Skanska Develops Medical School in $3B Tampa Bay Project

The Sweden-based company signed a contract with the University of South Florida to build the Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute tower.
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute Tower
USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute

Construction is underway on the first building at the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project. Skanska is developing the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute tower at Channelside Drive and Meridian Avenue in downtown Tampa Bay, Fla.

Skanska said it has signed a contract with the USF Board of Trustees to build the new medical school campus for $63 million. The global construction and development firm said it would be included in its U.S. order bookings for the first quarter of this year.

USF estimates the total cost of the project to be about $153 million. Site work began last August on the 380,000-square-foot building designed by HOK. It is expected to be completed in late 2019. Up to 1,800 students, faculty, researchers and staff will be relocated to the medical school and research facility. The site will be close to Tampa General Hospital, USF Health’s primary teaching and clinical affiliate, as well as the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.

USF said the announcement of the new downtown site in 2014 has already resulted in a 40 percent increase in medical school applicants.

The medical school and heart institute will be one of the anchors of Water Street Tampa, the 9-million-square-foot mixed-use project unveiled in June 2017 by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Cascade Investment LLC, controlled by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Jeff Vinik, who owns the Tampa Bay Lightning. Water Street Tampa, a live-work-play community, will have two hotels, 3,500 residential units, 1 million square feet of cultural and retail space and 2.6 million square feet of office space. In all, about 18 new buildings will be developed on the 53-acre waterfront site. More than 4 million square feet of new development across 10 blocks is slated for completion by 2020. Subsequent phases are expected to be completed by 2027.

Hotels planned

In January, the developers announced a new 519-room downtown Tampa Marriott hotel would be built in Water Street Tampa neighborhood. The group also plans to renovate the adjacent Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. Combined, the two properties will offer the most hotels rooms and meeting space in the Tampa Bay area, with 1,246 rooms and nearly 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The new hotel is being designed by Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, with interiors by Champalimaud Design. Construction is expected to begin soon.

SPP is pursuing both WELL and LEED building certifications, aiming to become the world’s first WELL-certified community under the WELL Community Standard. Helping in that goal will be a new central cooling facility that will provide district-wide cooling and free up rooftops for landscaped terraces with view of the city and Hillsborough Bay.

Rendering courtesy of Skanska