Sarasota Orchestra halts plan for concert hall in city park, following City Commission meeting

Posted on: May 28, 2019

“A Sarasota City Commission meeting [on May 20] to decide the fate of Payne Park … led to heated public comment and a decision about 90 minutes after midnight to find another location within the city limits for the Sarasota Orchestra,” writes Amy Diaz in last Tuesday’s (5/21) Palm Beach Post (FL). “A few hundred citizens showed up—the majority wearing yellow in protest of a proposal to build a concert hall for the Sarasota Orchestra on park property…. The Sarasota Orchestra was hoping to build a 2,500-seat concert hall on seven acres of the 39-acre park. They have been looking for a new performance space since 2001, according to orchestra president and CEO Joseph McKenna…. The proposed new building would have relocated the park’s popular tennis center but would not have affected the playground, skateboard park and cafe…. Those for the construction of the concert hall view it as an addition to an underutilized park, and see its potential in raising property values. Those against it are concerned about the park’s greenspace and wildlife, as well as the precedent it might set for privatizing parks and beaches in the future.”

Posted May 28, 2019