Sarasota County, Mote Agree on Terms for New Aquarium Land



The Sarasota County Commission has unanimously approved a significant step forward in establishing a new Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA) on approximately 12 acres in the Nathan Benderson Park. Commissioners approved a term sheet developed by Mote and Sarasota County staff, which provides a path to formalize a full lease and conveyance agreement no later than the January 30, 2019, Sarasota County Commission meeting. Terms include due-diligence steps that Mote will take, such as providing a legal description of the property, ensuring cooperation with the other organizations using the park and surveying the land and undertaking environmental testing, before Mote may begin a two-year lease for preconstruction efforts such as land-use approvals and permits. Once all land-use approvals are complete and Mote has raised necessary funding, construction of Mote SEA will commence. The term sheet also outlines steps for eventual conveyance of the property to Mote by a deed. A separate meeting of the Sarasota County Commission, at a date to be determined, will address Mote’s request for a $20-million county investment of Tourist Development Tax funds for creation of Mote SEA.
Mote SEA will be a 110,000-square-foot facility containing more than 1 million gallons of exhibits featuring marine life and scientific displays from around the world, onsite diving programs, a STEM resource center, educational galleries, three K-12 STEM teaching labs, two STEM workforce training labs and more.

Mote SEA

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