New Apartment Building Slated for DeBaliviere Place Neighborhood

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A new multi-story apartment building designed by Klitzing-Welsch Associates is planned for a lot addressed as 5539-51 Pershing in the City’s DeBaliviere Place neighborhood. DeBaliviere Place is lesser known among the City’s neighborhoods and is often simply assumed to be an extension of the Central West End, which is located just east of DeBaliviere Place. The lot to be constructed on currently features tennis courts. No demolition permit records are available for 5539 Pershing; aerial photography suggests that several apartment buildings were demolished on this site at some point in the 1970s or 1980s.



The developer was originally posted here as Mills Apartments, but a representative from Mills has stated they are not the developer. The project applicant is listed as 5539 Pershing LLC with Kirk Mills as the registered agent. The project will reportedly be developed by Asprient Properties, which owns approximately a dozen rental properties in the city. This appears to be its first effort at new construction.

The taller apartment buildings across Pershing provide excellent context for a taller apartment building on this site. The building below is owned by Asprient, is being renovated, and renamed Triumph on the Park



Below is a photograph of the current lot for which the new apartment building is proposed:


The developer will be appearing before the City’s Preservation Board next week. The new structure would sit in the Central West End Local Historic District, which regulates the design of new construction within the district boundaries.

Click here for a map of the area.

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  • pat

    Why mention this project but make no mention of the 54 unit senior housing facility being installed on an empty lot in North City that was in the same preservation agenda? I appreciate the above article. Its great to see that news. And I understand that DeBaliviere Place is a denser, maybe more up and coming neighborhood, but I think new construction on an empty lot on MLK is a worthy story as well. I’m just saying that as a reader, I come to nextSTL to get most of my STL development news. It would be appreciated if that news covered all of STL rather than the “exciting” neighborhoods. Doesn’t have to be an article, maybe a tweet with a link or a short blurb. I think a lot of readers would enjoy it as well.

  • Tim E

    Didn’t realize the scale and scope of a fair size infill project until looking at the upcoming agenda. Could you argue that the proposal is maybe a little too big for its location? Does anyone think the preservation board will come back with a similar recommendation of taking a story or even two off the proposal so top elevation is more inline with existing properties?. Would take it as is because I assume that the developer has a targeted number of units to pencil out the financing.
    Agree with John R, it would be nice to hear a nice TOD proposal next to metrolink station. I believe it has been outlined as a desire by metro but not sure if their is even anything on the drawing board, let alone rendered. Put 5-6 stories next to metro and maybe drop a story on the Pershing street infill

    • Presbyterian

      I doubt they’ll seek to shrink it. The buildings across the street from this site are all 5 and 6 stories tall, and the Branscomb is 8 stories. The Congress (a block east) is 16 stories. It’s a very dense nighborhood, but folks in the neighborhood tend to prefer that.

      The inability to see dense development along DeBaliviere has baffled me, though.

    • John R

      Staff is recommending preliminary approval but suggesting that the top floor have a slight setback to reduce the visual difference in height with its neighbors.

      As for the Metrolink parcel, I recall it was proposed for TOD as part of a federal TIGER grant application but that was probably 4 or 5 years ago and I can’t recall details. Maybe Metro should do an RFP as conditions seem ripe for redevelopment.

      • jhoff1257

        Does Metro have the ability to issue RFP’s for property along it’s alignments? I have always been under the impression that Metro’s job is simply to operate the system that East-West Gateway funds and builds. They certainly push for TOD and I would be surprised if they weren’t part of the process, but I don’t think it’s something they can necessarily make happen by themselves.

        • rgbose

          Metro is under the Bi-State Development Agency which I think can do that.

          • John R

            I’m pretty sure they have the authority. If not, at least working with another agency as the technical sponsor…. shouldn’t be a problem at all. It would be interesting to know how many parcels with good potential for TOD Metro/Bi-State owns itself;

            I believe they hired a TOD Director a few years ago but I’m not sure if that was primarily for leading the various TOD studies or to actively pursue specific projects.

          • rgbose

            Here’s the parcels owned by BI-STATE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY in the city. If they have more under a different name, they were left out. The big one in the middle left is the DeBaliviere garage.

          • jhoff1257

            I believe the Bi-State Development Agency IS Metro. Hopefully they can push, either themselves or with the help of another agency, some quality TOD development around their stations. That would be nice.

          • rgbose

            CMT brought in a guy last Feb to talk TOD at FP DeB and the numbers just weren’t quite there for an ~8 story on the parking lot. Hope they’re looking better.

          • jhoff1257

            I would think they’d only get better as time goes on. Ridership is steadily climbing and developments like the one in this post only help with making the neighborhood denser which I hope would lead to some TOD in the area.

          • rgbose

            Agreed, more will want to come to the party. From that talk the guy said costs for a building over 6 stories were $225 /sf which blew my mind. This is a case where a subsidy is well worth it because the returns over the decades will be above and beyond. If the tenants go carless it’d mean potentially $100ks more for the local economy each year.

          • John R

            I hope so, too. Here is a look at an MARTA (Atlanta) RFP and strong development action around its Arts Center station, btw.


    • Guest

      A little too big for it’s location? Check the street view of the map. Across the street are several 5 and 6 story apartment buildings.
      Honestly, this “out of scale” seems to have become some kind of quirky St. Louis meme (seems the first time I remember hearing it was in reference to proposed new construction in Lafayette Square in the 80’s). You don’t hear this kind of antiquated silliness as a blanket statement anywhere but in St. Louis. It’s an urban neighborhood (and not in the vein of Lafayette Square) where one would expect to see larger, taller new structures built to meet the demand for density…. and are some getting their outdated panties twisted over one or two floors? Lol….only in St. Louie…

  • Presbyterian

    It’s a fantastic neighborhood. I look forward to hearing more about the design. The property was put up for auction in 2011, but I never heard about a buyer.

  • Adam

    Awesome. Now if we can get something built on the giant surface lot across the street this impressive stretch will have all its teeth again.

    • John R

      That would be great. The new apartment building a few blocks down by Union looks great from Forest Park Parkway and the spot you mention would really fill things up to just about a continuous wall.

      I also hope we get an announcement soon on a great TOD project for the Metrolink parking lot site at the station.

  • Just for the record; we are not the developer.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Thanks Mike – will update item. Looks like confusion came from developer listed as 3359 Pershing LLC with Kirk Mills as the registered agent.

  • David

    Are you sure Mills is the developer? I know they have historically owned the property, but I heard it was sold to the group renovating the buildings across Pershing from this parcel.