The James Museum Comes to Life with Plans for a Fall 2017 Opening

After years of sitting vacant, more details have been announced about the planned museum at 100 Central Ave, the former site of now-defunct Universal Healthcare. Last night Tom James, Executive Chairman of Raymond James Financial, revealed details about his highly anticipated legacy project: the Tom and Mary James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

After purchasing the first two floors of the SouthCore Garage in November 2015 for $13.5 million, Tom James set out to build a destination museum. Renovations of the interior have begun and newly released renders of the exterior show a dramatic transformation with sandstone finishes paying homage to the American Southwest.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the museum will occupy 80,000 square feet with about 30,000 of that being gallery space.  The remaining 50,000 square feet will feature a café, museum store, administrative offices, and a theater.

The James’ plan to spend around $55 million on construction and an endowment for the museum and in doing so they hope to create “St. Petersburg’s new arts destination.” When it opens next year the museum will join the Salvador Dali Museum, the St. Petersburg Fine Arts Museum, the Chihuly Collection, the planned Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, as well as many local galleries and studios in making St. Pete the region's preeminent cultural destination.

For updates you can visit the James Museum's website here