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ATLANTA-A year away from a formal groundbreaking, Coca-Cola Co. has selected three general contractors to provide pre-construction services for the new World of Coca-Cola Museum, planned to open in 2006 on a 20-acre Downtown tract just north of Centennial Olympic Park.

Holder Manhattan Moody–a three-company group comprised of locally based Holder Construction Co. and CD Moody Construction Co. and Manhattan Construction Co.–will oversee the project which will be a sister attraction to the planned $200-million, 250,000-sf Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium will take up nine acres of the 20-acre site.

The aquarium, funded by the Marcus Foundation headed by Home Depot Co. co-founder Bernard Marcus, is tentatively scheduled to open in 2005. Area construction industry estimators, familiar with large community ventures, tell GlobeSt.com the Coke museum will probably be built at a hard construction cost of at least $250 million. That would make the two projects one of the most expensive undertakings since the $1-billion Summer Olympics enterprise in 1996, area industrial real estate brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

Coke has also selected Jack Rouse Associates of Cincinnati to design the exhibit space for the new museum. In October 2002, the soft drink manufacturer picked Jerde Partnership International of Venice, CA as the architect of record for the museum. Jerde has been working on a master plan for the museum and the aquarium.

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