The Georgia Aquarium is a new public aquarium under construction in Atlanta, Georgia. Funded mostly by a 200 million U.S. dollar donation from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, it is being built on a 20 acre (80,000 m²) site just north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown. (The original location was proposed to be the new Atlantic Station development.)
Scheduled to open in late 2005, the Georgia Aquarium will contain 55,000 fish and other sea creatures, representing more than 500 species. It is already working with Georgia Tech and Georgia State University in Atlanta and the University of Georgia in Athens to help save endangered species through education and research programs.
The Coca-Cola Company donated nine acres (36,000 m²) of land to the site and will build a new World of Coca-Cola attraction on the remaining property it owns adjacent to the aquarium with which it will share an 1800 space parking deck. Other improvements around the new site are being helped along by Central Atlanta Progress, a group of local business leaders which has had a presence in Atlanta for several years. In December 2004, a $300 million office and hotel development was announced for a nearby site. The complex will be named Allen Plaza in honor of former Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen Jr. and will include office space for the Southern Company and accounting firm Ernst & Young.