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County and Mote agree on terms for proposed aquarium site

Post Date:10/24/2018 1:36 PM

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Commissioners approved a term sheet with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium on Wednesday that outlines details to locate a new aquarium at Sarasota County's Nathan Benderson Park. 

According to the term sheet, Sarasota County and Mote will enter into a subsequent agreement that outlines the process and agreements associated with the transaction of 11.45 acres of land requested to build the Mote Marine Science Education Aquarium. Within 90 days of the short-term lease's commencement, Mote will be required to apply for all land-use approvals needed to eventually own and develop the property. Following the outcome of the land-use approvals, Sarasota County will either convey the land to Mote or enter into a long-term lease with Mote, who will operate the property at their own expense. 

The county commissioners approved separating Mote's request for land from their request for financial support, and asked county staff to bring back a resolution supporting the proposed aquarium. The county commissioners approved the resolution supporting the proposed aquarium project and requested a term sheet to be developed and brought back for their consideration. 

According to Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis, county staff worked diligently with Mote representatives to bring this term sheet before commissioners for their consideration. 

"Today's decision by the board is progress for the partnership between Mote and Sarasota County," Lewis said, adding, "This has the potential to be a legacy project, one that becomes yet another world class destination for our community and visitors."

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.