What now for Bruce Beach

The city of Pensacola has an opportunity to “activate” its waterfront at Bruce Beach if the Pensacola City Council agrees with Mayor Hayward and will terminate the lease with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The elements of the fish hatchery plan that excited the African-American community were the four historical markers. The Pensacola City Council could agree to pay for them, which cost $2,000 each, and commit to install them after the public area is developed.

If Pensacola City Council can get the Bayview Community Center back to its original budget of $6.05 million, a portion of the $4-million savings could be used to develop the beach into a public park with areas to launch kayaks, paddle boards and other non-motorized crafts.  A pedestrian walkway could be constructed that would connect the beach with the rest of the Pensacola Baywalk.

The city has said it has a grant in the work – if it truly exists then the grant would help offset the cost for the . The markers could be installed along the walkway.

If the city council acts promptly, the Bruce Beach public park could be completed by the fall of 2019, if not sooner.

The northern part of the city-owned property should follow the CRA 2010 development plan, which called private development of medium- and high-density, mixed-use buildings. The city should issue an RFP this summer.

See CRA 2010 Master Plan 


3 thoughts on “What now for Bruce Beach

  1. And where are the people parking for this park anyway? I don’t see any parking area at all…

  2. So how do they pay for the road, storm water and utilities extensions? Also the new bridge, not the foot bridge but the one for the roadway extension to the West? Where is all that money going to come from? The park is the easy part, but all that infrastructure is going to really pricey… just saying…

  3. Because the proposed Bayview Park Community Resource Center violates the city’s 2011 Bayview Park Master Plan, that project should be put on hold along with the proposed renovation of the Senior Center for which the city has recently issued an RFP. If the City Council wants to amend the Bayview Park Master Plan, it can do so but no actions should be taken in Bayview Park unless they comply with the plan. Amend the plan but do not ignore it. As for Bruce Beach, Local Option Sales Tax revenues should “not” be used for any project at it. The city has far more important needs for LOST revenues to include a first community center in District 2 and perhaps a new fire station in District 4 along Scenic Highway. A majority of District 1 voters are over the age of 50. We deserve a senior center that could be located to make it reasonably assessable to people living in Districts 1, 2 and 3. Because Bruce Beach would be a CRA not City project, the appropriate funding mechanism for its redevelopment would be a municipal bond issued by the CRA. Anything done at Bruce Beach should be consistent with the Community Maritime Park economic development project to the east and supportive of any plans to redevelop the old ECUA site to the north. The CRA should take its time with Bruce Beach and get it right the first time out focused not a long-term vision that will survive the test of time.

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