TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County commissioners approved a request Wednesday for a proposal to develop the land surrounding MOSI.

“This is such a tremendous opportunity for the county to see something really big happen on this site,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen.

Several motions were on the table for Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday morning. Three in particular determined what’s in store for MOSI.

Now, the nonprofit is set to receive $1.5 million to go toward its next gen digital dome theater and planetarium.

“We’ll be able to do full digital dome movies, just like you experienced back when it was IMAX branded,” MOSI CEO John Graydon Smith said. “It’ll also be a laser theater and the largest digital dome planetarium in the state of Florida.”

He describes MOSI as an informal but educational experience that allows students from Hernando County all the way down to Sarasota, come and learn while having fun.

“We can blow things up and we can make a big mess with slime,” he said. “We can show you planetarium shows and all these things, so when they go back to the classroom and it’s just the boring old book, the teacher can say, remember when we did that at MOSI?”

It’s an experience surrounded by 67 acres of land owned by the county.

Now, commissioners are one step closer to redeveloping that land into a mixed-use site like Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf.

“We literally could get back anything for this and I think it’s going to create a really interesting dynamic for all of us when we actually see who responds to this and what different types of things they propose,” Cohen said.

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