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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

 

 

Monogram Building, Formerly CPI Headquarters, To Become Loft Apartments

It’s time to stop calling the 9-story building at 1706 Washington Ave the “CPI” building. It has been a few years since the failed portrait studio operator occupied the building. For decades it was known as the Monogram Building, located within the Washington Avenue Historic District on the National Register, here are a couple of quotes from the listing:

The Monogram Building, rising nine stories, is a concrete-frame factory-warehouse extending eight bays on the east, elevation (facing 17th St. and 10 bays on the north (facing Washington). On both elevations, cream colored, glazed terra cotta, fashioned into shells, bound sheaves of wheat, caducei , and -foliated patterns, faces the narrow piers and spandrels which -frame triple windows . The end bays are sheathed in red brick and demarcated by terra cotta quoining. Above the two-story base, there is a foliated, bracketed cornice of terra cotta. The facade terminates with round arches formed bv the piers above the ninth story. A terra cotta cornice crowns the facade. 

and…

Rosenthal-Sloan, the “world’s largest millinery establishment,” occupied the Monogram Building at 1700 Washington constructed in 1910.” Numerous other millinery companies occupied quarters within the District and, according to one source, St. Louis was the largest millinery market in the country. ‘ Specialty items, junior dresses, for example, originated on Washington Avenue. Fashion shows were held first yearly and then twice yearly attracting thousands of buyers to the City. Large and small firms alike and the many out of town concerns that maintained offices and showrooms in the district flourished.

Before the Monogram was built in 1910, the site had already made history in St. Louis. Washington University in St. Louis, founded in 1853, opened its first building, Academic Hall, on the site on September 8, 1856. At the time, Lucas Place, now Locust St, was home to the city’s finest mansions.

Fol­low­ing the cholera epi­demic and fire in 1849, wealthy cit­i­zens became con­vinced that it was no longer desir­able to live in down­town St. Louis. James Lucas and his sis­ter Anne Lucas Hunt soon offered a solu­tion. They devel­oped the idea of the “Place,” a neigh­bor­hood with deed restric­tions that ensured it remained apart from the city and gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. The main thor­ough­fare was aptly called Lucas Place. Orig­i­nally Lucas Place (now Locust Street) extended between 13th and 16th streets when the city lim­its were just one block to the west between 17th and 18th streets. When estab­lished, Lucas Place was west of the devel­oped por­tion of the city, mak­ing it St. Louis’ first “sub­ur­ban” neighborhood. (Campbell House Museum)

The first mansion, built in 1851, was the Campbell House — the only mansion still standing.  The university occupied Academic Hall at 17th & Washington, and other buildings, until moving to its current campus in 1905. By the time the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Co documented these blocks in February 1909, Academic Hall had already been razed.

Every building shown in this four block map is gone -- except for the streetcar powerhouse circled in purple. The Monogram was built the next year on the site outlined in red. Click image to see larger version.
Every building shown in this four block map is gone — except for the streetcar powerhouse circled in purple. The Monogram was built the next year on the site outlined in red. Click image to see larger version.
1711 Locust was a power station for the original streetcar system, the Monogram can be seen in the left background
1711 Locust was a power station for the original streetcar system, the Monogram can be seen in the left background

The Monogram Building, built 1910-12, was designed by architect Albert B. Groves (1868-1925). Groves and his family lived at 5419 Maple Ave, built in 1906.  There are two entries for him in findagrave.com — here and here. Their son Theron A. Groves was also an architect.  Albert died weeks before his 57th birthday, Theron died at 65 — the wife & mother lived to 95!

This building is important to me, for 8+ years it has been a significant part of the view from my loft & balcony.

The Monogram is the building on the left in this December 2008 image. In November I posted about how CPI had lights on 24/7, click image to see post. In 2010 I moved my bed to the other bedroom away from the windows and urban light pollution.
The Monogram is the building on the left in this December 2008 image. In November I posted about how CPI had lights on 24/7, click image to see post. In 2010 I moved my bed to the other bedroom away from the windows and urban light pollution.
By May 2014 the frequently full parking lot was empty, but begging to be rented by the hour & month. Click image for post.
By May 2014 the frequently full parking lot was empty, but begging to be rented by the hour & month. Click image for post.

The Monogram Building has likely had many occupants over the last century, with a variety os uses. In January it was sold:

Revive Capital Development LLC, of Kansas City, bought the nine-story building from downtown St. Louis property owner David Jump. John Warren, a vice president of commercial real estate company JLL, represented Jump’s 1706 Washington LLC in the sale that closed Monday. No financial terms were revealed.

JLL said Thursday the new owner plans to put loft apartments in the former CPI headquarters at 1706 Washington Avenue. Efforts to reach a Revive representative were unsuccessful. (Post-Dispatch)

Hopefully this new Kansas City firm will be successful. The LLC’s sole listed organizer is real estate attorney Michael D. McKinley, a partner at the law firm Lathrop & Gage.

The two detailed facades are 17th (left) and Washington (right)
The two detailed facades are 17th (left) and Washington (right)
The first (East) entrance facing Washington Ave
The first (East) entrance facing Washington Ave
The next has a small step
The next has a small step
The third has a taller step
The third has a taller step

It’ll be interesting to see how Revive Capital Development configures the residential units, allocates parking, uses the ground floor. Hopefully one or two of the Washington Ave entrances will be for a restaurant or retail space, with the addition of an ADA-compliant ramp.

— Steve Patterson

 

Green Street Development Updating Building At Jefferson Ave & Market St

In 2014 Green Street Development bought a vacant building at Jefferson Ave & Market Street, originally built by AG Edwards, now Wells Fargo Financial. Last year they signed web developer Avatara as the main tenant, click here to see their webpage on the project. Construction on a new entry is now underway.

This is the best photo of the building I could find in my library. This shows the original corner, click image to view on Google's Street View
This is the best photo of the building I could find in my library. This shows the original corner, click image to view on Google’s Street View
The corner tower has been removed, will be replaced by a more modern entry
The corner tower has been removed, will be replaced by a more modern entry
Another view of the corner entry with the old tower gone
Another view of the corner entry with the old tower gone
Avatara has already moved in, they're using this entry on Chestnut for now.
Avatara has already moved in, they’re using this entry on Chestnut for now.
The building was built in two phases, the corner/West part in 1993. The East part, right, in 2001. Based on Green Street's rendering this connection between the two parts will also be updated.
The building was built in two phases, the corner/West part in 1993. The East part, right, in 2001. Based on Green Street’s rendering this connection between the two parts will also be updated.
Looking East down Market St
Looking East down Market St

I never liked the corner tower, so I’m glad it is gone. Looking forward to seeing the final results.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

$4.1 Million Dollar Judgement Against Owner of Condemned Parking Garage

In July 2014 the parking garage at Tucker & Locust closed for repairs. It seemed routine at the time.

On July 1, 2014 I posted this image to Twitter & Facebook saying "Workers are prepping the parking garage at Tucker & Locust for rehab (refresh concrete)"
On July 1, 2014 I posted this image to Twitter & Facebook saying “Workers are prepping the parking garage at Tucker & Locust for rehab (refresh concrete)”

It turns out the damage to the post-tensioned structure was more extensive than originally known. Since my original July 2014 tweet, I’ve posted quite a bit about it:

Central Parking System, who operated the garage, sued the owners — two LLCs that begin with Tucker Parking.  Tucker Parking countersued.

The parking garage at Tucker & Locust on March 24th -- two days after Judge Dowd ruled
The parking garage at Tucker & Locust on March 24th — two days after Judge Dowd ruled

On March 22nd Judge Dowd ruled:

JUDGMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW SET FORTH IN THE COURT’S ORDERS OF OCTOBER 13, 2015 AND JANUARY 21, 2016, WHICH THE COURT EXPRESSLY INCORPORATES HEREIN, THE COURT ENTERS JUDGMENT AS FOLLOWS:

1. BY AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES, THE COURT DISMISSES PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC’S CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC AND DECLARATORY JUDGMENT (COUNT I) AND BREACH OF LEASE (COUNT II) WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

So Central lost on their first two counts against Tucker. Let’s continue…

2. ON PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC’S CLAIM AGAINST DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT (COUNT III), THE COURT ENTERS JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC AND AGAINST DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC IN THE AMOUNT OF FOUR MILLION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-SIX CENTS ($4,161,424.76).

Ouch. What is “unjust enrichment” anyway? The Wax Legal Dictionary defines it as:

The retention of a benefit conferred by another, that is not intended as a gift and is not legally justifiable, without offering compensation, in circumstances where compensation is reasonably expected. 

The elements of a cause of action for unjust enrichment are:  the enrichment of the party accused of unjust enrichment; that such enrichment was at the expense of the party seeking restitution; and the circumstances were such that in equity and good conscience restitution should be made.  An additional requirement is that the party accused of unjust enrichment must know of the benefit conferred; to ensure that the benefit was not foisted on the recipient and is something for which compensation is reasonably expected.

Recovery on a theory of unjust enrichment typically occurs where there was no contract between the parties, or a contract turns out to be invalid.

The specifics of this principal aren’t clear to me from the ruling.

3. ON DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC’S COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC FOR BREACH OF LEASE (COUNT I), THE COURT FINDS IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC IN PART AND IN FAVOR OF DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC IN PART. SPECIFICALLY, TO THE EXTENT DEFENDANTS BASE THEIR BREACH OF LEASE CLAIM ON CENTRAL PARKING’S ALLEGED OBLIGATION TO REPAIR THE GARAGE’S POST-TENSIONING SYSTEM BEFORE THE END OF THE LEASE TERM, THE COURT FINDS IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI LLC. TO THE EXTENT DEFENDANTS BASED THEIR BREACH OF LEASE CLAIM ON CENTRAL PARKING’S ALLEGED OBLIGATION TO REPAIR DETERIORATION OR DELAMINATION TO THE GARAGE’S CONCRETE SURFACE BEFORE THE END OF THE LEASE TERM, THE COURT FINDS IN FAVOR OF DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC. HOWEVER, THE COURT FINDS THAT TUCKER CANNOT PROVE ANY DAMAGES FOR THIS BREACH BECAUSE, AS SET FORTH IN THE COURT’S ORDER OF OCTOBER 13, 2015, THE GARAGE IS AT THE END OF ITS USEFUL LIFE, THE GARAGE’S POST-TENSIONING SYSTEM IS BEYOND REPAIR, AND THE FAILURE OF THE POST-TENSIONING SYSTEM WAS DUE TO NORMAL OR ORDINARY “WEAR AND TEAR.” AS A RESULT, THE COURT ENTERS JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC AND AGAINST DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC.

Above we can get the message — the garage can’t be repaired.

4. ON DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC’S COUNTERCLAIMS AGAINST PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC FOR WASTE (COUNT III), NEGLIGENCE (COUNT IV), AND DECLARATORY JUDGMENT (COUNT V), THE COURT ENTERS JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF PLAINTIFF CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MISSOURI, LLC.

5. BY AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES, THE COURT DISMISSES DEFNDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES, LLC’S COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST CENTRAL PARKING CORPORATION FOR SUIT ON GUARANTY (COUNTII), WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

6. COSTS ARE ASSESSED AGAINST DEFENDANTS TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS, LLC AND TUCKER PARKINGS EQUITIES, LLC PURSUANT TO RULE 77.01. SO ORDERED: 32929-JUDGE DAVID L. DOWD

So who owns this garage, who is behind these two Tucker Parking LLCs?

Both were created in Missouri on April 19, 2007, indicating a home state in Delaware. TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES LLC was formed in Delaware two days earlier. City records indicate tax bills are mailed to 24 Church Street, Montclair NJ.

The legal battle may continue for a while. Still, we can accept some facts:

  • The existing garage is unusable, it’ll need to be razed eventually.
  • The owner isn’t in St. Louis.
  • The owner of the adjacent former Post-Dispatch building would like to have parking for tenant use.
  • Many downtown residents, myself included, don’t want any surface parking or even more obvious parking garages.

I contacted 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar via email, who said:

It is my understanding that this garage has reached the end of its lifespan and that it would be extremely expensive to shore up this garage and make it safe to use. I would like to see the garage demolished and replaced with another parking structure that includes a first floor retail component.

I would like the development committee of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Planning and Zoning Committee to take an active role in the planning for any future use of this site.

If a new garage is built, I’d like it to be enclosed with an exhaust system rather than being open.

— 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

 

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