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USF’s redevelopment of The Claw is still in early stages

After announcing its closure close to a year ago, an update on the early stages of redevelopment of USF’s golf course was presented. ORACLE PHOTO/ JUSTIN SEECHARAN

A decision on how USF’s former golf course, The Claw, will be redeveloped is still months away, but university officials said the project will be “transformative” during a Tuesday Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting.

Carole Post, Vice President for Facilities and Public Safety Operations, presented an update on the early stages of redevelopment of the course during the meeting.

“Now, nothing here is set in stone and we will not know exactly what might be planned for the site until later in the fall,” Post said.

Related: The Claw at USF Golf Course to shut down this fall – The Oracle

The 130-acre Claw site, which cannot be sold and does not include the forest preserve located behind the course, will be transformed into a “vibrant mixed-use district,” according to the meeting agenda.

Post said the site will combine several elements to benefit the USF community, including housing, hospitality, recreation, research, academic, retail, dining and office spaces

“Through our listening sessions and from years prior, we’ve heard from students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors that USF is missing a place within walking distance of campus to live more and play, especially on nights and weekends,” Post said. “Our hope is that this project can fill that void.”

Post said the redevelopment should be “pedestrian-friendly, highly accessible and [enhance] the surrounding community.”

Related: USF alumni share memories of The Claw following its closure

The redevelopment project is still in the first part of the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) phase, according to the invitation. This includes collecting the resumes of master developers who have ideas for the site located across Fletcher Avenue, Post said.

USF began collecting resumes at the beginning of May with a deadline of the end of July. After collecting these resumes, Post said they will select a “small group of pre-qualified potential partners” and have them submit development proposals by the end of the year.

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However, the university has to receive a “land use change” approval from Hillsborough County before initiating this second part of the ITN.

“The reason we wanted to be here today was to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to be part of the process as it is unfolding and to ensure a high degree of visibility and transparency,” Post said during the BOT meeting.

Related: USF takes student input on possible projects for The Claw – The Oracle

USF has also created a joint team of “external professionals” to help guide the project.

The team includes real estate consultants and project advisor companies that have national and local experience working with similar public-private partnership projects.

These companies include Brailsford & Dunlavey, a project management and planning firm from Washington, D.C., and Cushman & Wakefield, a Chicago-based commercial real estate firm.

Post’s update came alongside information about seven campus construction projects included in the 2025-2030 capital improvement plan, which will be submitted to the Board of Governors on July 1.

These projects include several remodels and additional buildings for each of USF’s three campuses.

She said the collection of campus projects, including the golf course redevelopment, aligns with the rise of infrastructure and development in Tampa.

“We think USF has a similar opportunity with this site and the ability to help reimagine the entire university area,” she said.

Lily Belcher, News Editor

Lily Belcher is the news editor for The Oracle. She's a mass communications and professional and technical communications double major. She started at The Oracle in summer 2023 as a correspondent and worked her way up to news editor. She has been freelancing for local newspapers for four years and hopes to write for a major newspaper following her graduation. Reach her at