TAMPA — The skyline on Davis Islands is set for a remake.
Tampa City Council members on Thursday approved a rezoning request from Tampa General Hospital to begin construction of 13-story pavilion, which will become the tallest structure on the islands, according to hospital officials.
The $510 million project is the centerpiece of the hospital’s master plan to meet the region’s growing demand for health care. The 565,000 square-foot structure will be constructed located adjacent to the hospital’s main building, adding 144 beds, 32 operating rooms and a new intensive care unit.
It will provide state-of-the art environment for neuroscience and transplant surgeries in keeping with the hospital’s goal of providing world-class care that attracts patients from across the region and the country, said CEO John Couris.
The TGH Transplant Institute performed 682 transplants in 2022, a 20% increase from the previous year and ranking the hospital sixth in the nation by volume. It is on pace for more than 700 transplants this year.
But its main campus where the complex surgical procedures take place is almost 100 years old, said Couris, who described its operating rooms as “awkward.”
The TGH Surgical, Neuroscience & Transplant Pavilion will provide the hospital’s physicians, specialists and nurses a high-tech environment specifically designed for modern surgeries.
“You don’t just want great physician scientists and nurses and techs and allied health professionals, you want to be in the state of the art facilities with state of the art technology,” Couris said. “What these 32 operating rooms represent is a complete modernization of the entire operating environment.”
The hospital’s Neuroscience Institute, another of Tampa General’s specialties, will also be housed in the new building. In addition to the institute, the hospital also partners with the University of South Florida, which runs the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute.
“We have one of the largest and most comprehensive neurosciences platforms in the country,” Couris said. “If you’re a consumer, you get the latest technology, the latest innovations, the best research.”
With space allocated for medical education and training, the project is also another addition to the burgeoning Tampa Medical and Research District, a hub of clinical care, academics, research, and biotechnology facilities anchored by Tampa General and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
The hub includes Tampa General’s rehabilitation hospital on Kennedy Boulevard and USF Health Downtown in Water Street, which houses the Morsani College of Medicine, Taneja College of Pharmacy and Heart Institute. Couris said the research district can match other medical and innovation hubs like the Longwood Medical Center in Boston or the Illinois Medical District in Chicago and become part of Tampa’s identity.
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The pavilion will be funded through construction loans, hospital funds and philanthropic donations, Couris said.
Its height will make it a prominent waterfront feature, visible from both the Tampa Convention Center and parts of Bayshore Boulevard. Couris said the hospital wanted a design worthy of the city’s already changing skyline. The design will include special outside lighting and a cantilever feature, he said.
“We felt it was important to architecturally enhance the city skylines,” Couris said.