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Mote Marine to build a new aquarium on mainland Sarasota

The Jumping Mullet Report Friday, February 9, 2018

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium announced on Thursday February 8th, that they will build a new Aquarium on mainland Sarasota County.  This new facility wants to offer the public a bigger aquarium, marine science education and informal science education. The new construction will allow Mote’s headquarters in City Island to have more space for research and scientific marine growth.

The planned 110,000-square-foot center will be built between Nathan Benderson rowing facility Finish Tower and the University Town Center mall, where Mote will ask Sarasota County for 5-7 acres of land to grow their ship-shaped facility.

“We’re bursting at the seams here”, expressed Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Marine, regarding the lack of space they currently have.

Crosby ensured that this development will not interfere with Nathan Benderson Park plans to finish the construction they started for the World Rowing Championship that took place in 2017.  “If anything, I think it will be synergistic”, he said.

The modern development is expected to serve as a connection between Sarasota and Manatee school county districts to allow for more complete STEM education, as well as a center for tourists and locals to become engaged with marine life and scientific growth.

The initial investment for this project consists in $130 million, of which 20% is already supported anonymously.  During construction phase, the return is expect to be of $280 million. Once it’s finished, the aquarium and educational center will create a $28 million yearly revenue.  Depending on how quickly the $130 million are raised, construction will begin by the end of 2019 with a ribbon cutting on 2021.


Picture credit: Mote Marine