Historic west Tulsa landmark Crystal City Shopping Center hits auction block Wednesday

TULSA - A west Tulsa landmark has new owners.

The Crystal City shopping center was broken up into three parcels and sold to two bidders.

The first parcel of land, which includes the multi-tenant building that currently houses Family Dollar, Auto Zone, Carl's Coney Island and H&R Block, was sold to an online bidder for $435,000. The same bidder also purchased the third parcel, which contains two single-tenant buildings, for $40,000.

A second bidder, the owner of Sam's Offroad nearby, purchased the second parcel of land for $89,000.

The Crystal City Shopping Center has been deteriorating for decades.

Located at the corner of Southwest Boulevard and South 33rd West Avenue along historic Route 66, Crystal City was built in the 1920s as an amusement park and shopping center.

Over the years the spot lost its luster. The roller coasters are gone and only a few businesses remain, but people who live nearby remember the once-buzzing businesses. But as of late, the site boasts of boarded up stores and empty walkways.

Shirley Kennedy owns Carl's Coney Island, which is located in the main building.

Kennedy said she felt anxious and was looking forward to learning more about the mysterious new owner.

"I've been extremely nervous about it because I would hate to have to move and not knowing what a new owner would do to us," said Kennedy. "I'm just hoping the shopping center will stay."

The city of  Tulsa has poured money into revitalizing the area, and now they're hoping the new owners can do more to help save the landmark.

Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue, who organized the sale, said the site had 11 bidders.

"It appears [the new owner] really wanted this so I hope he has high expectations like we do," said Cue.

Cue said she learned the annual carnival will go forward as scheduled this year.

Residents say they want to see a grocery stop open in the shopping center since the closest one is about five miles away.

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