Skip to content

Auburn Hills To Host World-Class Attraction – SEA LIFE Aquarium

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Amazing news … World-class attraction SEA LIFE is coming to the City of Auburn Hills!

London-based Merlin Entertainments announced this morning that it has handpicked Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and our community to build this multi-million dollar aquarium.

Merlin made their decision based on detailed market studies which highlighted our location’s economic stability and ability to draw thousands of people from across Michigan and Canada.  A series of meetings with Auburn Hills, Oakland County, and State of Michigan officials helped seal the deal.   Merlin is the second-largest visitor attraction operator in world, behind only Disney in size.

The 35,000 sq. ft. aquarium will be located in the former GameWorks space across from the Rainforest Café, which is located on the north side of the mall facing I-75.  The building renovation will begin this June and is expected to be complete by Spring 2015.  The construction process will be a lot of fun as Merlin is planning a number of community events to mark the aquarium’s progress along the way.

SEA LIFE Michigan will be located in the former GameWorks space at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

SEA LIFE Michigan will be located in the former GameWorks space at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

This state-of-the-art aquarium is expected to take the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets to the next level as an entertainment destination.  The attraction will create significant tourism demand, thus will have a huge impact on the economic health of the mall and surrounding businesses.   We anticipate a real estate boom in the area in the months and years ahead as hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment destinations seek to capitalize on SEA LIFE’s popularity.

Check out City Manager Pete Auger’s blog Making a Splash in Auburn Hills for more details about this project.  An exciting catalyst for many good things to come.