Owasso First Bank Center Built on Commitment

Management at First Bank of Owasso has devoted every aspect of its First Bank Center, the bank’s new headquarters, to demonstrating the bank’s commitment to Owasso.
When First Bank of Owasso dedicates the five-story glass, brick and stone building at 8601 N. Garnett Road on Nov. 11, it will not only make an unprecedented impression on the Owasso skyline, it will also be “a focal point for the community,” said Dominic “Dee” Sokolosky, president of the bank.
“We wanted a building that not only we would be proud of, but Owasso would be proud of,” he said.
At 110 feet, the 62,500-SF center is the tallest building in Owasso.
“We finance a lot of entrepreneurs, professionals and churches,” Sokolosky said. “We wanted a good place to transact business. And we wanted to demonstrate financial stability.”
Sokolosky said, since work started on the First Bank Center in January 2008 and the economy slumped, the bank has seen an increase in deposits and activity.
“Anytime you have an economic downturn, there is a flight to safety, and we are experiencing that now,” he said. “When people see that building, there isn’t any question about not only the financial stability of the bank but our long-term commitment to Owasso. No big bank would buy us and have that as a branch, it is too expensive and too nice. We are here to stay. I think the building says that.”
When construction started on the “north of $10 million” building, First Bank of Owasso had just reported assets of $192.3 million, with $160.5 million in loans and $153.7 million in deposits as of Dec. 31, 2007.
Sokolosky said the bank stands at $215 million in assets, with $186 million in loans, $170 million in deposits and $21 million in equity capital.
First Bank of Owasso was the second most profitable bank in the Tulsa MSA for 2007, with a return on assets of 3.01 percent, according to rankings compiled by the Tulsa Business Journal, and was sixth best performing among S corp banks in the Tulsa MSA in 2008, with an ROA of 1.76.
With architectural and engineering services provided by Crafton Tull Sparks, and construction management by Broken Arrow-based Daniels & Daniels Construction, the unique architecture of the building features a two-story atrium drum entryway. The drum houses the bank’s board room on the fourth floor and provides a walk-out balcony on the fifth floor.
The bank is moving its headquarters and 55 employees from 102 W. Second Ave. (76th Street North and Main Street) to the new facility, where it will be open for business at 9 a.m., Nov. 12. The former headquarters will be sold, and the bank’s branches at 12814 E. 86th St. North and 11550 N. Garnett Road will be unchanged.
First Bank of Owasso will occupy about 37,000 SF of the building, including the first two and the fourth floors of the building, with the third and top floors available for leasing to commercial clients.
Each floor is about 12,500 SF, with a total of 25,000 SF to lease.
The exterior of the building features a combination of brick and stone, and the facility includes five lanes of drive-up services, including four drive-thru lanes and an ATM.
The building will be decorated with bronze statues, including ”Golden Wings,” a six-foot-seven-inch eagle by Colorado artist Gerald Balcier in the atrium area of the entry.
The first floor will provide bank tellers at sit-down stations, account services, retirement and investment services, residential mortgages, consumer lending and safe deposit boxes. The second floor will house human resources, data processing, information technology, Internet banking, training and a community meeting room. Executive offices, commercial lending and the like will be housed on the fourth floor. The boardroom overlooks Owasso and the Tulsa skyline.
The bank has retained Tulsa-based Trinity Commercial Properties to manage the commercial space.
“We are trying to find an ideal tenant that will take all of the fifth floor,” Sokolosky said. “It’s a fabulous floor. It has a walk-out balcony that faces the Tulsa skyline.”
Sokolosky said the First Bank Center, next to U.S. 169, represents a long-time vision of his father, D.M. Sokolosky, chairman and principal founder of the bank in 1962.
“As far back as at least the early ‘80s, he thought we should have a location at that site,” Dee Sokolosky said.
When they sat down with the architects to define the bank’s character and history and what kind of building they wanted, Sokolosky said, “My instructions to them were two things. One, I want frugal first-class. I want it to be very nice, but it’s not going to be gold plated. We’re not wasting money. Two was, I want to preserve the traditional classic architecture with a modern look. I think they accomplished that. One of our clients described it as the perfect marriage of traditional taste and modern architecture. That is the feel we wanted.”
His instructions to the contractor and suppliers also reflected the bank’s commitment to the community.
“We told Daniels & Daniels from Day One, here is the priority on hiring subcontractors and tradesmen: clients of our bank, businesses in Owasso, businesses in the Tulsa metro area and businesses in Oklahoma. We ended up using 10 to 12 of the major subs who were clients of our bank.”
He instructed suppliers that invoices should show Owasso sales taxes were being collected.
“I haven’t calculated it, but I think we paid over $400,000, maybe $500,000, just in sales tax,” Sokolosky said. “It was a mini boom for the city of Owasso and Tulsa County.”

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