SARASOTA — Plans for The Bay project — what promises to be one of the most impactful redevelopments in the region on one of Southwest Florida's most valuable pieces of real estate — continue to move forward and evolve, and members of the nonprofit behind the proposal for the site, now home to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and other amenities, want to hear from  you.

According to the Herald tribune, the latest designs for Phase I of The Bay project in Sarasota include a smaller lawn, a deleted beach and less activity along the Boulevard of the Arts. Phase I concession areas and restrooms, which once lined the boulevard, have been moved into the lawn area and closer to a small parking lot and kayak launch. The picturesque spiral pier that curves over Sarasota Bay is now called the "Sunset Boardwalk." A rocky strip of land called a "Beach" in earlier designs has been relabeled as "Resilient Ecological Shoreline."

Phase I of The Bay is a $20 million plan for the southernmost nine acres of the project. Construction could begin next year and be completed in two years. Long–term plans for the 53–acre site include a new boat ramp, waterfront trail and, eventually, a successor to the Van Wezel.

In a meeting last week attended by more than 100 people, Bill Waddill, managing director of The Bay, said the first construction on Phase I will be a half–mile mangrove walk. That could start in a few months. Before then, planners hope to restore a fountain and add landscaping to the corner of U.S. 41 and Boulevard of the Arts.

 A video on the latest plans for the 53–acre redevelopment is available at, as is a 10–question survey.