Ackerman Toyota Plans $18M Dealership at I-44, Hampton

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Ackerman Toyota

As reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ackerman Toyota will relocated from its longtime South Kingshighway location to a site at Interstate 44 and Hampton Avenue. In 2008, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of the City of St. Louis purchased the land for $2.4M. Ackerman is reportedly buying the site from the city for $2.5M.

Between MSD and the city, a total of 26 contiguous acres were available for development. The dream was once for Ikea to build here. It’s not know why the retailer chose the Cortex site with less-direct highway access instead, but the readymade, and sizeable, Tax Increment Financing may have been a factor.

Over the past seven years, the city has allowed the building to fall into a state of disrepair making reuse increasingly unlikely. Of course, reusing the MSD building was never really part of the plan, as a larger retail development was pursued.

The Ackerman project is estimated to cost $18M. Incentives include $4.4M in TIF, and $765K from a community improvement district sales tax, according to the Post-Dispatch. The TIF in this case is designed to capture any incremental increase in tax revenue produced by the car dealership relative to that produced by the vacant site today.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.18.56 AM

In Missouri, sales tax on the purchase of a new vehicle is paid based on the address on the vehicle title, ostensibly the purchaser’s home address, and not the location of purchase. The $4.4M TIF is accrued by other sales, such as vehicle parts and accessories.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the relocation will involve 45 jobs and possibly add 35 more. The new showroom will be nearly 50,000sf with structured and surface parking. The new site will be much higher profile for Ackerman, with 30,000 cars on Hampton and 145,000 on I-44 each day.

The new Tri-Star Imports Mercedes-Benz dealership which opened last year was a $13M project, and recevied $2.3M in TIF assistance has seen sales and service numbers grow, according to the Post-Dispatch story. Both Ackerman Toyota, and Tri-Star, which moved into the city from Ellisville in West St. Louis County, were constrained by dealership territories, which helped determine their new locations.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.20.06 AM{existing Ackerman Toyota at 3636 South Kingshighway Boulevard}

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.21.39 AM{existing MSD building at 2020 Hampton Avenue}

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  • Matt

    I much rather see this at the planned site than current site. With the Highway right there, there isn’t much more that would be fitting. They just tore down the old McMahon Ford site right before you hit Arsenal and with the Garcia’s fixing up the old insurance building right down the street and now the old Ackerman site being emptied, hopefully someone with vision steps in and expands the density seen on the north west corner of Kingshighway at Chippewa

    • moe

      Rumor has it that Old McMahon site is the new Quik Trip….they are closing the one on the east side of Kingshighway and moving it about 500 feet north and on the west side.

      • John R

        Yes, it is true. An $800,000 permit has been issued for QT…. its a huge parcel so I’m interested in seeing the site plan. Anyway, it was great to dream of a mixed-use future for S. Kingshighway but I just don’t see it happening.

  • JO

    More ugliness and thoughtless development in the city. With Forest Park and the rest of the nearby attractions, the general area could have been thoughtfully planned and developed. Instead it is becoming car dealer row and parking lot city…….opportunity wasted!

    • tbatts666

      Yeah, this freeway side development stuff makes me uncomfortable. And using a tif to subsidize such a vulnerable development seems questionable.

      Are car lots versatile? Or might this end up being another vacant parcel in 20 years?

  • JZ71

    Tough access to the site, from Hampton, but good visibility from I-44.

  • Steve

    Cool project and a rather ideal use for that site. The only alternatives likely were big box retail, a gas station, or another mid-priced hotel. First tweeted way back on June 18 by our friend: https://twitter.com/PresbyterianStl/status/611682835607494656

  • STLEnginerd

    Both this and the Mercedes are about as urban as a car dealer ship gets. for a dealership the setback is minimal and massing is pretty good. Its not exciting but its not bad. Hampton is never going to be a pedestrian or cyclist paradise. I think I would have prefered IKEA here as Cortex has more potential for a more urban use IMHO.

  • moe

    I’m all for car dealerships (it’s a business folks and like it or not, cars are an important way of life) but I’m against stacking them up. What the City does NOT need are car rows….aka Manchester and Lindbergh areas. Space them out, fine but don’t clump them together. What’s next….the Steak n’ Shake converted into a Kia dealer? the Denny’s into a Nissan dealer?

  • Adam

    well, so much for Hampton being anything more than a suburban outer road. hopefully between this and the renovation of the building at kingshighway and pernod we’ll at least start to see that stretch of kingshighway become something more… city-like.