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Old 11-01-2003, 12:51 PM   #1
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Anybody else hear about this!! New GA aquarium!!

Bernie Marcus' Georgia Aquarium to be among world's largest
Walter Woods
Staff writer

The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) co-founder Bernie Marcus, through his philanthropic entity The Marcus Foundation, will spend up to $200 million to build one of the largest aquariums in the world at the Atlantic Station development in Midtown.

Set to open by 2005, The Georgia Aquarium will have a 5 million gallon tank of unique and exotic aquatic animals in a 250,000 square foot facility that Marcus expects will attract 1.5 million to 2.5 million people every year.

The attraction will be built on 15.5 acres next to the Atlantic Station development and it will have visibility from Intestates 75 and 85, Marcus said.

The Georgia Aquarium will be the bigger in size than the largest indoor aquarium in the world, the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, which has a 3 million gallon tank. There will be other, larger parks around the world, but those will include actual coastline, Marcus said.

In a ceremony at the state capitol Nov. 19, Marcus handed Gov. Roy Barnes a blue bowl as a symbolic gift for the aquarium. "Because we don't have any plans to show you yet, we're presenting you with this bowl as a loan, and in 2005, when we present you with a new aquarium, you can give us the bowl back," Marcus said.

Unlike most aquariums which are funded by municipal bonds and saddled with enormous debt, Marcus will deliver The Georgia Aquarium on opening day as a completely debt-free enterprise positioned to support itself through positive cash flow, he said.

The facility could be explosive news for the city's tourism industry, for the Atlantic Station development and for Zoo Atlanta, officials said after the ceremony.

"I believe this could be the No. 1 attraction for the state," said Barnes. "It will be a tremendous draw for the city's convention business."

Stone Mountain Park is currently the No. 2 state attraction, with more than 4 million visitors in 2000. CNN Center is the No. 1 attraction, with more than 20 million visitors each year.

Silver Dollar City, which operates the park for the state, had tentative plans in August to build a much smaller, $42 million, 140,000 square foot aquarium at the foot of Stone Mountain.

Just saw this. Perhaps I am a late comer to this info but how exciting is this!! Anyone heard anything recent on this?
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Old 11-01-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
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I had heard rumors and whispers, but that is the first concrete news I've had about it. Sounds great...even a country hick like me would fight the Atlanta traffic to see that.
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:16 PM   #3
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Yep I heard about this a while ago. I belive if Im not mistaken the former director of the wikiki aquarium in HI was brought in on this project as a consultant.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:02 AM   #4
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This is actually outdated. This project has been moved. Due to some issue the Atlantic Station project is having, namely, they refuse to properly clean up some chemical from the former steel mill that was on the location, the aquarium is going into the World of Coca-Cola building, which will be moving to the Centienial Park (Spelling, I know).

My mother-in-law is a lawyer and has been involved somewhat in this, related to some workers who got sick while trying to clean chemicals up.
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:35 AM   #5
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ferret thank you for the update! I was so excited about it I posted before checking when the articale had been written! Do you know if the opening date is gonna be around the same time and I hope they havent downsized it that would be so sad. Still in GA though yeahhhh cant wait!!
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Old 11-04-2003, 09:58 AM   #6
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I can try to find an update, but I'm not sure. I believe the article was in the AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution for you guys a little further out :P) so I'll search their archives.
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:52 AM   #7
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Pestered the wife.

The Aquarium is being built as originally planned, but in the Centenial Park. Coca Cola is helping to sponsor it. ANNNND. Its already under construction. I'd expect to see it within the next year.

There's a sea turtle down at Jekyll Island that's going to be moved here when its ready. He's about 3 years old and named Bob. ;p Big guy. Saw him this summer.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:29 PM   #8
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Been watching this somewhat since I drive by every morning. They have the main floor built and look like they're starting on a 2nd/3rd.. They have like 6 cranes around the place Its gonna be huge.
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:11 AM   #9
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I can't wait. We're (The Atlanta Club) trying to get the ACA to hold the convention here again in 2006. We hope the new aquarium will give us some leverage.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:08 PM   #10
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2006 is gone to Florida.
We are going to try 2007.

Sorry Dave,
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