Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Marc Heitz Plans Amphitheater, Dog Park, Automobile Dealership in Norman

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Marc Heitz Plans Amphitheater, Dog Park, Automobile Dealership in Norman

Article excerpt

Marc Heitz sells cars for a living. He doesn't build dog parks and amphitheaters.

But to develop a choice piece of land along Interstate 35 in Norman, he did just that.

The end result will be a new building for his Chevrolet dealership, along with a dog park and amphitheater for use by the community, on 15 acres.

Heitz, who has been selling cars since he was 19, has had his flagship dealership at 2424 W. Main St. since 2000.

The current dealership building has been a Chevrolet dealership for more than 40 years.

And while Heitz has found success there, he never owned the building, and was quickly outgrowing the space.

About five years ago, Heitz bought the first piece of the parcel just off of I-35 at West Lindsey Street with plans to eventually build a new home for the dealership.

At that time the area was zoned residential, but was slated by the city to eventually be zoned commercial. One problem was access to the site from Ed Noble Parkway.

Heitz ended up buying an acre of land to extend a 300-foot concrete culvert to allow access to the proposed site.

Another issue was the look of the proposed new building.

General Motors has a standard dealership design for new construction and offers incentives to dealers who build that model.

But a cookie-cutter dealership was not what Heitz had in mind.

"We felt it was real sterile," he said. "It didn't have much personality."

Instead, Heitz used the program Google SketchUp - a 3-D modeling program - and sat down to create his dream dealership online.

"It's just like playing a video game," he said.

The end result looked more like a ski lodge than a car dealership, and was then given to Clark Construction Co. to build.

The exterior includes logs and a metal roof while the inside of the dealership will feature a rock fireplace and a 40-foot rock waterfall that spills into a 5,000-gallon aquarium.

Outside, rocks have been assembled to showcase vehicles to passersby on Interstate 35.

But Heitz wanted something more than just another car dealership.

He wanted features like a dog park and to create a fun environment.

Heitz is often accompanied at work by his own Labrador, ZO6, named for a model of Corvette. …

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