Residential Conversion in the Works for Clayton Seven-Up Building

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World Trade Center - Clayton, MO

nextSTL has learned there are plans for another new residential building project in downtown Clayton. 100 units are expected to be developed by the Koman Group at 121 S. Meramec, site of the former World Trade Center and Seven-Up Buildings. According to nextSTL sources the commercial real estate firm has reached an agreement in principle with St. Louis County regarding the development site.

In 2013 the 13-story 210,000 sq. ft. building, constructed in 1964, was designated for demolition. An adjoining building, also formerly owned by soft drink maker Seven-Up, was also set to be leveled as part of the neighboring County Courts $130 million expansion and renovation. The Koman Group is now expected to re-skin the exterior and completely overhaul 121 S. Meramec property inside and out.

Previously the building served as the world headquarters for Seven-Up. The company moved to the Clayton building during the mid-1960s from 1300 Delmar (now Convention) in downtown St. Louis. Seven-Up moved its headquarters to Dallas during the late-1970s, and sold the Meramec buildings to St. Louis County for approximately $20 million in 1987.

The fate of the other building at 111 S. Meramec is unknown. The two structures are connected by a walkway over an alley. Most recently many County offices and agencies including the St. Louis County Police Department Crime Lab and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership were located in the buildings.

In 1993 the newly formed World Trade Center St. Louis moved into 121 S. Meramec. The nonprofit agency links local companies to global opportunities. Its board members are businesspeople selected by St. Louis City and County. The World Trade Center St. Louis now has office space in the Pierre Laclede Center on Forsyth.

This is the third major Clayton residential building project that nextSTL has broken news of in the last nine months. In December of 2013 we first reported on CA Ventures The Crossing project. In January we first reported on the rejuvenation of the long dormant Montgomery high-rise tower development.

An attempt to reach the Koman Group for comment was unsuccessful. nextSTL will keep you updated with additional information as it becomes available.

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  • dempster holland

    I’m beginning to wonder if the conversion of office buildings
    to residential is best for the central city. Offices will more and more
    locate in the outer areas and will therefore eventually draw oeople
    to live in these outer areas. It may be that there is not much anyone can
    do about it, I agree. But it is somethng to think about.

    • matimal

      or it may indicate that the days of the office are fading. The custom of working in special places called offices only emerged in the 19th century. Maybe it is fading now.

  • Presbyterian

    I look forward to seeing renderings as they become available. For residential conversion, I could see them gutting this building down to the interior beams and concrete floors… literally just keeping the structural components. If so, almost anything is possible.

    Alternately, they could just punch a bunch of holes in for additional windows and/or balconies.

    The raised plaza around this building is not particularly conducive to active street life. I would love to see them try to activate that intersection.

  • Andy

    While I am generally not for demolition of buildings, I would definitely be alright with seeing this one go if it was being replaced with another building that related to the street better. A true mixed-use building would be good for Clayton here. So many of the buildings in Clayton are similar to this in that the only real interaction at the street level is the door to the parking garage underneath.

    • STLgasm

      There are still too many surface parking lots in downtown Clayton to justify tearing down anything. Let’s use what we have.

  • Randy

    I wonder which of these three projects will start construction first. Development is so slow in this region.

  • Adam

    I like the current facade too. Is it brick? I can’t tell from the image.

    • Alex Ihnen

      The vertical stripes are a light tan brick veneer. I believe the darker portions are stucco.

  • STLgasm

    While I’m glad that the building is being preserved, it’s a shame that the facade will be re-skinned. This is one of the first high-rises in downtown Clayton, and I think it should embrace its 1960s style. I am interested to see the renderings, but my guess is it will be another mirrored-glass box (doesn’t Clayton have enough of those)? The current look adds a bit of diversity to the skyline in my opinion. Besides, St. Louis’ track record of re-skinning buildings hasn’t really yielded great results (i.e. Pierce Building/Adam’s Mark Hotel, Hampton Inn Downtown). Eeew.

    • Alex Ihnen

      We’ll share when we get something. Those windows are pretty small for today’s residential. The conversion of the downtown SLU Law building is nice, IMO. Perhaps something that doesn’t completely replace the current form can be done.

    • jhoff1257

      I wouldn’t expect to see any glass curtain walls here. I also wouldn’t compare this building or it’s eventual final look to the Pierce or any other re-skinned buildings downtown. Many of those were historic Chicago Style buildings with beautiful ornamentation. This is more like the SLU Law building and I think a similar job would work well here. Maybe punch out parts of the current facade for larger windows, maybe a glass atrium for the lobby. Would love to see something done about that raised plaza. Maybe remove it and extend a storefront to the corner. Especially since Clayton still seems hellbent on knocking down the storefronts on Central. Either way in the end I think the facade will look fairly similar to this.