- Atlantis Marine World Aquarium formally announced plans to build a 97,498-square-foot, $24 million expansion that takes visitors beneath the waves and beyond the ocean.
When Jim Bissett
and Joe Petrocelli
opened the Aquarium in June 2000, they promised that it would make an important impact on downtown Riverhead, and that it would continually reinvent itself to attract and maintain visitors annually. Those owners disclosed a key relationship with TD Bank that ensures those promises continue to be met.
"This year, our Aquarium is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and in what seems to be a wave of new investment in downtown Riverhead, we are finally kicking off our long-awaited phase two of our original construction plans, thanks in part to the financing by TD Bank," announces Aquarium co-owner and co-founder Bissett. "This has been a long road, we have spent more than five years in design development - working with the town, the state, and the county to make sure that the best project possible would come to our downtown's Main Street, and we are happy to be bringing along with it more than 200 construction jobs and nearly 100 permanent jobs for new operations."
Aquarium co-owner and co-founder, Petrocelli, continues, "And this project would not be possible if not for the help from both the Riverhead IDA and through a New York State grant awarded for revitalization projects. Now, we are thankful to add TD Bank to the project and for stepping up to the plate with the financing of this large project in these tough financial times."
"This project is a great opportunity for all of us to help create local jobs, build tourism, and grow the family entertainment industry on Long Island," explains Bissett. "There sure are a lot of winners with this project."
In an area located on the east side of the present building directly in front of Treasure Cove Resort Marina, the new structure will encompass areas that include a 28,000-square-foot exhibition, banquet, and conference center, and a nearly 70,000-square-foot 100-room Hyatt Place Hotel.
"Think about all that's happened here in the last decade since we've been here," says Aquarium General Manager, Bryan DeLuca
. "Riverhead is growing into family-friendly destination where you can experience several attractions, as well as experience its natural beauty along the scenic Peconic River. The Aquarium's expansion is one piece of a larger plan - a plan that is still being created to help improve downtown Riverhead as a true tourist destination."
Speaking about the Aquarium's own expansion plans, DeLuca continues, "Our visitors enjoy seeing or experiencing something new each year, and, to that end, the Aquarium has been launching something new each summer. But what better way to do that indefinitely, and reach outside the space limitations here at the Aquarium, than create a new changing exhibit space next door? And the catering component to our existing business has been growing in a time when not many businesses have been growing, so the addition of a banquet and conference center is a natural next step for us. This project is sure to be the next 'wow!' to help bring more people to Long Island's East End and to the downtown Riverhead area."
Construction on the space began in summer 2010 and all components are slated to open to the public in summer 2011.