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USF’s downtown Tampa medical school takes a $2 million haircut in final budget offer

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The final budget offered by the Florida Legislature provides the University of South Florida with $12 million for its new downtown Tampa medical education and research center which is expected to begin construction this fall.

That’s less than the $14 million that was listed on Monday, and $5 million less than USF officials had requested from the Legislature.

“We would be very pleased to receive $12 million for the USF downtown project in this year’s state budget,” said USF spokesman Adam Freeman. “It will keep the project on schedule and we thank our state leaders for their continued support.”

The USF Health Building is considered a key anchor in the $3-billion real estate development by Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture between Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment, LLC. The group is developing 53 acres in downtown Tampa into a multi-use, urban waterfront district.

The building is expected to cost $152.6-million. To date, the Legislature has provided nearly $79 million to its construction.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron separately told their members Wednesday morning that they had reached a deal on a new $83 billion state budget, meaning the budget numbers are unlikely to change before its voted on next Monday.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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