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Offices, apartments spanning 'Delmar Divide' take step forward



Offices, apartments spanning 'Delmar Divide' take step forward


By Gloria Lloyd – Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal

Nov 22, 2021, 3:00pm EST


A planned office building and apartment complex that span the "Delmar Divide" took a step forward last week.


A city board, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, voted Thursday to approve 95% property tax abatement for 10 years for Elevation, an $8.6 million mixed-use redevelopment at 4731 Delmar Blvd., and 90% abatement for 10 years for The Bridge, a $62.7 million apartment complex with ground-floor retail at 4800-4830 Delmar.

The projects span the “Delmar Divide” across Delmar Boulevard, where northern, predominately Black areas have historically seen less investment than the areas south of Delmar. Kingsway Development, led by Kevin Bryant, has master development rights for 207 acres that cross the Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods and are roughly bordered by Taylor Avenue to the east, Kingshighway Boulevard to the west, Page Avenue to the north and Delmar to the south.

As soon as city permits are granted, Kingsway can start construction on the Elevation building, the former home of Union-Sarah Economic Development Corp., Bryant said at the meeting. The general contractor will be St. Louis-based Simms Building Group.

“Essentially we’ve taken an old abandoned warehouse and created an entrepreneur center,” Bryant said. “We’re real excited. We have the building under control, we have the plans, and we’re just ready to get started.”

He said signed tenants for the 4,779 square feet of commercial space on the first floor include a UPS Store, Jamba Juice and the first St. Louis location of The Original Hot Dog Factory, a fast-growing minority-owned chain out of Atlanta that has a few locations in the Midwest. Space is being held for a potential theater that Bryant has said he hopes will be a neighborhood beacon.

The 28 offices on the second floor of Elevation, consisting of 12,479 square feet, are sold out and will house tenants including the Ethical Society of Police and Park Central Development, Bryant said. He added that demand has been so high for the office space that Kingsway hopes to acquire the building next door for the same use.





This rendering shows an aerial view of The Bridge, a $62 million apartment complex along Delmar Boulevard.


LAND CLEARANCE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

In addition to abatement, financing will come from $300,000 in state Brownfield tax credits and $2.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits, and the developers are foregoing a developer’s fee, according to the city. Bryant said Kingsway tried twice to apply for historic tax credits, but was denied.

Just across Delmar to the south, The Bridge is to include 199 market-rate apartments and ground-floor retail space covering 1,200 square feet on what is now a vacant lot. The building’s parking garage will be intentionally oversized to fit more parking, to accommodate what the city's development agency, St. Louis Development Corp., hopes will be a revitalization of the area.

“We’re very excited about this project opening up the retail all the way east of Kingshighway,” said Zachary Wilson of SLDC.

Bryant said that the development team, which also includes veteran developer Brian Pratt, has been careful in crafting the apartment complex. It will be the largest and most significant of the Kingsway projects, Bryant said.

“This project is about unifying both sides of the street,” Bryant said, noting that the developers are choosing to build the complex's entrance to the north, connecting the project and its street activity with that end of town.

No commercial tenants are yet signed on for The Bridge's ground-floor retail space, Pratt said. The developers said they'll reach out to potential tenants that were interested in opening at Elevation.

The contractor for The Bridge is PARIC Construction, with design by architectural firm Trivers.