Mixing New and Old, 33 Apartments and 3,000 Sq Ft of Retail Coming to 4528 Olive

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn37Print this pageEmail this to someone

4534 Olive ^ updated rendering added 02/09/2015

__________________

The 4500 block of Olive Street on the northern edge of the City’s Central West End has seemed the perfect place for new development, for a long time. The area isn’t dead, but development has been slow and spotty. Now Rothschild Development is planning to build 29 apartments in a new structure rising above an historic storefront, and converting another building into additional apartments.

The project would utilize historic tax credits for the two story building at eastern end of the development, while the single story building would be converted to approximately 3,000 sq ft of retail space with a four-story building rising from within. Resident parking would be hidden at the rear of the building. The single-story building to the west under different ownership and would remain.

Olive2

Central West End neighborhood - STL{the north side of Olive across from proposed development}

The success of Bowood Farms, just to the west of the planned development has anchored the area for several years, but has also resulting in regrettable demolition for expansion. Cafe Osage, opening at Bowood has proved a draw to the area as well. Yet a block north, homes remain in poor repair and have an uncertain future.

The surprisingly intact commercial storefronts on Olive from east of Bowood to Taylor are well maintained, if dormant. The Rothschild property on Olive had been considered as a new location for Rothschild’s antiques, a decades long mainstay at the nearby southeast corner of McPherson and Euclid Avenues, when it closed to make room for the restaurant Gringo. nextSTL is told it’s possible the new commercial space on Olive could become an antique store.

The project is being designed by Arcturis, Blackline Design + Construction will handle construction, and Associated Bank and providing financing. The project should be underway in May and completed in approximately a year. Rents have not yet been finalized, but are expected to start at ~$1,000 for 1BR, and ~$1,600 for 2BR unit.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn37Print this pageEmail this to someone
  • Adam

    it’s a shame that the center building’s facade collapsed. i can’t tell from the new rendering whether they’re planning to rebuild it, patch it with new materials, or some of both.

    • Alex Ihnen

      My understanding is that loose bricks were removed and the facade is being rebuilt – though I haven’t been by the site in a few days.

      • Adam

        thanks. i do hope that’s the case.

  • Brad Fratello

    This is what I keep hoping will get proposed for those great little single-story shop fronts on Duncan north of the @4240 building: keep the store front, and go up and modern from inside.

    • John R

      That would be nice…. Cortex owns that strip but I really haven’t heard what they may have in mind. The TechShop parcel will also be just to the west; I wonder how large the new building footprint will be and how it will relate to Duncan Ave.

  • Mike F

    ‘Bout bloody time a developer in this podunk burgh did something like this. Heaven knows, the opportunities to convert older industrial stock such as that above surely exist in the City in decent quantities. Not a bad design on the addition, too.

  • onecity

    I wonder what Terry Kennedy thinks about the prospect of gentrification moving into his ward! Aren’t the properties across the street 18th ward?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think we need a different definition of gentrification for St. Louis, or just stop using the word.

      • onecity

        How about increasing average DIPA – disposable income per acre. Something that speaks directly to the ability of residents to support the building standard as well as shop in neighborhood establishments.

        • STLEnginerd

          I don’t think we need a new definition, we just need a better understanding of what it is versus what are seen as side-effects.

          Gentrification is a demographic shift of an urban area from on average low-income low economic productivity, to a more affluent demographic with higher economic productivity.

          It is commonly given a negative connotation because rises property values imply higher taxes, which imply displacement of lower income residents. Hard to feel sorry for property owners though when their home values and thus sale prices triple or more. Renters are the ones who get the worst end of it because they walk away without any net gain.

          • moe

            I do feel sorry for the property owners and the others that are on fixed incomes that have to deal with gentrification. Many of those residents have toughed it out when neighborhoods were at their lowest only to be forced out because they can no longer pay the taxes….seems very unfair to just say basically “thank you for keeping the neighborhood together, but we don’t need you now, so we’re kicking you out”.
            I don’t feel too bad for the renters. For what many pay in rent, they can get a mortgage and the benefits with such. But each has to decide what is right for them. My big, BIG concern….everyone claps and applauds with all these new apartments new Wash U and SLU and that’s great…for us and for the institutions. It’s not so great for the many, many students who are taking out student loans to pay that rent. They want the short term benefit of a really nice apartment without really considering the long-term implications. And it’s happening around almost every major university in the country. It’s no wonder student debt is over a trillion dollars.

          • moorlander

            But when those owners sell they make a pretty penny and get their meal ticket. I don’t feel bad I’m jealous!

          • rgbose

            Gentrification is by far not a problem for St. Louis

          • John R

            I’m not so sure. There clearly is a mass exodus of blacks away from many of Central Corridor neighborhoods as more whites move in, presumably for economic reasons. CWE, FPSE, Shaw, etc. are seeing huge demographic changes.

            Whether what is happening is technically gentrification or not really doesn’t matter to me, but it is something that needs to be acknowledged and we need to address how to get lower income people better access to jobs and transit even while they are increasingly moving further away from the emerging Central Corridor.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Here are the last 3 Census numbers in FPSE:

            1990: black residents = 2,693 (67%), white residents = 1,320 (32%)

            2000: black residents = 2,852 (77%), white residents = 667 (18%)

            2010: black residents = 1,868 (64%), white residents = 875 (30%)

          • John R

            In addition to FPSE, I believe other central-ish neighborhoods that ;ast decade saw a loss of more than 30% of the black population and some increase in white population include Lafayette Square. McRee Town, Benton Park, Shaw and Skinky-D. CWE lost 20%. TGE and Compton Hts. also lost 30% but also saw a very slight decrease in white population.

            I think it is complicated for why this happened (and continues to happen), for example some almost exclusively black North City neighborhoods also lost 30% of their population, but it needs to be understood.

          • onecity

            If the demographics settle in around 15-20% black, and 10-15% of residents living below the poverty line like the region as a whole, then the changes are positive.

          • matimal

            The demographics of American cities never “settle in.” They are always changing. St. Louis is never ‘done’ anymore than any other city.

          • matimal

            If you could do an analysis of household incomes, education, and age for FPSE I think it would reveal something important about who is leaving and who is coming to Central Corridor neighborhoods.

          • onecity

            Arguably, shouldn’t neighborhoods eventually settle toward regional averages? As is, demographics are really unbalanced almost everywhere.

          • John R

            The worry though is that what is happening is leading to even more demographic segregation. More exclusive enclaves are being created at the same time as more poverty pockets.

          • onecity

            St Louis is still far poorer and blacker than it should be, considering regional demographics. This hurts social cohesion, therefore it hurts regional cooperation.

          • John R

            Right…. but if lower income and blacks increasingly find that they are congregated in certain areas that increasingly are further away from transit and jobs corridors while wealthier groups come back to the City then that hurts social cohesion and regional cooperation even further. The challenge is to attract more wealth and diversity in our neighborhoods while also providing more opportunity and stability for all.

          • Shaker

            How black ought St Louis be?

          • John R.

            I think percentage-wise the city should be less white and black and more multi-racial but numerically more of all and with greater integration at the neighborhood level.

          • matimal

            How would you go about making this happen?

          • onecity

            However black the region is – if the region is 80% black, or 20% black, STL should be within spitting distance. The point is social cohesion, and regional cooperation. Out of balance demographics probably hurt the region. It’s just how the region works, in my opinion.

          • matimal

            The point has to be economic growth.. Regional cooperation will only work when people see economic benefits in cooperation. Social cohesion is a social democratic idea that hasn’t ever really existed in the U.S.

          • matimal

            How poor ought St. Louis be?

          • onecity

            The city has 27% living below the poverty line, while the state is around 15%. Split the difference?

          • matimal

            In whose interests would this be in order for them to work toward it?

    • Hdhe

      I wanted to add to what Alex said.

      It’s great that we are concerned about gentrification, but we should probably be more concerned about concentration of poverty.

      http://cityobservatory.org/lost-in-place/

      • John R

        That is a good point; however, we need to be very cognizant of the fact that some of the gentrification/redevelopment in the Central Corridor actually may be increasing poverty concentration and pushing low-income people even further away from decent access to transportation and jobs.

        • STLEnginerd

          Concentration of poverty vs. displacement of opportunity are to very important things to be concerned about and seek to balance.

          Securing, and maintaining a political power base is NOT.

          I don’t know the alderman’s mind but i can only hope he makes his decisions based on the two former rather than the latter. Irrespective, I personally think his seat is safe for several year with or without a little gentrification on the CWE’s north side.

          • matimal

            What do you mean by “displacement of opportunity?” What opportunity will be displaced be a few dozen apartments?

    • matimal

      Why would he oppose increasing population and property values?

      • moorlander

        many of his constituents have lived in this community for a long time and he doesn’t want them driven out due to the effects of neighborhood improvements.

        • matimal

          How will this drive out them out?

          • moorlander

            Higher rents? Higher property taxes as a result of higher property values? I’m just going off of what I’ve heard.

          • matimal

            I don’t think we need to be worried about housing costs in one of the cheapest metros in America. I can’t afford to live where I want no matter what. I’m not about to acknowledge that desire in others.

        • matimal

          Wow…..

      • Alex Ihnen

        The mansions also represent the racial divide present in the city. The large homes were staffed by black servants who weren’t allowed in the front door. With that history, some are indifferent to the fate of these homes, not caring that they crumble.

        • matimal

          Who are those “some” would you say? Is it poor blacks looking for a symbol of racism, incoming whites who don’t want to be associated with a symbol of racism, or both?

          • Alex Ihnen

            Political leadership.

    • rgbose

      Do we have examples of assessments on single family homes rising dramatically?

      I’m not in the CWE, but my assessment went down a couple years ago.

      My home owner’s insurance is what’s been skyrocketing on me!

  • Ted Yemm

    Good news. I drove through this area over the weekend. I thought that the Olive-Locust-Washington corridor between downtown and SLU looks like it was really starting to pick up. Hopefully more projects like this are on the way.

  • Presbyterian

    That block has always been one of my favorite blocks in the city. I can’t wait!

    • rgbose

      If only we had held onto the Gaslight Square buildings a little longer.

  • Would like to see the residential addition above pushed out to the street wall, but guessing maybe that would limit any potential historic preservation credits for the project (i.e. must retain the first 25′ of depth of the original structure…)?

    It does look though like a semi-transparent “fence” will be installed above the original structure, so this presumably would be an outdoor common area for residents.

    This plan kind of reminds me of what was done to preserve an historic(ish) facade in Chicago’s Old Town n’hood when a new residential building was proposed and built:

  • Michael C.

    This is an incredibly beautiful area with enormous potential. All of the buildings on this block should be preserved. I believe this project could bring a lot to this section of Olive. Thanks for the good news.