The Museum of Science & History announced Nov. 16 that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is donating $5 million to its capital campaign to relocate the museum to Shipyards property on the Downtown Northbank.
“The best downtown districts in the United States include urban parkland and cultural destinations, and we can have that here in Jacksonville with the Museum of Science and History anchoring a new riverfront park,” Khan said in a news release.
“I’m hoping my contribution to the capital campaign will spark additional commitment from throughout the region so we can get started on a new downtown. I am confident it will, because I know I’m not the only person in Jax who believes it’s time to finally meet and even exceed our potential.”
The museum said in the release the donation to the MOSH Genesis capital campaign is its largest private donation yet.
It said Oct. 15 it is planning to relocate to the Shipyards, replacing its effort to renovate its facility at 1025 Museum Circle on the Southbank, where it has operated since 1967.
The Shipyards area is between the unfinished Berkman Plaza II building and Metropolitan Park.
The site of the new MOSH has not been announced.
On Nov. 12, the Jaguars announced plans to develop the area south of Lot J west of TIAA Bank Field on what is now Metropolitan Park with a Four Seasons hotel. Maps of the riverfront area released by the Jaguars show potential space south of the First Coast News TV station and east of the Berkman. Khan also is proposing developing Lot J with apartments, retail, a hotel and entertainment venues.
Khan expressed his support for the museum’s plans to relocate to the Shipyards property on the Northbank after it was announced. He said then it “would be a spectacular addition to Downtown Jacksonville.”
The museum launched its MOSH 2.0 capital campaign in March 2019 with a goal of raising $20 million in community support.
The campaign was renamed MOSH Genesis to “reflect a new beginning for the Museum as it casts a bolder vision for the institution.” Donations to the capital campaign will be used to construct the museum.
Preconstruction activity could begin in 2021, pending completion of initial due diligence work approved in the 2020-21 city Capital Improvement Plan.
“MOSH would like to express our sincere thanks to Shahid Khan and his family for committing to this remarkable investment in MOSH Genesis. This gift will not only propel the project forward, but serve as a wonderful example to others,” Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH, said in the news release.
“We appreciate the leadership role that Mr. Khan is taking to make Jacksonville a better place to live, work, and play.”