11 Times Square reels in an unlikely tenant

February 11, 2010 09:38AM

SJP Properties’ 11 Times Square is close to a deal that would bring a seven-story aquarium to the lower floors of the empty tower, the Wall Street Journal reported. Toronto developer Jerry Shefsky is in negotiations that could allow him to start building out the space — a project that would cost an estimated $100 million — as soon as April, in order to debut the aquarium in September 2011. SJP broke ground on the 40-story tower in 2007. The property is scheduled to be completed in the next few months with office rents having dropped off 20 percent in the last year, according to Reis. The 11 Times Square aquarium would be unique as far as aquariums go, with far fewer fish than most and only 600,000 gallons of water, compared to the eight million gallons contained in Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005. Half the space would be comprised of water exhibits, while a pirate museum and educational displays would adorn the rest, said Shefsky, who is head of Aquarium Developments Corp. Shefsky said a rendering of the aquarium was not yet available and that financial backers, who he declined to name, have been secured for the project. Law firm Proskauer Rose is also reportedly in negotiations for a 400,000-square-foot lease in the building.