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Elevated Park Could Help Transform North St. Louis

the trestle

An open house was held yesterday to unveil plans for an elevated park that will be built on an abandoned train trestle just north of Downtown St. Louis.  This would be only the third elevated park in the world; the others are in New York and Paris.  The Great Rivers Greenway District is leading the development of the park that will link North St. Louis to the rest of the Great Rivers Greenway system of bike and hiking trails.  Organizers plan to implement several features into the design of the project including:  a space for special events, areas for bird-watching, native plantings and a solar-powered drip irrigation system.  Along with the continued redevelopment in Downtown and the Northside Regeneration project starting this fall; “The Trestle” will help to revitalize a once vibrant neighborhood and further connect the Mississippi Riverfront with the surrounding community.  You can read more about The Trestle here.


Dominium Development agrees to purchase Arcade Wright Building


Dominium Development of Minneapolis has agreed to purchase the Arcade Wright Building at Eighth and Olive for $9 million and plans to spend $103 million to renovate the building into 254 apartments (with two-thirds being partially subsidized for low-income residents) and 61,000 square feet of commercial space.  Construction is expected to begin in December with environmental cleanup of the building starting next week.


Lawrence Group to Invest $11 million in Sun Theater Renovation

1The Lawrence Group is starting an $11 million project to renovate the Sun Theater on Grandel Square in Midtown for the Grand Center Arts Academy.  The project is receiving $4 million in Federal and State Historic Tax Credits.  

From the Post-Dispatch:

“The theater opened in 1913 as the Gernlan Theatre — a home for German-speaking stock companies, according to the National Register nomination. It describes the facade as “a treasure at human scale.”

Other accounts say the hall opened as the German-language Victor Theater.

Closed during World War I, the theater reopened afterward as The Liberty. Over the years, vaudeville, burlesque, night club and evangelical church acts played on the stage.

In 1950, according to Post-Dispatch files, the building became the Sun, “a motion picture theater for Negroes.” The theater also was known for a time as the Lyn.

It once seated 1,500 people. Capacity will be reduced to about 700 after the Lawrence Group converts much of the balcony to three classrooms with tiered seating.

Kuntze and Smith said the Sun’s auditorium will be available for rent to outside groups for events and performances. Smith said the Sun will be a smaller venue that Grand Center needs.

“It’s a mini-Fox and a mini-Powell,” he said.”




Plan Emerges to Save Cupples 7

519ffe16005bd.preview-300While demolition permits have been issued, a new plan is emerging that could possibly save the crumbling Cupples 7 warehouse building in Downtown St. Louis.  The potential project faces an approval deadline of June 7 to save the building.  Vertical Realty Advisors is working on a $40 million project to redevelop the building that was once slated to be redeveloped into condos before the housing market collapsed.  Vertical Realty is also working on a plan to redevelop the vacant Municipal Courts building at 1320 Market Street into offices and restaurants.


Northside Work to Start this Fall

51af86fa9c663.preview-620The long delayed Northside Regeneration project led by developer Paul McKee is expected to start by November.  In April, the Missouri Supreme Court to approve the $400 Million TIF (Tax Increment Financing) package approved by the City of Saint Louis.  The plan will eventually redevelop 1,500 acres of the long neglected 5th Ward just north of Downtown.  You can read more about the latest developments in the project here.


Missouri legislation would abolish foreclosure mediation in the city and county


 From the St. Louis Post Dispatch

“A bill to abolish mandatory foreclosure mediation in St. Louis and St. Louis County is nearing passage in the Missouri Legislature, to the chagrin of housing advocates.

The bill would kill a system in which homeowners can demand a final, face-to-face meeting with the lender and a mediator before their house is taken in foreclosure.

The bill, sponsored by Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, passed the House by a 130 to 24 vote on April 4. A Senate committee approved it, and it is now awaiting a full Senate vote. The bill would forbid local governments from regulating real estate loans.

St. Louis and St. Louis County mediation rules give homeowners a final chance to persuade bankers to reduce monthly mortgage payments, rather than take the house. The mediation requirements have been blocked temporarily by the courts pending a legal challenge from bankers.

Troubled homeowners can’t afford to maintain their property, which hurts the neighborhood, said Harry Gallagher, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Missouri. Stretching out the process also hurts the homeowner, he said. “For their own sakes, it’s better to get this behind them and move on,” Gallagher said.”

The passage of this bill could increase the number of foreclosed properties in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.



Missouri Historic Preservation Tax Credits – Where do they go?


As the battle over Missouri Historic Preservation tax credits of all kinds continues in Jefferson City, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Building Blocks blog reviewed the last 21 months’ worth of historic tax credit authorizations, back through the July 1, 2011, the start of the state’s 2012 fiscal year. Many of these projects are under construction right now. In that time, buildings in 18 counties in every corner of the state were authorized for historic credits, from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau, Hannibal to Joplin. But the overwhelming majority of historic tax credit projects were located in two places: Jackson County and the City of St. Louis. Those two counties combined for 201 of the 237 authorizations since July 2011, and absorbed 90 percent of the dollars — $148.4 million out of $168.4 million that was authorized. Most of that went to projects in the City of St. Louis.  Read more here.


Stamping Lofts to Open in Downtown St. Louis!


Stamping Lofts St. Louis

The Stamping Lofts just north of Downtown St. Louis opened on Wednesday.  Developer Craig Heller is behind the project of 56 low-income studio apartments in what had been the St. Louis Stamping Co. building, constructed in 1870. The housing is part of a development called FarmWorks, which will focus on aquaponics, hydroponics, vermiculture and vertical growing systems.  Read more here.


Demand for St. Louis Apartments Surges in Q3 of 2012

city walkAs the demand for St. Louis apartments continues to surge, new research from Colliers International in St. Louis shows that multifamily occupancy in St. Louis hit a decade high! In the 3rd Quarter St. Louis absorbed 2,748 units bringing overall occupancy to 94.3%. Demand has been particularly high in the Central West End and Mid St. Louis County, but rent growth remains modest. The Central West End is projected to have 420 new units while Mid County will receive 268 new units in 2013. While demand remains high, the addition of the new units is expected to keep rent growth low.


Roberts Tower moving forward again

imageThe St.Louis Land Clearance Authority has selected UrbanStreet Group of Chicago as the preferred developer for the Roberts Tower. The firm will spend $22 million to finish the long stalled project. The Roberts brothers put over $50 million into the project before putting all of their downtown real estate up for sale. The finished building will add 132 apartments to the Old Post Office District downtown. Read more here.


Will construction of Ballpark Village finally begin?

BallparkVillage-A-BtenantPROMO-280As reported by the Saint Louis Business Journal, grading permits were issued on January 24 for the site of the long delayed Ballpark Village project in Downtown Saint Louis. The $100 million first phase of the $700 million mixed-use development will not only benefit the local economy, but will be a catalyst to further the revitalization of Downtown. If you have ever considered living Downtown, there has never been a better time! Contact The Agency STL for more information!