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Detroit Zoo CEO talks about building an aquarium in downtown Detroit

Posted at 5:41 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 17:41:19-04

Marine life on the waterfront! An aquarium in Detroit is inching closer to being a reality It would be the biggest aquarium in Michigan.

“Definitely should be some sizzle on the water,” said Detroit Zoo CEO Ron Kagan.

Zoo officials have had plans on the back burner for several years, but now are floating the idea again.

There are several questions still unanswered.

“How to pay for it? Where exactly it should go? What the design might look like? Things like that.”

Officials want to put it along the city’s waterfront. One of the potential sites is the former Ford Auditorium near Hart Plaza.

Many other cities have aquariums on their waterfront like the National Aquarium in Baltimore or the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

“To take advantage of being on the water, among other things, we would want to partially power the aquarium using hydropower,” he explained.

The aquarium would likely be 200,000 square feet with hopes of attracting one million visitors. The price tag could be $150 million dollars.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta cost $250 million to build, with funds coming from one philanthropist.

“I’m not sure we have an angel like that in our community but we might, we are not counting on that.”

Instead, they are counting on donations, foundations, corporate investments, sponsorships, and some public funding.

It’s still early in the plans, but they are hoping to build one in the next three to five years.

Kagan added, “We are just in the process of doing our homework.”