Long Vacant Detonty Site Gets New $10M UIC Plan, December Groundbreaking

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Detonty development by UIC - St. Louis, MO

Another long vacant lot in the City of St. Louis will soon see 72 new housing units as urban developer UIC plans a December groundbreaking.  The vision, which includes three-story apartment buildings mixed with for-sale townhomes, is the third major proposal in recent years for the site on the 4100 block of Detonty Street facing Interstate 44 in the quickly developing Shaw neighborhood.

The site totals 84,000sf with more than 600 feet of street frontage. Phase 1 will include the renovation of the existing building at the east end of the site and a 36-unit adjacent building. A model townhome will be built, with additional units construction as sold. Phase 2 will include a 24-unit apartment building and is scheduled to break ground summer 2016.

Detonty development by UIC - St. Louis, MO

Detonty development by UIC - St. Louis, MO

De Tonty Street{looking west on Detonty Street today}

According to the Post-Dispatch, the project totals $10M, with Midwest Regional Bank financing the $5.5M Phase 1. Rents for the 24 Phase 1 1BR units will range from $900-$1,050, with 12 2BR units priced at $1,150-$1,350. Townhome prices are planned to start just below $200K. The proposed density is very near the 62-unit historic density of the site.

Detonty development by UIC - St. Louis, MO

Detonty development by UIC - St. Louis, MO{images of historic development scale – by UIC}

In March 2014, UIC began marketing Detonty Close, a courtyard housing project on the two-acre site. This was a second iteration of the UIC courtyard design. The 2-4BR homes were customizable and started at $225K. The plan saw a precedent in nearby Hortus Court, as well as Heger and Gurney Court on Magnolia across from Tower Grove Park. The project highlighted the challenge of building to historic guidelines as well. The plan outlined above replaces Detonty Close.

The site was also the focus of a What Should Be post on nextSTL. That plan envisioned rowhouses built to historic standards, with intermittent passageways and an urban farm with southern exposure behind the units. A small retail building would have fronted Thurman to develop the street wall.

De Tonty Commons - UIC{DeTonty Commons – a first iteration of the UIC courtyard plan}

De Tonty Close - by UIC{DeTonty Close – a second iteration of the UIC courtyard plan}

De Tonty Close - by UIC{DeTonty Close}

What Should Be - Detonty{What Should Be – nextSTL}

What Should Be - Detonty{What Should Be – nextSTL}

{an earlier plan by Millennium Restoration & Development envisioned single-family homes}

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Progress images added August 27, 2016:

detonty-in-progress-1 detonty-in-progress-2

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  • Adam

    Are these under construction yet? I can’t recall seeing any updates or photos anywhere…

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  • ThisisShaw

    Nothing about this says, “Shaw.” This could be a circa 1990 walk up complex in any suburb in any city in the US. Please Try a littler harder UIC guys. The site is a challenge, give the potential residents something that helps off set that. Where are the amenities?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I believe that all nine of the example buildings above are in Shaw. Do you believe that the proposed project isn’t similar to those buildings in scale, design, and amenities?

      • ThisisShaw

        Amenities – This project has none. How will they achieve rent premiums if their product is simple status quo? (my concern is this is built and fails due to over aggressive rent estimates. a failed development could be the only thing worse than no development) For rent product, on top of a highway with no covered parking, a low parking ration, a good distance from the park and retail density, and no amenities…why would a renter live here given other options inthe market? Developer has not had traction on for sale at this site, lets call it how it is…the site is not desirable and simply converting from for sale to for rent does not make it any more desirable. Program some amenities and get some young professionals (maybe some double income no kids who can’t afford the CWE premiums) to call this place home. Drop a pool on this site, leverage the daily car count that sees your “For Rent” sign on 44 every day and instantly you are the most in demand rental property in Shaw. Spill over benefit to Shaw is added disposable income, increased demand for existing and potentially new retail.

        Design – The existing examples given are entirely masonry clad, (with the one exception of the condo project on Grand). This project appears to have a ‘cake topper’ of EIFS or fiber cement. Existing stock is typically flat roofed with, and while not my particular/personal style, detailed cornice/parapet work. Concerned the South side o structs will be clad in EIFS or fiber panels. Either do something different (UIC has experience in that) or fully conform. This design is no design, not truly of the neighborhood nor is it a modern use of classic materials that could be architecturally progressive, while respecting the neighborhood’s history

        Scale – Proposed is 60 units in 600 feet of frontage. Where in the Shaw neighborhood is this kind of density to frontage ration. This is a question, I do not know the answer, but feel the developer should, and might. If the neighborhood density is in the ballpark of the 38 dwelling units per acre this development is proposing, No objection to scale.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Thanks for the comment. I don’t believe that these are premium rents – though I know that’s relative. When there are homes (yes, a different market) selling for well above $300K, and apartments in the next neighborhood (The Grove) going for $1,300/1BR and $1,600/2BD, and more in the CWE.

          I count 68 off-street parking spaces for 72 housing units, with as many as another 60 on-street parking spaces. How is 128 space for 72 apartments a low parking ratio?

          One missing component in the market is new construction apartments. These are still rare in the city, and nearly non-existent at this price point. The new construction in The Grove and CWE are much more expensive.

          On design, I imaging UIC would be happy to do something much more contemporary if the neighborhood would support it, and with more brick, etc. if rents supported it.

          In the item, it’s mentioned that this site historically had 62 units. The more dense parts of Shaw – where there are apartment buildings – are this dense, while the single-family areas are obviously less dense.

          • matimal

            This is one of the challenges of making urban markets work in a suburban dominated region. People keep making comparisons to suburban markets without attempting to value the other external variables surrounding urban developments. Urban developments don’t ‘compete’ with suburban ones. They are apples and oranges. Comparing them is a game for those who don’t value the externalities of urban life. It’s the difference between price and value.

          • John R

            I don’t have a greyhound in the dog race on whether this price point is marketable over other stock in the neighborhood, but it was pretty neat Curbed yesterday featured a “what you get for $900/month” comparison that included a nice 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment on Flad.

            http://curbed.com/archives/2015/11/09/cost-of-living-san-antonio-st-louis-rent-albuquerque-charlotte-buffalo.php

  • Chicagoan

    I actually think these look pretty alright. They’ll be using brick, which is nice. They look pretty urban, which is also nice.

    I don’t like the look of the courtyards homes in the “first iteration”, but I often find that renderings never do this kind of development justice.

    Not too bad, hope it gets built.

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  • Chris

    They kind of look like dorms on a college campus. Either way, “thank you uic for taking a crumbling neighborhood and making it better!”

    • Something tells me you haven’t been around these parts in awhile?

      • Alex Ihnen

        Maybe better to say, “thank you UIC for taking a lot that’s been vacant for almost two decades, and building something decent”?

        • Elmore

          Nothing had been built and those of us actually living in Shaw have seen 5 development plans in the past 10 years, not 3 plans. I realize you are a major UIC cheerleader Alex but I’ll celebrate when and if they actually start erecting walls.

  • ABQ

    So darn ugly. What a waste. No worries, it won’t end up happening, just like UIC’s other plans for the site. No one is going to pay those prices to live overlooking a highway.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Happy to place a wager on that.

      • Josiah

        Alex 1 – ABQ 0 lol

    • John R

      Well, people paid good money to buy new homes facing the other side of the highway on Lafayette. Shaw is an in-demand area, so I can this project being successful.

  • Presbyterian

    I love the added density, and I think this site is a challenging one to develop because of I-44.

    It’s evident that UIC was constrained by historic guidelines. Personally, I wish this block could be exempted from the guidelines. I think a fresh, modern design would communicate to passers-by the city’s virlbrancy.

    • DCWind

      I completely agree. In an instance such as this, with a long vacant lot, a little creative freedom and design variation would be a welcomed addition, not to mention be a driving force for popularizing the site, despite some of its locational drawbacks. If old buildings were being lost, I could see a strong desire to replace like with like to maintain existing fabric.