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St. Louis project rundown

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This thread will be used for the purpose of posting and discussing projects going on in St. Louis

Here are some projects in St. Louis that are under construction or have been approved or proposed.

Metro Lofts = Under cosntruction

$32 million dollar, 213 new loft apartment development

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Metro Lofts

Construction pics.

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Park East Tower = approved

A 26 story condo tower

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Park East

The site

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4545 Lindell = on hold??

I difernt developer has bought the site and it seems like he is going to go with the plan the other developers abandoned.

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Lister building = Under construction rehab apartments and retial

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Not a very major project, but important to the area considering the building used to look like this.

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Photo from Built stlouis.net

St. Louis University Arena = approved

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More info

Demolishion has begian at the site.

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Mayfair Hotel addition = Approved (I havent heard anything on this project in a while)

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A 19 story addtion to the historic Mayfair Hotel in downtown. It will house additional hotel rooms and condos.

The site

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Roberts Mayfair Hotel

Roberts on the Plaza = under construction

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Construction

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More info

Garment Row Lofts = under construction 12 condo units

to be completed in spring 2004

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Grace Lofts = Under construction 24 loft condos

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Railway Lofts = under construction

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Railway Lofts

Window Lofts?? (I think that is what it is called) = Proposed

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2020 Lofts = under construction

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2020 Lofts

The Annex Lofts = approved 77 condo lofts

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The Annex Lofts

Bell Lofts = under construction

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Paul Brown Building = under construction

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Paul Brown Lofts

Paul brown Building info and pics

New Cardinals Ballpark =under construction

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View

Info

The construction site (Sorry I couldnt take any better pics)

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Eden Lofts = under construction

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Info

The Lofts at The Highlands = under construction

Two five story buildings. Each with 100 units. These will be huge, lengthy buildings taking up a lot a space at The Highlands. Also, streetscape is underway.

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The construction site.

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Lofts at the Highlands:)

Pinnacle casino hotel 15 or 14 stories(Left) and the condo tower 22 stories(right) = approved

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Waters Edge= approved

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Waters Edge

Cupples Station Lofts = approved

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Printers Lofts = under construction

The Printers Lofts actually consists of two separate buildings

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Photos taken by DeBaliviere.

More info.

SLU Biomedical Research Center/Tower - approved

Midtown

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RESIDENCE INN - Downtown / approved

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DRURY HOTEL - I-44 @ Hampton Blvd. South City/Forest Park area / approved

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Chouteau Lake District (proposal) Its hard to say if this has a chance at getting built maybe in 3/5 years or so.

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Buyer's vision is 100 apartments for Pet Building

By Linda Tucci

Of the Post-Dispatch

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It's happening. Mothballed for months, downtown's distinctive Pet Building has a buyer - and a metamorphosis in the works. Balke Brown Associates has the property under contract.

Sale terms are not public, but here's the vision: to turn the 15-story office building into 100 apartments for an estimated $30 million.

"The building has residential written all over it," said Don Land, senior vice president of development. "It's going to be a Class A apartment project for downtown and a fantastic home for people who want to live in a quality, urban apartment."

Like ballplayers perhaps. The 1969 structure overlooks the Mississippi, is in the shadow of the Arch and a block from the ballpark. "These are killer views from every direction," said interior designer Linda Loewenstein of the Lawrence Group, the project architect.

The idea is to offer amenities on par with the views. The units will offer features typically reserved for condos, from granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchens to hardwood floors and solid doors. Rents could range from $1.50 to $2.50 a square foot, including indoor parking, with units on the upper floors commanding the highest prices.

Brinkmann Constructors will do the work. The hope is to finish by fall 2005, six months ahead of the new ballpark.

Mike Green, whose Real Estate Analysts Ltd. is wrapping up a market study for Balke Brown, said the demand is there and, with only 100 units, the impact on the market will be benign. "That building has a niche that only it can fill."

The hurdle - and it's a big one, says Land - is securing the state and federal historic tax credits to make the deal work. To do that, the 35-year-old building (an example of "New Brutalist" architecture) needs a nomination to the National Register. That's unusual for a structure less than 50 years old, says Landmarks Association's Carolyn Toft, but not unprecedented. The American Zinc building on Fourth Street, now part of the Drury Plaza, is on the list.

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Marquette Building renovation

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Photos from www.Builtstlouis.net

Marquette Building and the St. Louis skyline.

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The Marquette Building on Broadway in downtown St. Louis.

Ownership shuffle may revive Marquette

By Charlene Prost

Of the Post-Dispatch

03/17/2004

The Marquette Building downtown, mostly vacant for years, is about to be revived with housing and other uses, after some ownership shuffling - from the New York owners, to a branch of the YMCA and, finally, to a St. Louis architectural and interior design firm.

After buying the 19-story building in 1999 for less than $1 million and trying unsuccessfully to renovate or resell it, Tahl-Propp Equities donated it to the YMCA branch, said owner Joseph Tahl. As other tenants moved out, the Y branch remained open in the 91-year-old building at 300 North Broadway.

Tahl said his company will take tax deductions, based on an appraisal that valued the Marquette at $5.3 million, "and we are perfectly satisfied with that."

Mike Normile, the YMCA's senior vice president for finance, said the donation came as a pleasant surprise, but added, "We're not in the business of owning and operating buildings."

So, Normile and his associates worked a deal with the Lawrence Group, which owns and plans to renovate the Security Building next door. The firm also had been Tahl's architect for the Marquette renovation plan.

Stephen Smith, Lawrence Group president, said a group of principals there will pay $4.9 million to the YMCA and take charge of reviving the Marquette. As part of the agreement, he said, the YMCA will pay rent over the next 40 years, long enough to wipe out the mortgage.

"We will make a loan payment every month; they will pay us rent every month. And the amounts are basically the same," Smith said.

In the next few months, Smith and his associates will pull together financing and other details for a $35 million facelift, a figure that includes the purchase price.

What's coming for the Marquette, originally designed by the noted architectural firm of Eames & Young, is the same redevelopment plan Smith's firm created for Tahl: The lower two levels will be renovated for retail and commercial space, the YMCA will remain on two floors and the upper stories will be converted to about 140 apartments or condominiums.

"We're leaning toward apartments ... primarily market rate, reasonably priced," Smith said, with "a lot of windows and great views of the Arch and into downtown."

Construction should start by early next year and take about 16 months, he said. In the meantime, the firm will do any exterior repair work needed and remove scaffolding that Tahl put in place.

Normile said the scaffolding has hurt the Y's membership roster.

"We're down to 1,540 members," he said, but with renovation on the way, "we think we can boost that number significantly."

One of the last snags with Tahl's plans for the building came after the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis bought a parking garage next door to the Marquette as part of an $80 million expansion. The parking division of the St. Louis treasurer's office, which sold the Marquette to Tahl, originally built the garage to provide parking for his building. But with the Marquette redevelopment stalled, the division sold the garage last year to the Federal Reserve, a move Tahl tried unsuccessfully to block in court.

Smith said he's resolved the parking problem. He said he's working with hotel entrepreneur Charles Drury to reserve spaces in a new garage Drury is building in the same block. Drury is renovating the nearby Merchants-Laclede building as a Hilton Hotel. "That garage will support parking for the Marquette, the Security and the Hilton," Smith said.

The Lawrence Group plans to start work soon on more than $9 million worth of improvements at the Security, an 1890s building where the firm has had offices since 1991.

With all the projects under way in that part of downtown, Smith and Tahl said, the time is right to move forward with the Marquette.

However, Tahl said he and his partner decided to focus on projects in the New York City area. "We've had our hands full here," he said, "and neither of us was willing to make a commitment to move to St. Louis for two years to get this done."

Tahl said that when his company bought the building, interest rates were much higher, and that made financing more difficult. In addition, he said, there weren't many others who were buying and renovating older buildings in downtown for housing at that time.

"Since then, we've seen a dozen or more of these projects get done, and the environment for this to work is so much better than it was then. I think Steve and the Y will have tremendous success with the Marquette," Tahl said, " and we wish them well."

The Downtown St. Louis Partnership's latest survey of downtown housing shows that when someone builds it, people come, said James Cloar, president and chief executive.

"I don't think we are getting too much housing downtown," he said. "If you look at what's been built since 2000, the overall occupancy is 83 percent."

Among the roughly 4,000 units of market-rate housing downtown, 700 were built since 2000, Cloar said. In addition, 500 more units are under construction now with another 800 scheduled to get under way by year's end. That figure does not include the units planned at the Marquette.

Reporter Charlene Prost

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 314-340-8140

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The Park East Tower look great. Is it the tallest proposal?

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^Do you mean for the site or the city? The original proposal was for it to be 22 stories now it is 26 stories. :)

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Westgate Lofts ( Haas Building) = approved

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The empty Haas Building downtown, once filled with hat manufacturers, is about to become a place for hanging modern-day hats.

McGowan Brothers Development Corp. plans to spend about $12 million to build 48 condominiums in the five-story building, at Jefferson Avenue and Locust Street near A.G. Edwards Inc.'s main campus.

Renamed the WestGate Lofts, the 81-year-old building stands at the western edge of a downtown loft district that's emerging along and around Washington Avenue.

"We think this building will appeal to people who want to live downtown, but not in the center of all the activity," said Seamus McGowan, a company partner.

What's coming are condos with a variety of floor plans and prices ranging from $134,000 for 900 square feet to $334,000, for 2,400 square feet. The developers plan to start construction by summer and to have the first condos ready for buyers early next year.

Rosemann & Associates designed the condos, blending modern appliances and features into the sunlit, mostly concrete spaces where workers once turned out hats and caps.

The living areas include fluted support columns, interior brick walls, ceilings as tall as 18 feet and industrial-style windows, some at least 12 feet tall.

The brick-and-limestone exterior with green-glazed brickwork will be refurbished.

A rooftop swimming pool and clubhouse are planned, too. "We're going to build a structure with a kitchen, bathrooms, a living area with TVs, and sliding doors that open onto the deck with a pool and all sorts of flowers and greenery around," McGowan said.

The building has unusually tall, wide windows on all sides. But on the lower part of the east wall, some windows were blocked by an abutting building.

To resolve the problem, McGowan said, "We'll probably replace the windows with frosted glass and light it from behind, so it will feel like light is coming in from outside."

The developers plan to build a 56-space garage on the first floor. The space has street-level display windows. It was once an automobile showroom.

But passersby won't see cars in the renovated building. "We'll close off the windows with an interior wall and hang art on the wall," McGowan said.

The developers - five brothers and a sister - have been buying and renovating downtown buildings for housing and commercial use since 1997. At the WestGate, their partners are Steven Stolze and Nat Walsh.

Allegiant Bank is financing part of the project. The developers and their partners also plan to use private equity, state historic tax credits and tax increment financing from the city.

Designed by St. Louis architect Jacob M. Hirshstein, the Haas Building was constructed for Samuel Haas, who owned a hat-manufacturing business his father started.

In nominating the building to the National Register of Historic Places, the Landmarks Association of St. Louis said it opened in 1923 with at least seven hat-related companies working and selling out of the upper floors. The first floor was leased as an automobile showroom by companies associated with "motor row," which flourished at the time along Locust Street.

By 1929, millinery buyers from across the United States were flocking to the Haas and other places in St. Louis. "More than 50 manufacturers with sales estimated at over $100 million in men's hats alone gave St. Louis a rank second only to New York," the Landmarks Association said. "By concentrating on machine-made hats, St. Louis milliners were able to undersell the more expensive models made elsewhere."

Carolyn Toft, the Landmarks executive director, said recycling the Haas for housing was a good idea, in part because of its large windows and natural light. "It is also located on a prominent corner, with a major employment base across the street."

Reporter Charlene Prost

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 314-340-8140

Website

Westgate Lofts

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Wow! So many projects!!! It looks like the revival is well under way in STL! :)

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Its great to see new urban development alive and kicking in St. Louis. Are the majority of the warehouse loft projects located in the same general area? If so, how far is it from downtown and Washington Avenue?

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Keep in mind these are just some of the projects underway in St. Louis City. For more, go here: http://stlcin.missouri.org/devprojects/

This is why I laugh when people the city's dead.

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St Louis is awesome. Great to see an update on the construction going on. Its defiantely under an urban revival!

Jivecity - people are either ignorant or stupid. ;)

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Thanks for every one who is interested, I will make sure I update this thread now and then.

Jive the word is out and the city is not dead!!

heckles we are looking forward to your vist. :)

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I posted this in the Missouri forum as well.

Washington ave streetscape Phase II has started

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View of Phase II sidewalk construction and street improvements along Washington Avenue from Tucker east toward 7th Street.

Historic Washington Avenue Garment District Reborn As Saint Louis Loft District

by Betty Magrath, SLFP.com

photos by Bob Moore, SLFP.com

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 7, 2004 - At the turn of the twentieth century, Washington Avenue was once a prosperous canyon of architecturally beautiful brick buildings housing shoe, clothes and fashion manufacturers.

The sidewalks were alive with people window shopping and buying in the famous garment district. The corridor of warehouses also boasted a burgeoning printing industry.

Over the years, numerous studies focused on Washington Avenue with a vision of bringing it back to life with a vital neighborhood of residential lofts, galleries, nightclubs and other attractions.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, plans were set in motion again for improvements to enhance Washington Avenue's appearance. The Washington Avenue Streetscape Project became one of the first phases of the Downtown Now! Development Action Plan to be implemented. Funded was provided by $4 million from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and $13 million from the Missouri Dept. of Transportation enhancement program.

The design plan was created by a consultant design team led by Wallace Robert & Todd, a Philadelphia-based planning and design firm, working with five St. Louis companies including Kiku Obata & Company and David Mason and Associates Inc. In addition to the new lights, the design plan included a plaza, trees, and widened sidewalks along Washington Avenue from Tucker Blvd. to 18th Street and the connecting side streets to Lucas and St. Charles streets.

Otis Williams, deputy director of special projects for St. Louis Development Corporation, stated that Washington Avenue will remain open during Phase II construction. "Unlike Phase I, we are ensuring that at least one lane in each direction will remain open on Washington Avenue from Tucker Boulevard east to 7th Street for access to the businesses."

Williams, who was actively involved with phase one, stated that they were very pleased with the results. "There's a lot going on." The first installment in streetscape improvements along Washington Avenue, from Tucker Boulevard west to 18th Street was completed June 2003.

Tom Reeves, executive director of Downtown Now!, told Saint Louis Front Page that construction on Phase II is expected to be completed by the end of 2004. "The second phase began one month ago with the excavation of the sidewalks. Unlike the sidewalks along Washington Avenue west of Tucker, the sidewalks east of Tucker will not be widened because the street is so busy."

"We learned a lot of lessons from the first phase," stated Reeves. "Repairs will be made to vaults extending from the buildings under the street. However, we do not anticipate running into the same problems we encountered with the vaults west of Tucker. Those vaults needed extensive reinforcement."

The Washington Avenue streetscape will feature landscaping through planting of trees were possible, planters with flowers and some ornate lighting. Reeves stated that the street would be repaired but would not feature the same ornate brick and paving designs on Washington west of Tucker.

"This construction should be easier because there are not as many building owners that will be impacted with repairs to the street. Also the vaults are in better shape," stated Reeves. He noted that all utilites will be addressed including water, sewer and electrical.

Additional projects under Downtown Now! include the revitalization of the area around the Old Post Office and along Fourth Street. "Since 1999, over $2 billion in public and private money has been invested in this area of downtown. Things are being accomplished and the momentum is impressive," stated Reeves.

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View of the historic Washington Avenue, former garment and fashion district, from 18th Street looking east toward America's Center at 7th Street. Washington Avenue has become a vital neighborhood with residential lofts, galleries, nightclubs and other attractions.

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View of Phase II sidewalk construction and street improvements along Washington Avenue from Tucker east toward 7th Street and the Convention Center Plaza.

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St Louis is awesome. Great to see an update on the construction going on. Its defiantely under an urban revival!

Jivecity - people are either ignorant or stupid. ;)

I was in St. Louis two weeks ago and it didn't look like the same city that was there 2 years ago when I left.

St. Louis is definately on the rise to become one of the coolest cities on the planet.

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^Its already one of the coolest cities on the planet. Just imagine the view of the skyline from the new busch stadium when its complete. Its going to be AMAZING.

Are you saying that the Chouteau Lake District might be approved in 3/5 years? I hope it gets approved. Do you have any news on public housing project construction?

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Local developers vie for piece of Ballpark Village

Area subcontractors to handle 'good chunk' of the work

Christopher Tritto

The Ballpark Village development, planned for the six-block area immediately north of the St. Louis Cardinals new stadium, will likely be led by an out-of-town developer. But several local companies are in the running to carry out various pieces of the project, according to Bill DeWitt III, the Cardinals vice president of business development.

DeWitt and other Cardinals staff have been in talks with several unnamed developers during the past several months, and meetings are still planned with some developers in February and March. DeWitt said he had hoped to have made a decision by this time, but that any partnership with a lead developer is still another month or so away due to scheduling delays.

Roberts Cos. and McCormack Baron Salazar Inc. are among several local developers still interested in the project and in discussions with the Cardinals, DeWitt said. Others also remain on the Cardinals list, he said, but declined to name them.

"A good chunk of the work would probably be handled by and subcontracted out to local developers," DeWitt said. "The development will need people on the ground here."

Early renderings of Ballpark Village suggest a plaza surrounded by a mix of office, retail and residential developments, plus a new home for the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and a year-round family entertainment attraction, such as an aquarium.

Team owners are responsible for developing at least two of the six blocks, under an agreement with the city of St. Louis Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, but are forming concept plans for the entire site. The agreement requires the Cardinals to ensure that at least $60 million of new development be built on land immediately north of the new ballpark. The Cardinals do not have to take an equity stake in the Ballpark Village development.

Roberts Cos. is teaming up with Wisconsin-based Hammes Co., which has served as project manager for other recent sports and entertainment developments including the Green Bay Packer's Lambeau Field redevelopment and the construction of Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.

"We're still waiting to see what happens," said Steve Roberts, a principal of Roberts Cos. "It's been a very open and upbeat process working with Bill (DeWitt III), but we developers tend to want to jump into the fray pretty quick."

Ballpark Village will probably take about 18 months to 2 years to complete, Roberts said. The new stadium is scheduled to be ready for opening day of the Cardinals 2006 season, just over a year away.

Steve Roberts and his brother, Mike Roberts, also a principal with Roberts Cos., have their hands in a variety of business ventures, including hotel and residential developments downtown. Their $14 million Roberts Loft development in the former Board of Education building in the Old Post Office District is expected to open early this year.

Representatives for McCormack Baron Salazar could not be reached to discuss their interest in Ballpark Village.

Richard Baron, chief executive of McCormack Baron Salazar, served as a consultant to the Cardinals when the team first developed the concept of a Ballpark Village prior to bringing the ballpark proposal to the Missouri Legislature in May 2002. His company constructed and owns the Westin Hotel adjacent to the stadium and is working on plans for other developments in nearby Cupples Station warehouses.

Clayco Construction has done most of the renovation work on the current Busch Stadium over the years and is serving as project manager for the new stadium. But Clayco has no plans to do any development work at Ballpark Village, the company said.

The choice of subcontractors and local developers will probably be made through a joint decision between the Cardinals, who own the land, and the lead developer they will hire to complete the work.

"One thing you always have in the back of your head is whether you are doing enough in terms of knowing the universe of development," said DeWitt, who has been a lead player on the new stadium's design and is now in charge of the plans for Ballpark Village. "The field is unlimited. You have to be guided by certain principles in narrowing it down."

DeWitt said he has a list of interested retailers and restaurateurs who have expressed interest in a future site in the village, although he declined to share specifics. Plans for office and residential space are further away. No progress has been made on what type of family entertainment facility may be chosen for the site.

"The lead developer will do a market analysis, and then we will come up with a mix of uses that makes sense," DeWitt said.

As Ballpark Village plans progress slowly, construction of the new $387 million stadium remains on time and on budget, DeWitt said. Passersby can see the concrete, steel and brick taking shape.

To date, the Cardinals have sold orders for about 1,500 personalized paving stones that will be placed in the ground outside the new stadium. The team plans to market the pavers strongly through the end of the coming baseball season and has a goal to sell upward of 10,000 stones, DeWitt said.

The Cardinals expect to net about $1 million through the paver sales. That money will be invested in the new stadium.

"That money could be put toward fan amenities and little things here and there, such as the level of finishing to a club, how nice a rug goes in a suite, or the decision of whether to go with real leather or fake leather," DeWitt said. "There are a zillion decisions that are all part of the budget list."

[email protected]

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Developers snap up two properties on Washington

Heather Cole

Developers grabbed two Washington Avenue properties and plan $32 million worth of redevelopment.

BHat Development LLC purchased the Bee Hat building at 1021 Washington Ave. from real estate investor David Jump and plans a $10 million renovation into a restaurant and apartments. Chasten Properties plans a $22 million loft/commercial redevelopment of three linked buildings comprising the Cheerful House, at 1113-1129 Washington Ave., co-owned by Jump with real estate investor Sam Glasser. Chasten, owned by Patrick Stanley, has the property under contract with a closing date of April 14. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The two buildings were among those featured in an article in the Feb. 18-24 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal on Washington Avenue properties that are sitting idle. The sale of the Bee Hat building, which has been vacant for several years, took place at about the time the newspaper was going to press.

BHat Development, formed for the purpose of developing the building, plans to convert the second through seventh floors into 36 one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 900 to 1,300 square feet and renting from $990 to $1,430 a month, said real estate appraiser Matt Burghoff, one of two partners in BHat Development. Burghoff said his partner prefers to remain anonymous. There will be space for about 30 residents' cars in the basement.

A restaurant will occupy 7,500 square feet of the building's 9,000-square-foot first-floor commercial space, with a boutique retail store in 900 feet. The restaurant owner is a well-established and respected St. Louis restaurateur, Burghoff said, but he declined to name either of the tenants, who have signed letters of intent to occupy the space.

Eleven terra cotta lion heads on the outside of the building are a signature feature of the structure. The heads were attached to the gutters and drained water to the street. BHat wants to link them up to steam lines and have each lion roar every half-hour or so, Burghoff said.

BHat is seeking federal and state historic tax credits and tax increment financing for the project, and may try for New Markets Tax Credits as well. "Once we get those things put into place, we'd like to start (on construction) immediately," Burghoff said. Private financing was arranged through Sikeston, Mo.-based Montgomery First National's Crestwood office.

Financing is lined up for the conversion of Cheerful House, and construction can start immediately after the building's purchase closes, Stanley said. About 25 percent of the development cost will be from state historic and Brownfield tax credits. He declined to name the lender for the project.

Chasten will convert Cheerful House into loft condominiums on the second through seventh floors, a club on the seventh floor, a swimming pool on the roof, commercial space on the first floor, and basement parking with 108 spaces. The condominiums will range in size from 680 to 1,450 square feet and sell for $114,900 to $299,900. Construction would take about a year.

Both Burghoff and Stanley have loft conversion projects under their belts. Burghoff's other projects included converting the former Kirkwood Cinema into loft condominiums and office space, and renovating a former power station at 15th Street and Washington Avenue downtown into new office space for Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems Inc. Stanley developed the 13-unit Sidney Street Lofts at Sidney and Interstate 55.

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Bee Hat

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Cheerful House

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Another surface parking lot lost....tear.

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Today is the big day!

High-rise condos get off the ground

By Tavia Evans

Of the Post-Dispatch

03/07/2005

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Hank Loeffler of St. Louis Parking goes about his business of dismantling the parking booth occupying the corner lot at Euclid and Laclede Sts. which is about to be the site of a multi-story building called Park Tower East.

(KEVIN MANNING/P-D)

Construction trailers at the corner of Laclede and Euclid avenues in the Central West End are a good sign that work will begin soon on the luxury high-rise condominiums planned for the site.

Minneapolis-based developer Opus Northwest will break ground today on Park East Towers, after legal issues delayed the project for several months.

The high-rise residential building might be among the city's largest in nearly 30 years. The project will have 26 floors and 90 condo units at a cost of $50 million. Opus said 60 percent of the units have been sold. Prices start at $200,000 each, with the penthouse suites listing for nearly $1 million. The site served as a parking lot until last week.

The development has had to overcome several hurdles since its inception nearly two years ago. Construction was supposed to begin last fall. Opus settled a lawsuit recently with West End Chouteau Condominiums, a neighbor building, over the use of sewer lines near the construction site.

The company closed on the property Friday with the St. Louis Treasurer's office after having an option on the site for nearly 18 months. Opus paid $600,000 for the site, said William Kuehling, an attorney representing the Euclid-Laclede Community Improvement District.

Opus bought out the interests of two developers, Steve Saller of St. Louis and Steve Anrod of Chicago. Saller and Anrod launched the idea of a luxury high-rise in the Central West End two years ago.

"They got it started but didn't have the financial resources to pull it off, and we were looking for residential projects in St. Louis to complement the ones we have in Minneapolis," said John Pitcher, director of real estate development for the development company's St. Louis operation.

U.S. Bank will provide the construction loan. Financing will come also from tax abatements and special assessments issued through the Euclid-Laclede Community Improvement District. The district will finance $6.8 million in bonds for the project, Kuehling said. The complicated arrangement allows condo owners to pay an assessment in lieu of property taxes. The assessment, in turn, will be used to pay the principal and interest on the bonds.

Great Southern Bank, based in Springfield, Mo., purchased the bonds. Piper Jaffray, an investment firm based in Minneapolis, is underwriting the bonds.

"This will be a landmark building in that area, and it's the ideal project to increase our lending in the St. Louis market," said Henry Heimsoth, commercial lending officer for Great Southern Bank. "We think the Central West End is a stable, viable area. And we have confidence in the developer, Opus, to get the job done."

The condos are the developer's first residential project in the metro area. The firm has invested nearly $65 million in commercial and industrial projects, including One Chesterfield Place, a 150,000-square-foot office building. Opus owns an industrial building at Fountain Lakes Industrial Park in St. Charles. Work will start soon on the Dardenne Town Center in St. Charles County.

Reporter Tavia Evans

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 314-340-8159

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Posted

Marquette Building is centerpiece of renovation

By Tavia Evans

Of the Post-Dispatch

04/14/2005

marq15big.jpg

Louis Tallarrini of West Plains, N.Y. checks out the St. Louis skyline from a display model called the Saarinen. He is being shown the property by Lynne Steinert of the Maher Partners.

New housing under development in the Marquette Building downtown will offer panoramic views of the city, including a flurry of other construction work in the surrounding neighborhood.

About $170 million in development is planned or under way for the central financial district, in an area roughly bounded by Washington Avenue, Fourth Street, Pine Street and Broadway. The projects include $15 million in renovation to the Security Building, 319 Fourth Street; $80 million at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, 411 Locust Street; and $20 million at the Merchants-Laclede Building, 408 Olive, which houses the new Hilton Inn.

At the 93-year-old Marquette, 82 condominiums and 40 apartments are planned, along with about 25,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. The Lawrence Group, a St. Louis-based architectural and design firm, is developing the $53 million project.

The YMCA, a longtime tenant, will stay in the building.

Instead of lofts, the Lawrence Group opted for more traditional condos for the former office building.

"This wasn't a warehouse where you have high ceilings and columns to work around," said President Stephen Smith. "Lofts have been the pioneer in downtown housing in St. Louis, but we think downtown is ready for classic residential, a different product offered for people who want to move here."

About $15 million to $20 million in historic tax credits will be used to redevelop the property, secured by Northmarq Capital Inc. Alberici Constructors Inc. is doing much of the work.

Inside, Lawrence Group will add its own design effects, such as curved, gallery-style walls in the Saarinen model, a layout named for Eero Saarinen, who designed the Gateway Arch.

Carerra marble throughout the building will be restored, too. Construction crews found some of it hidden under layers of wallpaper around elevators on each floor.

There also are plans to build a bridge walkway between the Marquette and a new parking garage that opens onto Olive Street.

A group of principals at the Lawrence Group bought the 19-story property in 2004 for $4.9 million, after some ownership shuffling between New York-based Tahl-Propp Equities and the YMCA, the main tenant for several years.

The units are priced from $169,000 to $392,000. Since an open house April 7, Smith said 32 units have been presold or reserved.

A block north, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank will tear down its old parking garage and build a new five-story annex on the north side of its property. The $80 million project also includes permanently closing Locust Street to traffic between Fourth and Broadway and creating a pedestrian parkway. A bullet-proof vestibule entrance will be the new front door for the bank on Locust Street.

Spokesman Joe Elsner said much of the work has been driven by post 9-11 security issues. With the improvements, visitors can be screened before they enter the Federal Reserve building, he said, and the pedestrian parkway will limit the building's exposure to street traffic.

The Security Building, 319 Fourth Street, also is owned by the Lawrence Group. The 115-year-old Security, which is on the National Register of Historic Buildings, is undergoing about $15 million in renovations. About $3 million in tax credits, also secured by Northmarq Capital, are being used to help restore it.

The renovation includes updates to offices in the 125,000-square-foot building, along with new elevators and a multimedia conference room.

Charles Drury Sr. of Drury Development, who has a penchant for turning historic buildings into hotels, has revived the nearby Merchants-Laclede building. Built in 1889, the old fur trading exchange is now home to the Hilton Inn - after a $20 million makeover.

Most of the 10-story building was gutted to create the 200-room hotel. Much of the Old World marble near the revolving doors at the Olive Street entrance was saved. Chrome-plated bank-vault doors now lead to the hotel's business center and gift shop.

U.S. Bank was the lender on the project. Drury said his company is applying for historic tax credits.

Barbara Geisman, St. Louis deputy mayor for development, said the new projects could translate into broader appeal for the market downtown. "The wider variety of products we have to offer downtown, the more we can appeal to residents and businesses that want to come back."

Reporter Tavia Evans

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 314-340-8159

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Posted

Park East update

April 17 2005

Sorry I could Only get a pic from what will be the back end of the Park East. Still diggin!

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