Howard Pollack, who lost a battle with the Oklahoma City Zoological Trust last year to continue operation of the Zoo Amphitheatre, is set to open a new concert venue along the Oklahoma River.
The former Downtown Airpark, purchased for $7.2 million in 2006 by a group led by Kirk Humphreys, is viewed long-term for a mixed-use development. Humphreys said Monday the lease with Pollack is “short-term,” running March 1 to the end of November, with an extension possible.
The airpark is along Western Avenue just south of the Oklahoma River.
“If we choose to extend it, which I don't know that we will, he has the exclusive option to lease it for the next year,” Humphreys said.
“We don't have it nailed down what the first phase of the development will be, but we're getting engineering approvals and we're getting ready to move dirt. This is a good time to do it.”
Pollack said he expects the show season to run July through October.
“Our hope is to build a permanent amphitheater, not on this land, but somewhere else,” Pollack said. “The stage on this will be first-class — not a pop-up stage. It will be semi-permanent. It will be there in its entirety, but it's also made so it can be dismantled and moved to a more permanent location.”
Pollack, whose battle with the zoo trust ended in bitter exchanges by each side, said Monday he has moved on.
“The zoo messed us over. We wish them the best, but we're going to continue what we do, and we enjoy it,” Pollack said.
“So what better place is there to start out than along the river with the skyline in the background? It puts us in a whole other level as other major cities like New York City with concerts at Central Park, Denver with Fiddlers Green; these are concert venues in the middle of the city.
“And this will put Oklahoma into a perspective as a world-class market attracting world-class talent with a cool city vibe.”