Mosh Genesis Gains Land and Funds for New Northbank Facility

Mosh Genesis Gains Land and Funds for New Northbank Facility
A rendering of the future MOSH Genesis facility on the Northbank. At an April meeting, the city council approved a 40-year ground lease agreement between the City of Jacksonville and MOSH for the land upon which the new facility will be built. Rendering courtesy of MOSH.

Last month saw plans progress for the new Museum of Science and History (MOSH) Genesis along Jacksonville’s Northbank.

At an April 11 city council meeting, the council voted 15-to-1 to approve Ordinance 2023-0184, which outlines, among other agreements, a 40-year ground lease agreement between the City of Jacksonville, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) and MOSH to lease approximately 2.5 acres of city-owned land to the museum for its new facility at $1 per year.

Council Member LeAnna Cumber was the only vote against the legislation. At the city council meeting, she expressed her opposition of using public funds for the new museum.

“We’ve got to stop expecting the taxpayers to pay for everything,” she said.

Ordinance 2023-0184 also details plans to build a city-owned park covering just over four acres, “…of which 1.5 acres will be a joint-use park located adjacent to the ground lease parcel to be maintained by MOSH.” According to the bill summary, MOSH must meet a Dec. 31, 2023 deadline to raise a required $40 million of “non-City funds” in order to maintain the agreement or risk termination. It also sets a construction deadline of Dec. 31, 2027 for the new Northbank site, at which point the current Southbank property will be returned to the city, once vacated.

An April press release from MOSH announcing the ground lease agreement stated the project is expected to take 18 months to complete once ground is broken.

“Museums are the mark of a sophisticated community,” said MOSH Board of Trustees Chair Christian Harden in the release. “We are so thankful for the unwavering support from our public officials and outpouring of support from our community. Hundreds of Northeast Florida residents sent letters of support to the City Council to elevate our vision for MOSH’s future — reinforcing the widespread interest in bringing this incredible project to reality.”

Helping the MOSH Genesis Capital Campaign reach that $40 million threshold is a recent $1 million donation by the Neviaser Foundation.

The new location will feature 100,000 square feet across three floors.

“The Neviaser Foundation is extremely excited to join many others in the MOSH Genesis campaign to make the Museum a beacon on the Northbank and a continuing fixture of our community,” said Nancy Neviaser Baker in another April press release, this one detailing the donation. “My family and our foundation are proud to continue our history of supporting children and families in Northeast Florida, and we think this opportunity to get behind MOSH Genesis is fantastic. We encourage everyone in Northeast Florida to join us to support this effort.”

Originally known as Jacksonville Children’s Museum, the museum was first based in Riverside before moving to its current Southbank location in 1969. In the interim years, the facility has expanded from its initial 33,000 square feet. The MOSH Genesis capital campaign — initially called MOSH 2.0 — was announced in March 2019.

“The Neviaser family’s experiences at MOSH symbolize what makes a museum like ours so important to the community, and we are honored to have their support as we plan for the future,” said MOSH CEO Bruce Fafard in the press release. “This generous donation will help us bring more complex, modern exhibits to Northeast Florida. It’s an honor to welcome the Neviaser Foundation as our naming rights partner for one of our exhibition spaces planned for the new Museum.”

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)