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Sunday Poll: After Millions in Tax Incentives, Has IKEA Been A Net Positive or Net Negative?

Please vote below
Please vote below

It has now been over a year since IKEA opened for business and it appears to be boosting tax receipts:

The Swedish retailer’s 63110 ZIP code saw a 40 percent spike in state sales tax revenue from October 2015 through June 2016 compared with the prior-year period, according to the latest available data from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

The period with Ikea generated $277 million in state sales tax revenue versus $197 million in the prior-year period without Ikea. (St. Louis Business Journal)

An increase of $80 million, though not all can be attributed to IKEA. It’s unclear now much additional revenue went to the City of St. Louis. But it didn’t come cheap, from February 2014:

Ikea’s plans to open a St. Louis store next year moved ahead Friday when a city panel voted to back a $32 million tax incentive for the project.

Members of the city’s Tax Increment Financing Commission voted unanimously to approve the subsidy. The vote also backed a separate $5.1 million subsidy for a residential building planned for an area just west of the Ikea site.

The Swedish furniture retailer has yet to specify the cost of its St. Louis store, planned for the southwest corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer avenues, but a spokesman said it will exceed $100 million.

The TIF projects are part of a $167.7 million TIF city officials approved for the Cortex bioscience district in 2012. The district is split into 10 TIF areas that must be activated individually as the area develops. (Post-Dispatch)

The store employees hundreds, each paying the 1% earnings tax.

The poll will be open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

A Sneak Peak Inside The Lofts @ 625 North Euclid

July 25, 2016 Central West End, Featured, Planning & Design, Real Estate Comments Off on A Sneak Peak Inside The Lofts @ 625 North Euclid

Two weeks ago I visited a building I’d been in many times before. The 6-story warehouse on the SW corner of Euclid & Delmar, known as the Euclid Plaza Building for decades, is being transformed into high-end apartments known as 625 Lofts at Euclid. I got a personal tour from the developers. I previously posted about this project in May, see: Delmar & Euclid Building Will Soon Have New Use As Apartments.

The following are gone:

  • The 70s/80s dated 2-story center lobby
  • Former offices, hallways, bathrooms, etc
  • The fixed windows
  • Freight elevator in SW corner of the building

The following were retained:

  • Three passenger elevators
  • Medicine Shoppe pharmacy

Three of five floors are finished, residents have begun moving in. We took a look at the display units, plus a couple units on a floor still being completed.

I was impressed with the quality/amount of cabinets, the finishes & appliances.
I was impressed with the quality/amount of cabinets, the finishes & appliances.
Units in the SW corner feature kitchens in the former freight elevator shaft, with exposed brick walls above the cabinets. The glass door + transom to the balcony wasn't installed yet.
Units in the SW corner feature kitchens in the former freight elevator shaft, with exposed brick walls above the cabinets. The glass door + transom to the balcony wasn’t installed yet.

Each unit is unique compared to others on the same floor. One bathroom featured a rain shower head, for example. Due to construction, we didn’t get up to the roof. When finished, it’ll be fully accessible, but it wasn’t yet when I visited. Interior parking is wisely unbundled — you pay extra if you need a parking space.

The developers say they’ve had no problems leasing the units, anticipate full occupancy despite rents on the high side. I think it’s important for cities to offer a variety of housing options — at a variety of price points. Purchase & rental.

They leased the rough surface parking lot to the East during construction, hopefully the Roberts brothers will develop it or sell to someone who will.
They leased the rough surface parking lot to the East during construction, hopefully the Roberts brothers will develop it or sell to someone who will.
625 N Euclid, on the left, with 6 floors, is about the same massing as the 8-story building to the North.
625 N Euclid, on the left, with 6 floors, is about the same massing as the 8-story building to the North.

After they get all the 82 residential units finished and occupied they’ll push for commercial tenants facing Euclid. Euclid & Delmar is a corner to watch. If you’re in the market for a nice apartment check out their website and visit the leasing office.

— Steve Patterson

 

Delmar & Euclid Building Will Soon Have New Use As Apartments

The 6-story building at Delmar & Euclid was known for decades as the Euclid Plaza Building. It was begun in 1910 as the General Van & Storage.  We know the building as 625 N. Euclid Ave, but General Van & Storage used 4908 Delmar Blvd. as their address.

Last month, while on the #97 (Delmar) MetroBus, I passed by the building and saw construction work. Sorry for the reflection from the bus window
Last month, while on the #97 (Delmar) MetroBus, I passed by the building and saw construction work. Sorry for the reflection from the bus window

In the early 1980s the building was redeveloped into office space by the now-defunct non-profit Union-Sarah Union-Sarah Redevelopment Corporation, headed by Nesby Moore.

Looking West toward the Euclid Ave facade on January 11, 2007
Looking West toward the Euclid Ave facade on January 11, 2007
The fixed upper windows was one of the things I disliked about the 80s project, January 11, 2007
The fixed upper windows was one of the things I disliked about the 80s project, January 11, 2007
The West facade included a mural of black & white CWE figures from the early 80s, January 2007 photo
The West facade included a mural of black & white CWE figures from the early 80s, January 2007 photo
Another view of the mural, 2007
Another view of the mural, 2007
Looking West from the roof, 2007
Looking West from the roof, 2007
march 18 2012
march 18 2012

At some point after the 80s renovation the owner became Del-Mar Corporation, which owned the building until it was lost at a tax sale:

Del-Mar Development Corporation (“Prior Owner”) failed to pay real property taxes on an office building it owned and the Collector of Revenue for the City of St. Louis conducted a tax sale on July 14, 1998, pursuant to the Municipal Land Reutilization Law (“MLRL”), sections 92.700 to 92.920 RSMo 2000. (casetext.com)

This building has held offices for KDHX, NAACP of St. Louis, and many others. Now, it’ll be apartments:

Best known locally for its Streets of St. Charles project, a developer from Peoria, Ill., is about to begin a loft apartment project in the Central West End neighborhood in St. Louis.

Cullinan Properties bought the Euclid Plaza building at 625 North Euclid Avenue and plans to begin renovating it within weeks. A company official said Thursday the building should be ready for tenants by late next spring.

Planned are 87 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with granite counters, “designer” bathrooms and 12-foot ceilings, the developer said. Indoor parking, a fitness center and a rooftop deck with a clubhouse for residents are part of the project. Cullinan calls the development the [email protected]. (Post-Dispatch)

The project should be completed by Summer, see my posts on their Streets of St. Charles project here & here.

The central lobby was very dated looking, but that’s all gone by now. I’m just glad to see the hideous fixed windows being replaced.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Not Impressed With Aesthetic of CityWalk Apartments

I love seeing new mixed-use buildings going up in the Central West End neighborhood, along Euclid Ave. Unfortunately, I’m not excited about the aesthetic of the nearly finished 7-story CityWalk.  When construction began in late 2013 it was expected to be completed by last Summer:

Bruce Mills, whose Mills Properties is developing City Walk, said construction will begin in early November. He said construction will take 22 months, meaning that City Walk, with 177 apartments, will be completed in late summer 2015. (Post-Dispatch)

Let’s take a look…

Looking North on Euclid toward the nearly-complete CityWalk development at Pine
Looking North on Euclid toward the nearly-complete CityWalk development at Pine
A new Whole Foods will soon open on the West end of the ground floor. I like the look of the black windows used in the project -- but the white doors on the corner are very wrong -- especially with black railings.
A new Whole Foods will soon open on the West end of the ground floor. I like the look of the black windows used in the project — but the white doors on the corner are very wrong — especially with black railings.
The balance of the ground floor facing Pine St
The balance of the ground floor facing Pine St
Looking South along Euclid
Looking South along Euclid
The West facade along Euclid
The West facade along Euclid

The facades are a hodgepodge of elements, the window are proportionally too small & horizontal.  However, the building is large and the mass has been well-maslked. The parking garage is hidden.

I look forward to taking the #10 MetroBus from downtown to shop occasionally at the Whole Foods after it opens.

— Steve Patterson

 

Curb Ramps Added Making Newstead & Duncan Crosswalk Passable

In May 2013 I posted about the lack of curb ramps for a crosswalk at Newstead & Duncan. Today I can say this has been corrected. The fix is minimal — the least required.

This February 2012 photo looking East across Newstead at Duncan shows a crosswalk that's clearly not ADA-compliant -- no curb ramps! Decorative brick was a higher priority.
This February 2012 photo looking East across Newstead at Duncan shows a crosswalk that’s clearly not ADA-compliant — no curb ramps! Decorative brick was a higher priority.
In March 2015 utility work was going on at this intersection.
In March 2015 utility work was going on at this intersection.
My next visit was October 9th, by then I noticed they did build curb ramps following the utility work.
My next visit was October 9th, by then I noticed they did build curb ramps following the utility work.

Not sure why the crosswalk is so wide, far wider than the ramps on each end. Duncan Ave is a long way from being pedestrian-friendly.

— Steve Patterson

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