Who needs Shark Week? In Brooklyn, we’ll have it all year long.
The New York Aquarium announced on Tuesday that it will construct a $125-million building to house a greatly expanded shark tank — giving the wildlife center the ability to house up to five times as many maneaters.
“The current shark tank exhibit is old and tiny, so we’re very excited to replace it,” said New York Aquarium director Jon Dohlin, who hopes to start building in 2012.
The Coney Island attraction’s new building would be a glow-in-the-dark aluminum structure that will stretch from W. Fifth to W. Eighth streets and be the first of the Aquarium’s seven areas that the public can enter from the Boardwalk.
The addition is expected to be completed in 2015, when seven varieties of sharks will be on display.
“Usually, the cry of ‘shark’ means fewer people on the waterfront, but here in Brooklyn, it’ll mean more,” said Borough President Markowitz.
The Beep, as recently as 2008, was critical of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Aquarium along with the city’s zoos, for allegedly underfunding the fish house. Indeed, designs for the new “Jaws”-dropping exhibit have been scaled down since they were first introduced in 2009, when the city and the Aquarium wanted a facility that would have been twice as big as the current design.
The city has promised $49 million in funding, but the Aquarium still needs to put its teeth on $75 million in donations to fully fund the project.
The new building and shark tank are part of a 10-year, $150 million effort by the city and the Wildlife Conservation Society to revamp the maritime museum and add classroom space, Dohlin added.