Braum’s withdraws request to rezone controversial Classen Circle property

OKLAHOMA CITY - People fighting the rezoning of an area near Penn Square Mall learned Friday that Braum’s has withdrawn its request.

The fast food restaurant wanted to build a new location at the site of the Donnay Building.

A parking lot would've occupied the space where the well-known Hilo Club, Classen Grill and others now stand.

The City confirmed the withdrawal with both OKC Talk and News 4. The future of the Donnay Building remains a mystery, but some residents believe this is a win for the community.

"We're excited and thankful to Braum's today. Braum's is our hero,” Lynne Rostochil, blogger for Okie Mod Squad, said.

An almost half-acre of land was on the chopping block after Braum's filed to rezone six lots from residential to commercial.

When OKC Talk reported Braum's had filed an application to rezone the properties, residents put up a fight, creating signs and a petition.

“We feel like the Donnay building is an iconic Oklahoma City building. The businesses had been there forever and so the day we heard it might be going away and replaced with a Braum's, we started the petition,” Rostochil said.

This change.org site garnered more than 13,700 signatures hoping to keep the landmark intact.

Now, with news of the withdrawal to rezone the area, fans of the Donnay Building are hoping they can get the property's owner on board.

“We hope that we can work with the owner to either get the building restored or if he's not willing to do that, then maybe help them find an owner that might be able to do that,” Rostochil said.

News 4 reached out to the attorneys for Braum's and the Donnay Building for comment, but were unsuccessful.

So for right now, it's delayed, giving some residents hope their go-to nightlife spot will live on.

“Nobody claims that this is the prettiest building in town. But what it is, is it's a unique part of our history and when you drive around the Oklahoma City it's the things that stand out that make you different, that make you an interesting city,” Mark Faulk said.