The Quail Springs Mall will soon not only be home to shopping and sales, but also sharks and stingrays. Plans are moving forward on Oklahoma City's first aquarium. 

“Blue Zoo” CEO Wesley Haws said demolition and renovation will begin on the "Blue Zoo" next week.

“In the past, aquariums have had to be a lot bigger and they couldn’t have fit into a space like this,” Haws said. “But, there’s a lot of new technology that has made the filtration small and a lot more effective.”

Oklahoma City will be the company’s third location.

“We have been scouting out locations for quite a while,” Haws said.

After a public aquarium didn’t make the MAPS 4 list of proposals, Blue Zoo announced the Quail Springs location.

“Everywhere I go, people already know about it,” Haws said. “We get access to the space this week, and we’ll begin the construction next week.”

The more than 22,000 square foot space will be connected by an escalator.

“We’ve got to demo the space, there’s a 30,000-gallon shark tank, stingray pools, octopus, jellyfish, seahorses,” Haws said. “It’s all about interaction, there’s a lot of playground type equipment.”

While Haws admits a mall may not be the most obvious place for an aquarium, looking around Quail Springs, many retail stores have given way to escape rooms, a lunar golf course, a virtual reality arcade and an AMC movie theater.

“You’ll be surprised by what we can put in there,” Haws said.

Construction is expected to be complete summer of 2020.