Tom Smart, Deseret News
SANDY — The Living Planet Aquarium is planning a move to Draper after working out a public-private financing package it has been chasing since first putting fish in tanks at The Gateway in 2004.
The move will take the aquarium from space in a converted grocery store at 725 E. 10600 South, which the not-for-profit organization has always considered temporary, to 12047 S. Lone Peak Parkway.
For visitors, the biggest difference between a permanent location in Sandy versus one in Draper would be whether the aquarium was on the east side of I-15 or on the west. Parcels under consideration in both cities were in the same general area of the freeway corridor.
The move to Draper will be accomplished with $7 million raised by the aquarium organization and an $11.7 million bond from Draper the aquarium will repay over the next 20 years, said Living Planet marketing director Angie Hyde.
"We're moving pretty fast, hoping to break ground in April and open in late spring 2013," Hyde said. The current exhibit space will close in October, according to the plan, though its traveling educational program will continue during the transition.
Living Planet started with 10,000 square feet in The Gateway then moved into its 43,000-square-foot location in Sandy while trying to work a financing deal both with Salt Lake City and, later, Salt Lake County. The organization then walked away from its plans for a permanent downtown structure and started courting Sandy officials after moving to its current space there, where discussions in 2007 were for a project estimated to cost about $15 million.
"There were some numbers, some feasibility studies" with City Hall in Sandy, said Trina Duerksen, the city's communications manager. "We would have loved to have them locate here," she said. "But the numbers just didn't work out."
- After more than 6 years, 3 families yearn for...
- Strong winds cause damage, possibly fatal...
- Millcreek man faces child abuse homicide...
- Sen. Orrin Hatch headed to Israel to meet...
- About Utah: Want a ride to the past? Matt...
- New strategies eliminate long waitlist for...
- 7 crazy-awesome natural arches and bridges in...
- Thousands attend second Utah Lantern Fest
- With Trump on top, Romney will not... 80
- Utah GOP all in for Cruz, but Trump... 59
- Dog accused of biting child ordered to... 49
- Utah GOP leaders ready to support... 47
- Award recipient's affiliation draws ire... 36
- Climate change and national forests:... 32
- Robert F. Bennett, former three-term... 28
- S.L. City Council unsure what to expect... 21