Few investors would willingly finance a new real estate project that will be under water before the doors open.
The Union Labor Life Insurance Co., Washington, will be asked to consider just that when it receives the results of a study to determine the feasibility of a suburban New York City aquarium.
Jack Kennedy, president of the Building and Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, Hauppauge, N.Y., said he would ask ULLICO to finance the proposed $50 million Long Island Aquarium in Bay Shore, if the study confirms earlier projections that the aquarium would draw more than half a million visitors annually.
ULLICO, through its J for Jobs program, finances real estate projects that use union labor.
The Buildings and Trades Council represents locals within the construction trades, and the organization has in the past recommended deals in which ULLICO has been a lender, said Mr. Kennedy.
But a ULLICO spokesman said the company's investment staff has not yet received financial information about the proposed aquarium.
"The project would be handled like any other request to obtain funding and would be referred to investment staff for review," said John Rodgers, a ULLICO spokesman. ULLICO has received proposals to finance aquariums before, but has declined to lend to them, he said.
"The aquarium isn't finished with its financial analysis," said Mr. Kennedy. "As soon as I have it, I will bring it (to ULLICO) if it looks good."
The Empire State Development Corp., the state's economic development agency, committed $750,000 toward development of the project last year, and Gov. George Pataki has promised to back any infrastructure improvements needed for it, said a spokesman for the aquarium project.
The developers hope to start construction next summer with completion in 2000.