Times Square gets aquarium from Torontonian; CN Tower might get aquarium from Orlandoan
If there’s anything Times Square needs, it’s more people. Luckily, Toronto developer Jerry Shefsky was on hand last month to sign a preliminary agreement to build a seven-storey aquarium smack in the middle of the chaos. Maclean’s took a look at Shefsky’s past projects, and it appears that the 76-year-old developer, who was once a senior executive with Toronto mall overlord Cadillac Fairview, is hell-bent on populating the world with aquariums. In the ’90s, there were plans to build one across from the Eaton Centre, but they were scrapped when Eaton’s filed for bankruptcy protection in 1997. Later, Shefsky and his partners wanted to put an aquarium in the CBC building. (No word on why that plan fell through, though we think it’s because an aquarium in the CBC building seems like a waste of fish.) Other bids failed in Las Vegas, Ottawa and Paris—near the Eiffel Tower, specifically.
Oddly enough, as Shefsky gets started on his $100-million Manhattan tank, Toronto is in talks to build an aquarium at one of its major tourist sites—though not from a local developer. Around the same time the Times Square project was announced, we found out that Orlando-based Ripley’s Entertainment wanted to build an aquarium at the base of the CN Tower. The group plans to open it within the next three years.
• Aquarium eyed for CN Tower site [Toronto Sun]
• Ripley’s counting on sharks to snag aquarium visitors [Toronto Star]
• Plans afoot for downtown aquarium [Inside Toronto]
• A Canadian Aquarium in NYC [Maclean’s]
• 11 Times Square reels in an unlikely tenant [Real Deal]
2 thoughts on “Times Square gets aquarium from Torontonian; CN Tower might get aquarium from Orlandoan”
Ripley’s Entertainment might be based in Orlando, but I believe it’s owned by the Jim Pattison Group, which is in turn owned by Jim Pattison, the Vancouver-based billionaire. So if an aquarium does get built by the CN Tower, I imagine that some of that money will wind it’s way to Canada.
OF course, Mr. Shefsky and a team from thje “serious” aquarium side DID compete for the CN Tower site,
but the Canada Lands folks thought it was better to go with the tourist trap model…
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