Nov. 23, 2021 — JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) has progressed in its negotiations with the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) to secure a site at the Shipyards for a new museum.
DIA’s board voted unanimously in favor of proceeding with the land disposition process during a November 17 meeting. Following the completion of a 30-day notice period that started on November 22, both parties will advance to final term sheet negotiations for a 2.5-acre land lease on the parcel known as “Lot X.”
MOSH has operated in its current location on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville since 1969. The Museum’s operations have outgrown the 77,000-square-foot facility; building a new Museum will significantly expand the organization’s capacity to serve more students and visitors. A preliminary project analysis by ConsultEcon estimates that the new Museum will increase annual attendance from 175,000 (2017-2019 average) to 469,000, a 168% increase; triple tourism attendance; increase the Museum’s operating budget to $8 million, nearly tripling its pre-pandemic budget; and create 78 new jobs, contributing $2.3 million in new salaries and wages to the local economy.
Absent any competing bids during the 30-day notice period, the term sheet could be presented to the DIA for a final vote as early as January 2022.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our quest to fulfill a dynamic new vision for Downtown’s Northbank,” said Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH. “Through our collaboration with the DIA, we have developed a term sheet that aligns the best interests of the City and the community — as well as future generations who will benefit from having a world-class museum within the Sports & Entertainment District.”
The Museum announced the launch of its capital campaign in March 2019, with the goal of raising $20 million in community support from individuals, businesses and corporations, foundations and other community stakeholders. To date, the campaign has secured more than 35 percent of the estimated total project cost of $85 million.
“The enthusiastic support that we’ve received from corporate and philanthropic leaders in the city has been remarkable,” said Christian Harden, Chair of the MOSH Board of Trustees. “Securing a land lease will only add to the momentum around this vision. MOSH is grateful to the DIA for recognizing how important this project is for our community and for the care and diligence they have demonstrated throughout this process.”
For more information about the MOSH Genesis vision, or to support the campaign through a contribution, visit moshgenesis.com or email MOSHGenesis@themosh.org.
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children two and under or Museum members. Learn more at themosh.org.
Museum funding is provided in part by the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Historic Museums Grants-in-Aid Program assistance provided by the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Secretary of State.