachman Park to a developer.

The proposed mixed-use development would be consistent with the terms of a Development Agreement and Purchase and Sale Agreement, which were unanimously approved by the City Council.

Supporters say the project would serve as its own independent destination and breathe life into Clearwater’s underutilized, yet picturesque downtown.

A “yes” vote would pave the way for a new 158-room hotel, construction of 500-600 apartments, new dining and retail options and new event and green space.

The Times said the waterfront project, which they took “extra care in assessing,” “is set back enough from the waterfront and appears well designed to blend in and accentuate the positive moves the city is making in and around Coachman Park.”

The Times joins others in backing the referendum, including Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and every member of the Clearwater City Council.

Staff Reports


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