By Patty Kim - April 26, 2021
Moffitt Cancer Center CEO Dr. Patrick Hwu isn’t wasting any time with plans to expand to Pasco County. The goal is to become the global destination to live, work and cure cancer. With 45,000 Floridians expected to die from cancer this year, Moffitt needs more space to deliver world-class care and accelerate lifesaving discoveries.
Hwu and Moffitt executives joined Metro Development Group and Lennar to visit the site at the future intersection of Suncoast Parkway and the Ridge Road Extension in Land O’ Lakes. It was an opportunity to discuss ideas and ways to optimize this new community of the future.
"Touring the Pasco campus for the first time only solidified how incredible this endeavor will be."- Dr. Patrick Hwu, President and CEO
“Touring the Pasco campus for the first time only solidified how incredible this endeavor will be. A first-of-its-kind campus with patient care, research, biotech, wellness, digital innovation and ultimately cures,” said Hwu.
Moffitt will be the first cancer center to create a massive research and corporate innovation district — a life sciences destination for the world — on 775 acres in Pasco. Hwu has already been meeting with biotech companies and other potential partners interested in the venture.
The Pasco campus will significantly expand Moffitt’s footprint to include over 16 million square feet of research labs, light industrial and manufacturing, general office and clinical space. The multiyear, multiphase project will create an estimated 14,500 jobs.
At the site visit, Metro shared initial ideas for Angeline, the surrounding 6,000-acre mixed-use master-planned community and amenities to complement Moffitt’s expansion campus. Leaders discussed potential synergies such as researchers working with students at a STEM magnet school. A focus on building a wellness community with fitness trails and recreation areas would benefit those who live and work on campus, as well as cancer patients and survivors. All would be built with a digital infrastructure to provide high-speed connectivity indoors and outdoors.
In January, Pasco County commissioners approved a $25 million incentive agreement to support construction of the infrastructure for road connections.
The expansion can’t come soon enough. The data shows that cancer patients who seek care at Moffitt have better outcomes. Moffitt serves more than 68,000 patients a year — a number expected to surpass 100,000 patients by 2026. Patients travel to Moffitt from all 50 states and more than 130 countries. However, Moffitt’s hospital is near or at full capacity every day and operating rooms need updating. The space crunch is threatening recruitment with no areas for scientists to work.
“Unfortunately everyone is impacted by cancer in some way, and Moffitt will continue to be on the leading edge of prevention, treatment and research approaches,” Hwu said. “Our Pasco campus will be critical to meeting the demand of patients who need us most.”
PASCO CAMPUS: BY THE NUMBERS
• 775 acres at intersection of Suncoast Parkway and Ridge Road Extension
• 14,500 jobs
• 16 million square feet of space for research labs, light industrial and manufacturing, general offices and clinics
• $25 million incentive agreement to support infrastructure