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Jacksonville’s ‘MOSH’ asking for more time to raise money to move museum to new location

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A downtown development project fell short of its fundraising goals, this week.

Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is MOSH CEO Dr. Alistair Dove went before the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) board on Wednesday, asking the board to give him more time to raise millions of dollars to move the museum to its’ new location, the shipyard district.

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“We are requesting that, first, impose which is currently scheduled to February 28 be adjusted to March the 31 to allow for continued negotiations with the corporate donor that will get us to that goal,” Dr. Dove said to the board.

Action News Jax told you when city council approved the project in April of last year. It would take up 6.8 acres along the river off Bay street.

There’s requirements that come with the deal. MOSH is responsible for securing the money needed for construction of the museum and any associated improvements, according to the DIA agenda packet. The minimum total is $40,000,000 with total projected capital investment of $85,000,000.

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There are also deadlines that must be met. By February 28, MOSH needed to secure $30 million. By April 30, it needs to secure $35 million, and by June 30 it needs to secure that minimum total of $40 million.

“The DIA’s decision to approve the fundraising deadline extension allows MOSH time to finalize a major gift agreement we are currently working on. We do not anticipate the project taking any longer because of this; in fact, all other deadlines remain intact as agreed upon. We are on track to meet the current fundraising deadline.” -- Dr. Dove, MOSH’s CEO said in a statement.

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A spokesperson tells us, MOSH was nearing the $20 million threshold as of summer 2023. The spokesperson said, “we aren’t able to comment directly on prospective donors and amounts at this time.”

Dr. Dove got approval to push back the first deadline from February 28 to March 31, on Wednesday. The DIA can give extensions of up to six months as long as its approved by the executive director, Lori Boyer.

The goal is to start construction December 21 of 2025. If MOSH doesn’t secure the funding by its June deadline, the plan will be terminated, according to DIA documents.

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