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A plan to redevelop the MOSI site near USF is moving forward

MOSI museum
Savannah Rude
MOSI’s future has constantly been in limbo, especially since the facility was downsized in 2017 for financial reason

Hillsborough commissioners selected a company to redevelop the 67 acres around the museum. The proposed plan is a multiuse development, and the county also wants to add an indoor sports complex.

The area around the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa might get a new look and feel.

The Hillsborough County Commission voted 6-0 to begin negotiations with Alliant Partners Development on redevloping the 67 acres surrounding the 7-acre MOSI structure.

The plan is to create a multiuse complex with stores, hotels an urgent care and other facilities.

Longtime talks to redevelop the area stalled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county restarted the process in November.

MOSI’s future has constantly been in limbo, especially since the facility was downsized in 2017 for financial reasons. There were also talks about the museum moving downtown from its current location on Fowler Avenue, acrross from the University of South Florida, but nothing materialized.

“I have felt very, very strongly that with every great community in the country, every single one had a thriving, strong science center,” said Commissioner Pat Kemp at Thursday's county commission meeting.

Although not part of the proposal, the county is looking to negotiate with Alliant to add a 180,000-square-foot indoor sports complex to the potential redevelopment.

“I think if this (sports complex) ever has a chance to materialize, we're going to have to come up with a creative public-private partnership, I think similar to what we did in New Tampa with the performing arts center, where the developer (can) contribute cash and significant infrastructure improvements to really drive down the cost,” said Commissioner Ken Hagan, who also serves on the Tampa Sports Authority.

County officials hope the project generates added property and tourist development tax dollars for the Uptown District, a major redevelopment initiative to transform the area into a vibrant, urban district focused on innovation and research.

"I've long felt that this 74-acre site is the county's most underutilized asset," Hagan said. "With the size and location of this property, the opportunities are limitless to capitalize on the synergy and the proximity to (USF), as well as the other economic drivers in the innovation district. We can really transform this site into an innovative mixed-use urban development."

The commission chose to negotiate with Alliant over RGA Design.

Aileyahu Shanes is a WUSF Rush Family Radio News intern for the summer of 2024.