The present owner, Dr. Irene Lam, was not present as bids were accepted at 10 a.m. in the offices of Blaney and Tweedy, the law firm representing the lender, Bank 7. Attorney Kevin Blaney started the bid at $771,734.84 — the amount owed to Bank 7 — and it was followed by a bid from Box of $800,000.
Box, who has experience buying and developing properties on Campus Corner in Norman and in Bricktown and Automobile Alley, said he has yet to come up with a plan for the Gold Dome. He offered earnest money of $50,000 and tentatively agreed to close on Sept. 24.
Box said he does not intend to tear down the building.
When the Gold Dome was built at NW 23 and Classen in 1958, the two-story building with the familiar round anodized aluminum roof was touted by Citizens Bank as “the bank of tomorrow.”
By the late 1990s, however, the property had seen a series of bank tenants either fail or acquired by larger bank chains. It was then targeted for demolition by its prior owner Bank One, which was planning to sell the corner to Walgreens.
Bank One and Walgreens chose to build new locations east and west of the property and to let the Gold Dome stand after months of protests by preservationists and a sale of the building to Lam.
Vacancy has gone up in recent years with the loss of the Prohibition Room restaurant and the Oklahoma Main Street Program as tenants.
Lam is also delinquent in paying property taxes, with records showing she owes $49,359 assessed over the past two years. The Oklahoma City Council last year paid off a $1 million federal loan it extended to Lam when she bought the property. City Planning Director Russell Claus said Lam has paid only interest to date on that loan.
Lam was not present at the auction and could not be reached for comment.