December 14, 2018

Aquarium reels in $1M gift

An ambitious effort to raise $15 million for a new education and research center at The Florida Aquarium reached the halfway point on Monday when the Lakeland family that founded Publix donated $1 million.

City officials hope expanding the aquarium will encourage downtown development, which began to dry up during the recession that has held the city and nation in its grip for the last few years. Condominium projects along the Channel District faded, and some shops in and around Channelside Bay Plaza closed.

But that grip is showing signs of loosening, and there is talk of