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New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:23 pm
by FishyFred
Thought some other members might be interested in this. Apparently, there are now plans to build a new Cleveland Aquarium in the Powerhouse in the flats.

I'm skeptical about how that will work, using an existing building. They say they are shooting for 55,000 square feet, about 1/10 the space of the Georgia Aquarium.

They plan to call it the "Nautica Aquarium" ... 8&catid=45

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:57 pm
CLEVELAND -- Channel 3 News' Tom Beres has learned that Powerhouse developer Jeff Jacobs has teamed up with New Zealand-based Marinescape to build an aquarium in the Powerhouse in the Nautica complex on the West Bank of The Flats.

Jacobs Investments Management Co., Inc., and Marinescape NZ Limited have reached an agreement to bring a 55,000 sq. ft. aquarium development to the Powerhouse.

The Nautica Aquarium will be integrated into the Powerhouse to create an exciting underwater environment with special emphasis on the building's unique architectural elements.

The Nautica Aquarium will be its first walk-through aquarium development in the United States and will feature SeaTubeTM, its horizontal, curved underwater tunnel offering panoramic views of marine life from under the sea.

In addition to the main tropical walk-through tank, the Nautica Aquarium will feature special exhibits on the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, the Cuyahoga River, a fresh-water Asian exhibit and a Discover/Education exhibit.

The Nautica Aquarium will have classrooms with a full-time teaching staff, offering lessons developed in conjunction with local boards of education.

The staff is expected to collaborate with local schools and universities on research projects and develop local community-based ecological and educational outreach programs.

Jacobs Investments and Marinescape are in the process of completing the due diligence and financing for the aquarium.

It is expected to attract 400,000 to 500,000 visitors annually to Cleveland, make an $9.6 million to $27.2 million local economic impact and create 40 full-time jobs with a payroll of $1.6 million, Jacobs said today.

It should open in the summer of 2010.

The Nautica Aquarium is designed to complement other attractions in Cleveland and the Flats. Nautica includes Shooter's on the Water, Rockbottom Brewery & Restaurant, IMPROV Comedy Club, Windows on the River Banquet Room, the Nautica Queen Dinner Cruise Ship and the Nautica Charity Poker Festivals.

The Nautica Pavilion, a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, is expected to host aquarium related events.

While all existing tenants in the Powerhouse are expected to remain open, certain ones will be relocated within Nautica to make way for the aquarium.

Expansion alternatives for the aquarium beyond 55,000 square feet are also being evaluated.

In the past 25 years, Marinescape has built 21 major projects in cities like Hong Kong, Beijing, St. Petersburg, Singapore and several cities in Australia, including Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane.

It is currently working on an ecoaquarium in Istanbul.

The original Cleveland Aquarium was located on the bluff in Gordon Park, off East 55th Street, and opened on Sept. 6, 1954. It was expanded in 1967 and again in the 1970s.

It was closed in 1985 and its remaining "assets" were moved to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 1986.

In the early 1990s, the plan for the North Coast Harbor on Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland originally included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center and the Great Waters Aquarium, according to city records.

The Rock Hall opened in September, 1995 and the GLSC opened in July, 1996. Between the two openings, the aquarium developer was told that there was no funding available for the Great Waters aquarium project and it was never built.

© 2009 WKYC-TV

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:06 pm
I'm not sure about this one? This is very small & will not draw the numbers as others New Port, Tennessee etc.. which are middle size compared to Shed, Atlanta etc... I could go on but there's a lot more then I could put here.

Now for the Zoo guys/Cleveland aquarium somewhere on the Lake Front for 50million is a better location idea. BUT If they still plan on using old aquarium crap from seaworld etc. then that would be half assing it & could cost more $$$ to put back together or fix down the road. Gotta have up to date equipment etc. . The Burke lake airport needs to go bye bye & go from there!
As in above there is not of time right now or room for me to write what I know or think about an aquarium back in Cleveland which I think is a good idea but bad plotics & egos will not help.


Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:28 pm
by steveh28
I found this letter in another local forum. It is from Nick Zarlinga addressing questions some had in the Cleveland Saltwater group, C-SEA. I hope they don't mind that I post it here, as it has an impact on all local aquaria activities.

From: Nick Zarlinga

I’d like to clear a few things up since there has been tremendous support of our project to bring an aquarium back to Cleveland. As most everyone in the area has heard, there was an announcement made by the Jacob’s Investment Group, that an aquarium is proposed in their powerhouse building on the west bank of the flats. First and foremost is that this proposed Jacob’s aquarium is in no way, shape, or form affiliated with the Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. The most striking difference between these two projects is that the proposed Jacob’s aquarium project is a private, for-profit aquarium and The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is a public, non-profit aquarium dedicated solely as a cultural resource for the city of Cleveland.

We initially approached the Jacob’s Investment Group, among other local development groups, with the possibility of hosting the new Cleveland Aquarium and there were some continuing discussions. Recently, however, they developed their own proposal. There were some discussions on collaborations between the two parties, however upon further examination of their proposal, we believe that it is too limited in size and scope to be successful and we feel that the location is less than ideal. I hope to summarize the benefits of our project as well as detail more of the differences which I hope you will agree makes The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. a much better project for the City of Cleveland and its residents.

Let me start by saying that new Cleveland Aquarium project has a very rich history here in Cleveland. Some of our supporters and trustees were employees of the fondly remembered original Cleveland Aquarium, which was located in Gordon Park and closed in 1985. Furthermore, many of the trustees are currently employed at its current “temporary” location at The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Combined with the long history of the original Cleveland Aquarium, the legacy of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is taking into account the future generations of Cleveland families. For more information on the history of The Cleveland Aquarium and its significant contributions to other public aquariums and the aquarium hobby worldwide, I encourage you to visit our website at

The trustees of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc, have been working to bring a public aquarium back to Cleveland for a number of years. This project has literally thousands of hours from volunteers from the community in acquiring equipment and supplies from both defunct and remodeled aquarium projects including the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Columbus Zoo, the Fortworth Aquarium in Texas and most notably a large selection of tanks and equipment acquired from the former SeaWorld of Ohio. All of this valuable equipment is currently being stored in warehouses in Cleveland and its surrounding areas awaiting our soon coming announcement of this grand project.

The trustees of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. are dedicated in making this project an iconic cultural institution for Cleveland, not a roadside attraction, which is intended to work in synergy with other local institutions such as the Rock Hall, The Natural History Museum, The Botanical Gardens, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Cleveland Art Museum, The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, etc in continuing the educational and intellectual groupings of museums and attractions that Cleveland is well known for. The non-profit Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will include much more than fish tanks, it is intended to be a leader in all areas aquatic including research, conservation, education, and contribute significantly to aquatic veterinary advancements and aquatic animal husbandry issues. Furthermore, it is intended to work closely with the large aquarium hobbyist community that is prevalent in Northern Ohio.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. believes that a non-profit institution ensures that the aquarium will not be profit driven, instead proceeds go to valuable programs in the areas of scientific studies, outreach, saving endangered animals, educational programming, etc. Typically, these non-revenue generating programs cut into the bottom line profits of for-profit institutions, whose sole goal is to make money for its investors and as a result are often limited in the scope of what they can do. The trustees of the Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. believe that the goal of a non-profit institution is to educate, conserve, and learn. Our project does not intend to pay rent, have to return investments, or repay debt. It will be primarily financed by philanthropy and grants. The money saved can therefore be spent on the above described programs creating a greater impact in aquatic animal science and education. Additionally, non-profit institutions are also eligible for a wider variety of research and educational grants than for-profit institutions.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will be a medium sized institution of about 100,000 to 125,000 square feet, similar in size to institutions such as The New England Aquarium, The Newport Aquarium and the original phase of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The non profit model of the project is intended to to be an economic engine for the city of Cleveland, by keeping the economic impact in the Cleveland community and not to funnel money out of the area since a significant part of the proceeds are to be spent locally. One important aspect of the project is that the exhibits will not be “shoehorned” into a building not designed for an aquarium. This model has proven unsuccessful in several instances since corrosion and weight issues are vital considerations in a properly designed facility. The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will have many habitats exhibiting a wide variety of freshwater and marine fish, as well as aquatic mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is not only about an aquarium, but a catalyst for downtown development. It is about creating a lively and attractive place where people in all stages of life and diversity can come to dine, shop, and spend quality time, all the while allowing them to learn and grow in important aquatic related issues. We are committed to the rejuvenation and growth of the Downtown area, and view the Aquarium as a stimulus for a great deal of needed development. To accomplish this goal, we are in collaboration with the world's leading aquarium architect, Peter Chermayeff , who led the modern aquarium renaissance in 1969 with The New England Aquarium in Boston, and has to date designed many of the world’s leading aquarium institutions including the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Lisbon Aquarium in Portugal, the Osaka Aquarium in Japan, and the Genoa Aquarium in Italy. Current projects include an aquarium Alexandria, Egypt and also one in Triast, Italy.

We sincerely hope that you continue to agree with our vision of a truly world class aquarium and will continue to support this project in any way you can. Please stay tuned for a pending announcement and ways you can help.

Nick Zarlinga

The Cleveland Aquarium

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:17 pm
50 million bucks will be hard to come up plus location issues then the political stuff in our area going on.

They were suppose to build a 90 mil world class Great Waters Aquarium in 1995, but location issues with the coast guard station & moving it for the aquarium was a problem, now it is sitting down there empty & rustying I hear.
Then Browns leaving shelved the plans. I like many had helped too promote this for Free with nothing to show for it. The one in charge for two years was getting a salary of 90 thousands a year. & then down the line.
I don't know but non profit is fine but it has to be profitable still to keep it running. The cost to run a Aquarium is not cheap & that does not include labor etc..
Like a business the over head cost is high.
Think of the cost of some home fish rooms with a few tanks. Now times that by 10,000!
All involved need to be transparent if it is going to be part of everyones life here. Everyone being on the same page & open to input from many outside their ring.

I do not see it happening soon. Jacobs may get his off the ground because he's paying half & its on his own property?

time will tell?


Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:34 pm
by steveh28
They mentioned a soon coming announcement, so hopefully it is good news. It will take a lot to keep it running. If you have time, I recommend reading the History of the Cleveland Aquarium that is on their webpage They had about as low an overhead as possible, and developed many products and procedures that are industry standards today, and they could not keep it running eventually.

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:18 am
i know & have read, & have a lot of aritcles on this issue for a very long time plus been to many aquariums including 3 in Australia.

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:13 pm
by steveh28
sorry, I worded that wrong. I can tell you know much on the issue Dave, I was meaning a general "you" to whoever else may be reading.

Re: New Cleveland Aquarium Looks to be Coming

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:48 pm
no problem :)