March 26, 2018
Are you familiar with the former town of Britton? One of Oklahoma City’s oldest surviving 1930s era Route 66 motels was sold to an investment group committed to bring life back to the area.
Owl Court, 742 W Britton, was built in the 1930s shortly after the corner of Classen and Britton was named a Route 66 bypass around Oklahoma City. Advertisements at the time promoted the motel as clean and safe, and later with a cafe and gas station as part of the operation.
Owl Court LLC, consisting of Thomas Rossiter, Marcus Ude, Brad Rice, Rusty LaForge, Tyler Holmes and Marc Weinmeister, purchased the landmark from John Dunning, who saved the corner from being purchased and razed to make way for a car lot in 2006.
Dunning did some repairs but was unable to complete renovations of the property. Rossiter, a local community banker, started working with property owners in 2016 to create an organization to promote the area’s development.
Not long after, Rossiter discovered the city council had placed the property on the delinquent and abandoned property list and was preparing to have it demolished.
“We agreed as a group it would not be good for the Britton District,” Rossier said. “The thought was we needed to put together to not only save the Owl Court, but also to activate it. We want it to have a positive impact on Britton.”
Rossiter said the city has worked with the group, having provided a brownfields evaluation of the property to determine if it was contaminated from when it was home to a gas station. They were relieved to discover the two underground gas tanks were intact and that the dirt is not contaminated.