The Dalí Museum Expansion

about the dalí museum
The Dalí, located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is a not-for-profit museum with a mission to care for and share Salvador Dalí’s work while preserving his legacy. Inspired by Dalí, the Museum seeks to drive imagination, innovation and new perspectives through unparalleled collections, exhibitions from top worldwide collections and award-winning digital art experiences. The Museum serves as an education hub for adults and children alike, providing a cultural resource in the Tampa Bay community and world at large.

the dalí museum expansion

With the vision of creating a revolutionary space for augmented educational experiences to share with its growing global audience, The Dalí is taking steps toward a 60,000-square-foot building expansion with a targeted opening in 2026. The proposed expansion will:

  1. Extend the Museum’s footprint for immersive experiences that harmoniously blend art and technology,  
  2. Increase the education & community programming space to supplement K-12 curriculum and broaden cultural perspectives,
  3. Nurture the arts evolution and growing tourism in Pinellas County.

project funding

The $68M project will extend the Museum to the west of the existing building.

In accordance with Pinellas County’s Capital Project program, which utilizes Tourist Development Tax (bed tax) to fund up to 50% of capital projects that have projected incremental economic impact, the Museum requested half of the total cost, or $34M. The remaining $34M is to be raised through private donations, grants and sponsorships.

The community has supported the expansion project through these key steps:

  • The November 2022 referendum was approved by St. Petersburg voters with overwhelming support (80% yes votes), allowing The Dalí to build onto its existing building (defined as “Lot 6”) to the west of the Museum.
  • In May 2023, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) members unanimously supported the project.
  • In August 2023, the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners approved the TDC recommendation, granting $25M toward the project, with an opportunity for The Dalí to request the remaining 50%, or $9M, once County funds for beach renourishment have been defined.

next steps

  1. The Museum will evaluate the project’s scope, including the feasibility of raising additional funds to bridge the $9M gap.
  2. The Board of County Commissioners will determine the beach renourishment funding needs and timeline to determine if/when the Museum can request the remaining $9M to reach the full $34M ask.
  3. The City will finalize its work with amendments to the Museum’s 99-year lease.
  4. The Dalí will work with the County to outline a joint marketing plan to promote the Museum and the destination.

a word from the museum director

“The Dalí Museum and its community deeply appreciate the action of the County Commission on August 1 granting us funds for our expansion. The Tourist Development Council members who are on the front lines of the largest Pinellas County economic activity—tourism—showed they believe in The Dalí’s power to draw visitors and to enrich our community. While we wait for the timeline on the additional $9 million in funding from the County, we will evaluate the scope of the project and other necessary funding to determine the optimum assets of the expansion. We believe the grant will help preserve the vibrant cultural growth of the County and enrich our contributions to the world of art while driving tourism to the area.”

– Dr. Hank Hine, Executive Director

photo of the museum expansion

Dali Museum Building Mock-up for proposed expansion
Dalí Museum Expansion

Frequently Asked Questions

Expansion Overall

Why does The Dalí want to expand?

The Dalí has been a part of the St. Petersburg community for over 40 years since opening its doors in 1982. It has seen tremendous growth, particularly since the current building opened in 2011. The Museum attracts as many as 400,000 visitors annually from the Tampa Bay area, Florida, every state in the US and over 30 countries around the world.

Also, as a museum grounded in the creative spirit of the namesake artist, Salvador Dalí, combined with growing worldwide demand for the digital art experiences, the expansion calls for dedicated gallery space for experiences that blend art and technology. Dalí Museum visitors have reported a strong interest in seeing more immersive experiences—they help people feel more connected to art, better understand it and gain inspiration from it.

In addition to dedicated space for digital art, the expanded Museum would include more community space for K-12 student programs and adult education including the Museum’s growing Innovation Labs, a proprietary professional development program.

What will the expansion do for the community?

The Dalí has been on the cutting edge of digital and experiential art. The expansion will strengthen the Museum’s leadership position in visual arts education and experience, provide more space for students and educators and continue to be a matter of pride to the community as the leading global attraction in the region. It will also drive visitors and create jobs, furthering the Museum’s economic impact.

An independent study by Research Data Services, Inc. concluded The Dalí has generated nearly $1 billion in economic impact to the area in the last decade. The Museum’s proposed expansion would drive an incremental 70,000 visitors and nearly $180 million dollars in economic impact to St. Petersburg in the first year alone.

Where exactly will the Museum expand?

The design proposal builds to the west of the Museum, connected to the existing structure, on a 40-foot-wide strip (Lot 6). See image below. (When the project began in 2018, the idea was to build on the existing parking lot (Lot 3); it was revised in 2021 to accommodate the competing interests of other area organizations).

Dali Museum Expansion mock-up highlighting Lot 6
Diagram of Existing Museum Land Lots (1, 2, 3) and Proposed Use (Lot 6).

How much will the permanent addition cost?

When The Dalí originally conceived and designed the first expansion plans in 2018, the estimated cost was $35M (with a solar roof option of +$3M). The design has since changed, coupled with extreme escalations in the costs of construction, and now the proposed permanent addition is estimated at $68M.

Where will the funding come from?

Funding will come from of the following sources:

  • A capital grant* from the Pinellas County Commission drawn from hotel tax revenue from tourists to the area.
  • The Museum’s expansion fund.
  • Private funds donated by individuals in support of the benefits the Museum brings to the community.
  • Corporate sponsorships.

*Capital Project Grants from the Pinellas County Commission, at the recommendation of the Tourist Development Council, come from “Bed Tax,” which is collected from overnight tourist accommodations (e.g. hotels, motels, etc.), which Pinellas County reinvests into improvements in the County for capital projects for sports attractions, cultural arts organizations and other economic development projects.

Does the project require City of St. Petersburg funding?

No, the City has not committed direct funds for the Museum’s permanent expansion. However, the City is supportive of the project, leading the referendum (noted below), and will assist in transportation and related matters throughout the construction period.

Why was referendum needed?

The strip of land The Dalí is proposing to build the permanent addition upon is zoned “waterfront” (though it’s on the west side of the building, away from the water). The Museum’s 99-year renewable lease with the City of St. Petersburg needs to be amended to allow The Dalí to build on that strip of land (Lot 6). The current lease allows the Museum to build on Lot 1, Lot 2 and Lot 3, but not the strip of land between them. The referendum was placed on the Nov 2022 ballot for St. Petersburg residents and passed.

Does the project require St. Petersburg taxpayer dollars?

No, the project does NOT require St Petersburg resident tax-payer funding.

What does The Dalí’s expansion have to do with the Center for the Arts?

The Center for the Arts is a project proposed by the City of St. Petersburg, which would transform additional parts of the area around The Dalí and The Mahaffey Theater. The City has presented conceptual renderings, making the entrances to the Museum and Theater more inviting while revising parking. The City is in the process of conducting further studies and assessments for the project. The Dalí’s expansion is a first step toward the larger Center for the Arts concept, which aims to benefit visitors and locals for years to come.

Proposed Expansion mock-up for Center for the Arts
The City’s proposed concept for the Center for the Arts (City of St. Petersburg; Ark3 Architects).

How will The Dalí’s expansion impact other area organizations, such as The Mahaffey Theater?

The Dalí’s expansion plan will have no foreseeable negative impact on nearby organizations. In fact, the current project plans are designed to accommodate the needs of those around us, including The Mahaffey Theater. Additionally, the Theater remained open when The Dalí built its current structure, with no interruptions to The Mahaffey’s operations. The only impact to the Mahaffey would be moving (not removing) one of the many parking garage entrances to a new location. Now that the referendum has passed, we will continue to work with the City of St. Petersburg and our neighbors throughout the lease amendment process and in subsequent expansion planning.



Looking for additional information?

Learn more about The Dalí’s capital campaign or make a donation:

Press inquiries:

Building (construction, architecture, etc.) inquiries:

General inquiries: