The Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den will bring exotic fish and alligators to the Marketplace at Steamtown this fall, officials announced this morning.
The attraction, under construction now at center court in the former Express, Hollister and Verizon stores, will feature more than 1,000 animals and tanks as large as 30,000 gallons.
Almost 17,000 square feet will be renovated to accommodate the freshwater and saltwater tanks and enclosures required for aquatic and land displays. Of that, about 8,000 square feet will be dedicated to reptiles, including alligators and crocodiles.
“The Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den is a huge development for the city of Scranton and for the marketplace,” John Basalyga, owner of the property, said in a news release.
Cliff Grosvenor, a fish and animal enthusiast from Susquehanna County, will own and operate the attraction.
One of the most popular displays is expected to be a “touch pool,” where visitors will have the opportunity to put their hands in the water and pet species such as rays. The aquarium will host school field trips and birthday parties and will offer educational programs each day in its 40-seat theater space.
“We see a great deal of synergy with the Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum adjacent to our property. This corner of downtown will be a major draw for tourists and visitors,” Mr. Basalyga said.
The Scranton Public Market, a Reading Terminal Market-style collection of restaurants and other small businesses, is scheduled to open later this spring in the food court. The Iron Horse Movie Bistro, a luxury movie theater across Lackawanna Avenue from the marketplace, will also open soon.