DESCO has Frontenac Shriners Hospital Site Under Contract 

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Shriner's Hospital - Frontenac

nextSTL has learned the commercial real estate division for Schnuck Markets Inc., DESCO Group, has the Shriners Hospital for Children campus in Frontenac under contract. The 14.8-acreparcel has attracted much attention from developers since 2013. That is when the Tampa-based organization announced plans for a new $47 million hospital in the Central West End (CWE).

nextSTL sources say at least four groups have made serious offers for the Shriners property thus far. This includes a second attempt to land a Frontenac location by high-end health club chain Life Time Fitness, and interest from BJC. Activity regarding pursuit of the property has been so high that the Shriners decided to handle the sale itself, forgoing local representation.

Shriner's Hospital - Frontenac

The Frontenac children’s hospital opened in 1963, and will see its final patients on May 16. It is situated between St. Joseph’s Academy to its south, and Plaza Frontenac to its north. A residential community along Litzsinger Rd. comprised of 14 estates borders the hospital property to its west.

According to nextSTL sources the DESCO Group has one year to do its due diligence. This involves the buyer completing a thorough investigation of the property before committing to buy. Due diligence reduces the risk the buyer will be disappointed and increases the chances the seller will have its terms met. Still way too early to tell, but high-end retail plans for the site have been mentioned.

Any commercial development at the site would almost certainly meet fierce resistance from residents. That is what killed the proposed 2012 Sansone Group mixed-use project at the Ladue Early Childhood Center near the Spoede and Clayton Roads intersection. Opposition from neighboring homeowners, including three-time U.S. Open golf champion Hale Irwin, was too much to overcome. An attempt to reach the Shriners and DESCO for comment was unsuccessful.

Similar opposition has organized against a proposal for 30 villas, 24 townhomes and an 86-bed assisted living facility at the site of the closed Ladue Early Childhood Center on Clayton Road. A citizen group titled “Citizens AGAINST High-Rise Assisted Living & High Density Housing” has opposed that development under the banner of “preserve the beauty of Frontenac”.

Citizens AGAINST High-Rise Assisted Living & High Density Housing

The new 4-acre Shriners St. Louis Hospital for Children will be located at the corner of Clayton and Newstead Avenues, on the BJC campus in the CWE. This will be the third facility for Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. In July of 1921 property for the first hospital, located only two blocks from the new CWE hospital, was purchased for $150,000. In January, nextSTL was first to report that the Washington University School of Medicine is exploring converting the 1921 building to medical student housing.

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  • mjbdsjh2006

    I work in Frontenac and had heard from coworkers that grandma schnuck lives in the area and is single handedly keeping the store at 40 and Lindbergh open but have also heard that they want to expand that store significantly but haven’t been able to due to space restrictions on the lot. I’m guessing this would mean moving the store from the corner of Clayton / Lindbergh to the new site and allowing some other new snammer development to pop up on this lot. They just completed a new regions bank on the west side of Lindbergh and there’s a BoA in this lot so I’m hoping it won’t be another bank and I’m pretty sure the residents won’t allow gas / fast food for the spot.

    • mjbdsjh2006

      Snammer should be smaller.

  • kjohnson04

    Yet they complain when things bypass St. Louis. When you act like NIMBYs and BANANAs about every project proposed, you lose out…often.

  • moe

    I can’t believe this. I thought those nearby there didn’t like “little people” stuff like strip malls and grocery stores? They have staff to take care of those needs and now to have it move into their backyards…..the horror.

  • tgeperson

    They are BANANA’s = Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

  • matimal

    I propose a new group… .St. Louisers Against Everything. What do you think?

    • Don

      I think it will be a hit.

      Having served on non-profit boards over the years, I’m always surprised at the influence even just a few very vocal malcontents have wield. I’ve seen directors/managers who despise the malcontent bend to them time and time again, without any rational basis. I guess we’re culturally wired to oil the squeaky wheel.