New aquarium opening in Mall of Louisiana next spring

    Interactive aquarium company Blue Zoo is bringing its concept to the Mall of Louisiana next year. 

    Blue Zoo Baton Rouge, expected to open next spring, will offer an interactive experience with exotic aquatic animals such as stingrays, octopi and sharks. The aquarium, which will also feature birds and reptiles, will be near Dillard’s in the spaces formerly occupied by Hollister Co., Gameware and Nawlins Sports. 

    The Baton Rouge location will be the third for Blue Zoo, which has locations in Washington and Oklahoma. 

    The attraction comes on the heels of BREC beginning renovations at the Baton Rouge Zoo on the opposite end of the parish and could be seen as competition for the zoo. BREC officials said in a prepared statement that they welcome any new recreational opportunities for area residents and look forward to learning if there are ways Blue Zoo and BREC could work together toward the goal of educating people about conservation and improving the quality of life in greater Baton Rouge.

    Though an aquarium is seemingly an unconventional tenant for a shopping mall, the move is part of a larger trend nationwide of malls transitioning from mostly retail tenants to tenants offering an “experience.”