USF will be an anchor in 'Water Street' project

One of the most visible parts of the new "Water Street" project in Downtown Tampa will be University of South Florida's Morsani College of Medicine.

In order to be close to their teaching hospital, Tampa General Hospital and USF jumped on the opportunity to be the anchor tenant.

"Cardiac and heart disease are the number one killer in America so for us to be right next to our major teaching hospital trying to find new discoveries and best practices with cardiovascular disease along with our med school aligning with everyone... it's pretty significant." U-S-F President Judy Genshaft told Fox13 News.

Morsani College of Medicine's move to downtown Tampa was announced in 2014. The hopes are to increase the level of talent applying to the medical school. In the last two years, applications skyrocketed from about 4,000 to more than 6,000 for their limited number of spots.    

"MCAT scores, that's a medical test that you have to take before you get into any medical school in the country. We have the highest in the state of Florida -- public or private -- so we're on fire. It's exciting," Genshaft said.
This state-of-the-art building will be 400 thousand square-feet, 13 stories high and is expected to cost at least $153 million. There will also be room at the ground levels for shops and restaurants, focusing on health, and will be completed in 2019.

As the medical school is coming to fruition, so are the dreams of a university president who wants her Bulls to grow and ultimately make life better for the Bay Area, the nation and the world.
"The whole area will become alive and it will be very vibrant and enthusiastic," Genshaft said. "I think the whole move downtown will be very exciting. Nursing is expanding, public health is expanding. It's all positive."