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May 19

10-Unit Condo Building Proposed for Central West End

The St. Louis City Preservation Board will review a proposal for shoehorning a 10-unit condo building into a long-vacant corner in the city’s Central West End. The Cultural Resources Office is recommending preliminary approval of the project. While only sketches of the project are available, the three-story building shows a residential entrance on Maryland, with garage entrance on the alley to access 10 ground level parking spaces. A Sanborn Fire Insurance map included in the Preservation Board materials depicts residential buildings that once faced Boyle Street.

[4301 Maryland Avenue proposal – Central West End Historic District]

Owner/Applicant:
Lauren and Mark Mathis

Staff Recommendation: That the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval to the proposal, subject to review of final documents, design details and materials by the Cultural Resources Office.

The Project: The applicants propose to construct a ten-unit three story condo building on a single vacant parcel. All new residential construction in Local Historic Districts is brought to the Preservation Board for review on a preliminary basis prior to permitting.

Preliminary Findings and Conclusion:
The Cultural Resources Office’s consideration of the criteria for new residential construction in the
Central West End Historic District Standards led to these preliminary findings:

  • The proposed site for construction, 4301 Maryland Avenue, is located in the Central West
    End Local Historic District.
  • The siting, scale, proportions, roof shape, and exterior materials comply with the
    Standards.
  • The building’s floor heights, water-table, and foundation do not line up with the
    neighboring property due to the ground floor garage.
  • The setback along Maryland cannot be followed due to the shape of the parcel.

Based on the preliminary findings, the Cultural Resources Office recommends that the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval for the proposed new construction with the condition that final drawings, design details, and exterior materials be approved by the Cultural Resources Office.

About Alex Ihnen

Alex is the owner and editor of nextSTL.com. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and Masters in Public Affairs at Indiana University and has studied in Adelaide, Australia and Perugia, Italy. Alex can be found on Twitter @alexihnen and reached at [email protected]

May 19

Friday Live Chat – nextSTL

Alex is the owner and editor of nextSTL.com. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and Masters in Public Affairs at Indiana University and has studied in Adelaide, Australia and Perugia, Italy. Alex can be found on Twitter @alexihnen and reached at [email protected]

May 19

Reproduction Historic Mansion Proposed for Compton Heights

By now, no one is surprised when Killeen Studio presents a historic replica project. The architecture firm has designed a number of residences in south St. Louis local historic districts. In March, a historic corner retail replica residence in Benton Park took it to another level. Now, the Compton Heights neighborhood may be getting its first new mansion in decades. The historic neighborhood known for the huge homes of past leaders of industry and commerce has seen more modest infill since its heyday. Also in Compton Heights, a long-awaited proposal for the vacant South Grand Y and Pelican Building site was recently revealed.

[3012 Longfellow proposal – Compton Hill Historic District]

Owner:
Eugene and Marilyn Stubblefield

Architect:
Mike Killeen, Killeen Studio

Staff Recommendation:
That the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval of the new building as proposed with the stipulation that final plans and materials are reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office.

The Project:
The applicants are proposing to construct a two and a half story single family house on a vacant parcel on the Compton Hill Local Historic District. All new construction in Local Historic Districts is brought to the Preservation Board for review on a preliminary basis prior to permitting.

Preliminary Findings and Conclusion:
The Cultural Resources Office’s consideration of the criteria for new residential construction in the Compton Hill Historic District Standards led to these preliminary findings:

  • The proposed site for the new single family house is within the boundaries of the Compton Hill Certified Local Historic District.
  • The subject parcel has never been built on prior to this proposal.
  • The proposed two and a half story house is compatible in height, scale, and exterior materials with other single family buildings along Hawthorn, Russell and Longfellow. Its design complies with most requirements for new construction in the Compton Hill Historic District Standards.

Based on these Preliminary findings, the Cultural Resources Office recommends that the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval to the project, with the stipulation that final plans and exterior materials for the new building will be reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office.

 

 

About Alex Ihnen

Alex is the owner and editor of nextSTL.com. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and Masters in Public Affairs at Indiana University and has studied in Adelaide, Australia and Perugia, Italy. Alex can be found on Twitter @alexihnen and reached at [email protected]

May 18

DESCO Unveils $80M Mixed-Use Plan for Former Shriners Site in Frontenac

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, The DESCO Group has a preliminary plan in place for an $80M development including a three-story, 36K sf mixed-use building at the former Shriners Hospital site on South Lindbergh Boulevard site adjacent to the Plaza Frontenac. Two 6,500 sf restaurants and a Lifetime Fitness would also be added to the 9.5-acre site.

“Preliminary Concept Design Only, DESCO Building to Have Similar Design Intent”:

From our previous report: DESCO has Frontenac Shriners Hospital Site Under Contract 

Shriner's Hospital - Frontenac

nextSTL has learned the commercial real estate division for Schnucks Markets Inc., DESCO Group, has the Shriners Hospital for Children campus in Frontenac under contract. The parcel has attracted much attention from developers since 2013. That is when the Tampa-based organization announced plans for a new $47 million hospital in the Central West End (CWE).

nextSTL sources say at least four groups have made serious offers for the Shriners property thus far. This includes a second attempt to land a Frontenac location by high-end health club chain Lifetime Fitness, and interest from BJC. Activity regarding pursuit of the property has been so high that the Shriners decided to handle the sale itself, forgoing local representation.

Shriner's Hospital - Frontenac

The Frontenac children’s hospital opened in 1963, and will see its final patients on May 16. It is situated between St. Joseph’s Academy to its south, and Plaza Frontenac to its north. A residential community along Litzsinger Rd. comprised of 14 estates borders the hospital property to its west.

According to nextSTL sources the DESCO Group has one year to do its due diligence. This involves the buyer completing a thorough investigation of the property before committing to buy. Due diligence reduces the risk the buyer will be disappointed and increases the chances the seller will have its terms met. Still way too early to tell, but high-end retail plans for the site have been mentioned.

Any commercial development at the site would almost certainly meet fierce resistance from residents. That is what killed the proposed 2012 Sansone Group mixed-use project at the Ladue Early Childhood Center near the Spoede and Clayton Roads intersection. Opposition from neighboring homeowners, including three-time U.S. Open golf champion Hale Irwin, was too much to overcome. An attempt to reach the Shriners and DESCO for comment was unsuccessful.

Similar opposition has organized against a proposal for 30 villas, 24 townhomes and an 86-bed assisted living facility at the site of the closed Ladue Early Childhood Center on Clayton Road. A citizen group titled “Citizens AGAINST High-Rise Assisted Living & High Density Housing” has opposed that development under the banner of “preserve the beauty of Frontenac”.

Citizens AGAINST High-Rise Assisted Living & High Density Housing

The new 4-acre Shriners St. Louis Hospital for Children will be located at the corner of Clayton and Newstead Avenues, on the BJC campus in the CWE. This will be the third facility for Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. In July of 1921 property for the first hospital, located only two blocks from the new CWE hospital, was purchased for $150,000. In January, nextSTL was first to report that the Washington University School of Medicine is exploring converting the 1921 building to medical student housing.

May 18

Goebel & Co. Furniture To Open Retail Space in Downtown Maplewood

The retail landscape in St. Louis isn’t healthy. Vacancy is high, we’re famous for our dead malls and empty retail strips, and even new retail is struggling. But St. Louis is a large and diverse metro area, with a diverse retail sector. While standard retail suffers, some specialty and local retail is finding success. The latest indicator of this is Goebel & Co. Furniture opening a retail storefront in the former Monarch restaurant space at 7401 Manchester Road in Maplewood.

Goebel has been building to this point for years. We profiled the company back in 2012 when it was operating out of the Temtor Building at 8125 Michigan Avenue in far south city. The building was long home to a Coca-Cola syrup manufacturing operation. After sitting vacant for years, it was redeveloped into a mix of residential, retail, and office space. It’s most trafficked tenant was and still is Perennial Artisan Ales.

When Goebel outgrew the space, it relocated to a 6,500 square feet in Midtown Alley and the Locust Business District. That building has something of an office and showroom streetside, but not exactly a brick & mortar retail presence. The Maplewood location saw the Goebel sign erected today and is set to open this fall. The company continues to seek a larger space for its manufacturing operations.

7401 Manchester:

Goebel & Co. was founded in 2011 by St. Louis natives Martin Goebel, Nick Leidenfrost and Noah Alexander, the latter two of the Classic Cars Studio. The company specializes in
residential, commercial and hospitality furniture, having supplied product to Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, Vicia restaurant, The Libertine, 4 Hands Brewery, Washington University in Saint Louis, Monsanto/The Climate Corporation, Tommy Bahama New York, Christner Inc., and others.

From our 2012 profile: Design Week Feature: Goebel & Co. Furniture and How St. Louis Fosters New Design Enterprises

For Goebel, choosing St. Louis has much more to do with the resources the City has to offer his company than just a desire to return to his family’s home town. In fact, basing Goebel & Co. in St. Louis capitalizes on a number of competitive advantages innate to the City, its business culture, its geography, and the revitalization of the City’s classic building stock.

St. Louis’ first competitive advantage is found in the hardwoods preferred for their furniture being native to Eastern Missouri, including classic offerings in Cherry and Walnut, but also specialty woods like Siberian Elm which produces a distinct blonde coloration to the woods.

Goebel & Co. selected products:

May 15

Drury Development Seeks Demo for FPSE Building on Kingshighway

There are a handful of residential buildings facing Kingshighway in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. In one view they’re woefully out of place, fronting seven lanes of a traffic and an interstate interchange. In another view, the homes anchor the edge of the residential neighborhood, holding and presenting its identity to those hurriedly passing through.

The homes on the west side of Kingshighway, in the tiny Kings Oak neighborhood, don’t seem nearly as challenged, but these FPSE four-families have been in limbo for more than a decade. Three years ago we write about Drury Development’s acquisition of these homes and others. It was a somewhat surprising expansion of its holdings. The 2008 hotel tower proposal seemed long gone, but with that move, seemed to still be alive.

Now Drury is seeking to demolish the building at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Kingshighway, just one of the row which has been assumed would make way for a hotel entrance if the plan ever comes to pass. Demolition will be considered at the city’s Preservation Board meeting later this month. We’ve watched this plan and process for nearly a decade, and it’s once again time to take a look at past proposals and current Drury holdings:

____________________________
May 12, 2014:
Drury Eyes Future Hotel, Adds 15 Parcels to Holdings in Forest Park Southeast

Drury Development - Forest Park Southeast

It’s a smart bet that there will be a landmark Drury Hotel in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Exactly when, and what it will look like is less certain. nextSTL has learned that Drury Development Corporation recently purchased 15 parcels on the edge of the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood for $1.675M.

Back in August 2008, Drury presented plans for two 16-story hotels towers with a total of 690 rooms. The idea received a mixed response from a packed church of more than 100 residents. Then the recession hit full force. Plans were put on hold.

Drury is currently focused on the completion of the 210-room Drury Inn & Suites Brentwood at Interstate 64 and Brentwood Boulevard just a few miles west. If that hotel performs as expected over its first year or so, the company’s attention is likely to turn to Forest Park Southeast (The Grove).

Drury Development - Forest Park Southeast{rendering of twin 15-story hotel towers from 2008}

There are currently no revised renderings or site plans available, and Drury has not decided whether to pursue a plan similar to its 2008 proposal. The 15 parcels are added to five already owned by the company at the northwest corner of the neighborhood.

A Drury representative told nextSTL that the company had reached a point that it needed to make a decision on the FPSE site. The parcels had been marketed by KH Ventures LLC for several years. A number of the buildings have been vacant for up to a decade.

Drury plans to renovate a half dozen or more properties on Oakland and Arco. Current plans include renovating 4564 Arch and 1074 S. Kingshighway. Two homes on Gibson (4571 and 4521) will also be renovated as rental properties. The Gibson homes were acquired as part of a package with the church property several years ago.

Drury Development - Forest Park Southeast{buildings such as these on Arco will be renovated as rental properties}

At that time, the idea of historic homes serving as hotel rooms or extended stay hotel rentals as a buffer between the hotel and residences was floated, and Drury stated that the church itself may form the lobby of the new development. It’s unclear if these ideas will be pursued.

This corner of the neighborhood has clearly been a target for development since at least the time MoDOT’s plan to remove the expansive I-64/Kingshighway cloverleaf interchange came along. Since then, some truly horrific plans have been floated.

While dead-on-arrival with zero chance of support from the neighborhood, or alderman, the K2 Commerical Group promoted images of a CVS, QuikTrip, and several office buildings. The idea would have required the demolition of more than 120 residential units.

Forest Park Southeast neighborhood - St. Louis, MO - K2 Commerical Group development plan{the K2 plan would have faced a mountain of opposition}

The site is challenging to access, and neighborhood residents have made it clear that they would not like to see hotel traffic on residential streets. Any development would require access at Oakland Avenue, the end of which was recently permanently vacated by the city, removing access to the neighborhood from Kingshighway at that point.

While the expanding adjacent medical center is seen as underserved by hotels, this is changing. A Hilton Home2 hotel is planned for the northeast corner of Chouteau and Taylor Avenues nearby, and the Cortex development further east is planned to include a hotel.

Drury Development - Forest Park Southeast{the former church at Gibson Avenue has been owned by Drury for several years}

Drury Development - Forest Park Southeast{buildings facing Kingshighway will likely be targeted for demolition}

May 12

New Renderings of Armory District Show Off Plans by Green Street

In February, we got our first look at plans for the historic Armory building. Developer Green Street tapped Arcturis to…

May 12

Friday Live Chat – nextSTL

Alex is the owner and editor of nextSTL.com. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and Masters in Public Affairs at Indiana University and has studied in Adelaide, Australia and Perugia, Italy. Alex can be found on Twitter @alexihnen and reached at [email protected]

May 11

Kingshighway Viaduct Set To Open Saturday

After a long two years under construction, the Kingshighway viaduct is set to reopen to automobile traffic this Saturday. According to an email sent to constituents by 8th Ward Alderman Stephen Conway, the long-awaited reopening is scheduled for 10 A.M. Saturday. Mayor Lyda Krewson, Conway and 10th Ward Alderman Joseph Vollmer will host a ribbon cutting at the southern end of the viaduct near Vandeventer Avenue.

The viaduct won’t quite be finished this weekend. There is still one lane in each direction that needs to be completed and street lights will still need to be installed. But the viaduct will finally be open after a few months delay. This will be a sigh of relief for some businesses on the Hill who feel they have suffered through the construction and traffic the detour has put through their neighborhood. On the other side of Kingshighway, on Vandeventer, businesses benefitting from additional traffic may worry about the coming decrease.

On Shaw, O’Connells Bar will be the lone building separated by two Shaw Boulevards (one goes straight and has turn lanes, the other is strictly one way). A new Shaw on one side and the old one on the other. NEXT STL covered the plan prior to construction, which began July 6, 2015.

The city continues to work through long-overdue replacement of a number of viaducts connecting the city north-south. Jefferson Avenue over the rail yards and I-64 was replaced several years ago, followed by Grand Avenue at the rail yards, then Grand at I-44. Compton Avenue north of Chouteau will be replaced in the near future, as will I-44 over Kingshighway.

And in case you missed it, the old Kingshighway viaduct did have some charm:

An Ode to the Kingshighway Viaduct:

The Kingshighway skate park:

About Chris Stritzel

Chris Stritzel is a student at Vianney High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. He started his own development blog, Building St. Louis News, and is an active contributor at the UrbanSTL Forum.

May 10

Loop Trolley Corridor Photo Tour: Delmar East of Des Peres

Let’s continue our journey along the Loop Trolley corridor with the section of Delmar from DeBaliviere to Des Peres. See the first installment: DeBaliviere.

This section of Delmar is most stroad-like, prioritizing level of service for cars, yet with too many curb cuts to count. The Everly looms in the distance

A crosswalk is missing on the west side of DeBaliviere at Delmar

Social Security office – tax-exempt

Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers – tax exempt

Trolley passing section

BP gas station at Goodfellow. It was rebuilt a few years ago.

A crosswalk is missing on the east side of Goodfellow at Delmar

Redevelopment opportunity at this low-productivity auto-oriented land use on the northwest corner of Goodfellow and Delmar. It’s owned by someone in a little town in Tennessee and two years behind on taxes. My dream would be a 3-4 story building with a hardware store on the ground floor.

Development opportunity at 5819 Delmar

5835 Delmar, owned by the same company as the empty lot next door, could use some sprucing-up. 5841 to the left is owned by someone in St. Charles.

Metro’s DeBaliviere Garage – Tax Exempt

{H3 Studio} The Skinker DeBaliviere Neighborhood Plan shows the possibility of the garage being redeveloped.

The infamous History Museum lot. This may be the most appropriate place for structured parking similar to the garage across from the Tivoli.

The Pageant Theater used to be at 5855 Delmar

The south side of the 5800 block of Delmar is complete. Laurel St. connects to Delmar. It is the only open street from Skinker DeBaliviere to Delmar. Though one-way towards Delmar, drivers often use it to go south.

The boarded-up 5878 Delmar. A $425,000 permit has been pulled to fix it up. There is a Trolley stop here.

The Alanson at Delmar and Hamilton

Loop Trolley Barn

Wouldn’t be complete without a lighted sign!

The crosswalk on the East side of Hamilton at Delmar…

Has been combined with the Trolley stop. Hopefully after repaving and striping drivers will resist storing their cars here.

Redevelopment opportunity at 5897 Delmar- former home to the infamous Pete’s Sure Save.

Awkward crosswalk on the south side of Delmar and Hamilton

The Gotham Annex on the northwest corner of Delmar and Hamilton

Vacated Hamilton for the Ill-conceived Lucier Park.

The Skinker DeBaliviere Neighborhood Plan shows options for enhancing Lucier Park. Option 2, which would reconnect Hamilton and Washington, would be great. It’s a tough lift as it would require a vote of the entire city.

Development opportunity at 5900 Delmar, though I’d rather it become part of a reconfigured Lucier Park.

5920 Delmar waiting for a new life.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Hall – tax exempt

Tax-exempt car storage for the Jehovah’s Witnesses Hall

Development opportunity at the corner of Delmar and DeGiverville

DeGiverville is blocked at the alley.

Awkward crosswalk on the south side of Delmar and DeGiverville. Why put curb cuts at the corner which spits you into the intersection instead of in the direction of travel?

Redevelopment opportunity at this low-productivity auto-oriented land use at 5935 Delmar

St. Louis Artworks at 5959 Delmar

Redevelopment opportunity at 5967 Delmar

5977 Delmar home of the Metrolink Patrol Station

Redevelopment opportunity at this low-productivity auto-oriented land use at 5989 Delmar. What happened to the bus shelter?

Redevelopment opportunity at this low-productivity auto-oriented land use at 5970 Delmar

Redevelopment opportunity at this low-productivity auto-oriented land use at 5980 Delmar.

No left turn from EB Delmar to Hodiamont nor SB Hodiamont to Delmar, though I did once see a semi go the wrong way on Delmar until it could access the EB lanes a bit to the east.

Delmar looking east near DeGiverville. The Skinker DeBaliviere Neighborhood Plan calls for a road diet for Delmar from Des Peres to Goodfellow. That would be welcome.

Wabash Station

{H3 Studio} The Skinker DeBaliviere Neighborhood Plan shows the station becoming the entrance tot he Metrolink Station as well as access from the south side of Delmar. Maybe someday.

The Trolley stop at Wabash Station

A pedestrian dream come true- a one-lane-wide crosswalk

An awkward crosswalk on the south side of Delmar at Des Peres

The pavement along this stretch is beat to hell. Repaving is imminent. I plan to take photos of the result. Also the corridor is riddled with litter, weeds, and debris on the street and on sidewalks. This needs to be addressed.

The East Loop CID was created last year to address those issues and further efforts to enhance the area. It’s funded through an assessment based on square footage of land, square footage of building (upper stories are at a lower rate). See an article in the Times of Skinker DeBaliviere for more (Page 6).