Soulard’s Long Vacant Polar Wave Ice Factory to Become 42 Apartments

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Polar Wave Ice Factory - Soulard, St. Louis

An effort to transform a dilapidated former ice factory on the south end of St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood is moving ahead. A $3.1M construction permit was recently issued to build 42 market rate apartments. The project will use state and federal historic tax credits.

The anticipated stumbling block to the renovation was providing light to the new apartments while not drastically altering the exterior of the building, which generally lacks windows. Alterations that significantly change a building’s character can make a project ineligible for historic tax credit support.

Built in 1924, the brick warehouse served to make and store large quantities of ice. The make the space habitable, Klitzing Welsch & Associates plan skylights, an interior light well, and interior glass walls. It’s expected that some new exterior windows will be allowed as well.

Polar Wave Ice Factory - Soulard, St. Louis

The building’s large open spaces will be subdivided into multiple levels. The taller eastern portion is ~7,000sf with the ceiling (now collapsed) reaching 55ft of clear space. The western portion is ~8,500sf with 24ft ceilings. The loading dock area will becoming parking for residents.

The project is reportedly funded by a consortium of west coast investors. One investor is Victor Alston, who is also behind Asprient Properties, a management firm with a dozen properties around St. Louis City, including Park Lane, The Leonardo, Maryland Gardens (hey, my first apartment in St. Louis!), buildings in the Central West End.

Polar Wave Ice Factory - Soulard, St. Louis

Polar Wave Ice Factory - Soulard, St. Louis

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  • JZ71

    They had a similar challenge with adding windows to the Icehouse in Denver. They were allowed to add window to the historic sign area, as long as they had a film applied like what is used to wrap vehicles with advertising: https://goo.gl/maps/l3LBs

  • Glad to see this moving forward. Hopefully next, something can be done about the scrap yard immediately east along Broadway.

  • Glad to see this moving forward. Hopefully next, something can be done about the scrap yard immediately east along Broadway.

    • Mike F

      Aah, the rusting Victor Iron site.

      • STLEnginerd

        I really hope they keep it a reuse rather than a tear down. It’d be a cool beer garden for example.

        • Mike F

          As my wife likes to say, “Get out of my brain”. I was thinking the same thing: Lights strung along the steel superstructure, beneath a glass canopy, gigantic sliding glass doors at the perimeter of the steel storage shed (to be closed during cold months), fire pit in the center. The usual. A lot of potential at that site.

  • tbatts666

    Wonderful! In such a nice spot next to the garden, and a really hot non-profit bike shop!!!(b works) I might have to move to soulard!!!

  • tbatts666

    Wonderful! In such a nice spot next to the garden, and a really hot non-profit bike shop!!!(b works) I might have to move to soulard!!!

  • Mark Leinauer

    I used to live down the street. I would love to see renderings but this sounds like great news. Glad to see my old town thriving

  • Mark Leinauer

    I used to live down the street. I would love to see renderings but this sounds like great news. Glad to see my old town thriving

  • Katy

    As a Soulard resident who lives very close to this building, I couldn’t be more excited for this project to get going! It seems like it is actually beginning. They towed some vehicles long parked at the loading dock, have fenced off areas of the property and construction trailers are now set up.

  • Katy

    As a Soulard resident who lives very close to this building, I couldn’t be more excited for this project to get going! It seems like it is actually beginning. They towed some vehicles long parked at the loading dock, have fenced off areas of the property and construction trailers are now set up.

  • Mike F

    So good. On my trips to and from Soulard Market, I’ve been watching this building steadily decay, so I’m most gratified to see this development happening. (When I see things like “$3.1M construction permit was recently issued”, I know this is for all intents and purposes a done deal).

    Just a guess, any windows would be on the alley side. Light wells and sky lights are a great solution.

    • Gary Chutch

      Nothing is ever a done deal in real estate development until that first resident/tenant moves in but I can say the project financing closed a few weeks back and everything is moving full speed ahead!

    • Gary Chutch

      Nothing is ever a done deal in real estate development until that first resident/tenant moves in but I can say the project financing closed a few weeks back and everything is moving full speed ahead!

      • Mike F

        Having applied for and received several permits from the Building Division, I know that they charge a percentage of the total estimated cost of construction for the permit(s), so I was referring to the unlikelihood of the developer of eating those costs, after having gone through the process–costly in and of itself–of making plans and sending said plans out for bids, etc.

        I do tend to lean toward the oblique, on occasion.

        • Gary Chutch

          No worries. I was just saying that at this point, there isn’t much that would stop this project from moving ahead.

      • Mike F

        Having applied for and received several permits from the Building Division, I know that they charge a percentage of the total estimated cost of construction for the permit(s), so I was referring to the unlikelihood of the developer of eating those costs, after having gone through the process–costly in and of itself–of making plans and sending said plans out for bids, etc.

        I do tend to lean toward the oblique, on occasion.

  • Mike F

    So good. On my trips to and from Soulard Market, I’ve been watching this building steadily decay, so I’m most gratified to see this development happening. (When I see things like “$3.1M construction permit was recently issued”, I know this is for all intents and purposes a done deal).

    Just a guess, any windows would be on the alley side. Light wells and sky lights are a great solution.

  • Presbyterian

    This project will do a lot for the southeast corner of Soulard. So glad to see it move forward!

  • Presbyterian

    This project will do a lot for the southeast corner of Soulard. So glad to see it move forward!

  • John R.

    Awesome the historic preservation issues got worked out and this is advancing.

  • John R.

    Awesome the historic preservation issues got worked out and this is advancing.