A rendering of Mote's planned Science Education Aquarium

The Sarasota County Commission voted Tuesday to approve a deal that will allow Mote Marine Laboratory to move forward with plans to build its new Science Education Aquarium on 11.5 acres of county-owned property at Nathan Benderson Park. Mote must pay for a series of due diligence steps before entering into a two-year lease with the county that will cost Mote just $100 per year. Once all land-use approvals are complete and Mote has raised the necessary money, construction will begin. The deal approved by the county also outlines steps for the eventual transfer of the property to Mote.

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