Weather permitting, gazebo to be removed and seating areas to be created
Fredd Atkins Park will be closed Oct. 23-27, weather permitting, “as the much anticipated redesign of the park begins,” Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin announced in his Oct. 20 newsletter.
“After extensive and thoughtful community input, the area located at [the intersection of] U.S. 301 and Dr. MLK [Martin Luther King] Jr. Way will be transformed into an open park setting,” Barwin explained. The gazebo will be replaced with sod, he continued, and seating areas will be created “to invite users to rest and enjoy their stay and perhaps play a table game,” such as dominoes, checkers or chess.
“For this historic, predominantly African American community,” Barwin added, “this park renovation is an important part of restoring the MLK corridor to what it once was: a vibrant destination to shop, eat and relax.” He pointed out that the corridor between U.S. 301 and U.S. 41 “is undergoing a rejuvenation,” attracting significant business investments,” including a state-of-the-art sound stage for the Ringling College of Art + Design, the new Ringling College library, the Sarasota Memorial Health Center and Miss Susie’s Lunchroom, “a restaurant that graced the corridor back in the day and will reopen soon with a focus on good food and diversity in the restaurant industry.”
When Fredd Atkins Park reopens on Saturday, Oct. 28, Barwin wrote, “it will offer a preview of a renewed gateway to Sarasota.”