There were four planning firms left in the running. Then on Wednesday, the organization chose Sasaki, a Boston based firm, for the job.
The project is called 'The Bay,' formerly known as Bayfront 2020. It includes the land from the Bayfront to Tamiami Trail and Centennial Park to Boulevard of the Arts.
Board members say it was Sasaki's professional abilities that were shown through previous projects in Cincinnati and Chicago along with the company's sincere interest in helping the Sarasota community that won them over.
"When Sasaki interviewed with us, a lot of community members sat in on the interviews," board member Cathy Layton said. "They were as excited as we were."Representatives from Sasaki are expected to come to Sarasota in early December and will have a local hub for the project.
"What we are hearing from the public is they want the 42 acres to remain as park like as possible, but there has to be things for people to do there," Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin explains.