GK GET TO KNOW
Banking in a shipping container could present many challenges, but Blue Sky Bank has flourished in The Boxyard, building relationships with businesses and employees downtown.
by BLAYKLEE BUCHANAN photos by MARC RAINS
92 JULY 2018
The boxcar and shipping container began revolutionizing the freight industry in the 1830s. Now, less than 200 years later, the storage units are being used to build houses, shopping complexes and restaurants. Though not its original use, the recycled architecture is growing in popularity every year. Just east of downtown Tulsa, you’ll find The Boxyard, home of local stores, food spots, a barber shop and, nested in the southeast corner of the complex, a bank. Blue Sky Bank, formerly Citizens Bank of Oklahoma before 2016, was first chartered in 1905 in Osage County.
After many years and name changes, the bank came to midtown Tulsa in 2004, and last year, Blue Sky Bank opened their newest location at The Boxyard. Banking in a shipping container could present many challenges. There’s limited space, so every inch has to be planned to the last detail. There’s no running water (only in the boxcars that serve food and the barber shop). The space is narrow and long. You know how there are shotgun houses and shotgun kitchens? You could call Blue Sky’s downtown branch a ‘shotgun bank.’ It’s two shipping containers wide,
and it sits at the southwest corner of The Boxyard, making it one of the few spaces at the shopping center with external windows. “We opened [a location] at The Boxyard to appeal to different groups and have a broader presence. It was an opportunity that presented itself to us,” says Jane Adler, senior vice president. Adler also says she’s noticed more name recognition since opening The Boxyard location. “[Business] has picked up since we’ve been here. We’ve been building relationships with businesses downtown. A lot of their employees have