University of South Florida

“Opportunity of a lifetime” for USF and Tampa Bay region

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik unveiled his vision for the redevelopment of Tampa’s waterfront district today – a vision that includes co-locating the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute on land he has offered to donate.

Leaders from across the Tampa Bay community, including from USF and USF Health, came together in a ballroom of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel for the announcement of the project, estimated to total $1 billion and take five to 10 years to fully build.  A contingent of USF medical students and faculty also attended the presentation.

Vinik told the overflow crowd that he envisions creating a walkable mixed use space stretching from the Tampa Convention Center to the Amalie Arena to the Florida Aquarium, a downtown waterfront district  where people can “live, work, play and stay.”  The project would encompass five main components: a medical education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) district, residences, offices, hospitality, and retail and entertainment.

If approved by the Florida Board of Governors in January, USF Health would be among the major economic development anchors for Vinik’s proposed transformation of downtown Tampa.

Read USF President Judy Genshaft’s commentary on USF’s downtown plan.


What they said:


USF President Judy Genshaft:

  • “The project not only elevates USF Health to new heights as an academic and medical research center, but it advances one of the most important missions we have: to create a healthier and more sustainable community.”
  • “This downtown location is spectacular in that it opens the doors for USF Health to recruit and retain more world-class researchers and top students, who will want to be part of this exciting downtown atmosphere.”
  • “The innovative ecosystem that will grow around health sciences will also allow start-up and spin-off companies from our inventive faculty and students to grow, and create even more opportunity for future generations.”
  • “We look forward to building support for this plan at the Florida Board of Governors, with the Florida Legislature and with Governor Scott, because we know that above all, we are a state committed to empowering individuals through opportunity and building vibrant and health communities.”


Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik:

  • “We’re doing everything we can to make the USF Health medical school and Heart Institute move downtown a reality.”


Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn:

  • “This opportunity to move the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute downtown is singularly one of the most important things that will occur in our lifetime.”
  • “We will look back on this as the day when Tampa started the journey… We are united in this effort; we’re a city moving forward.”





– Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications and Marketing
– Fly-through video courtesy of  Strategic Property Partners LLC

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