It was revealed today that Restoration St. Louis, led by Amrit and Amy Gill will transform the iconic Adler & Sullivan 705 Olive building in downtown St. Louis into a luxury boutique hotel. Built in 1893, Restoration St. Louis purchased the 165Ksf building this past year for $3.3M from long time owners the Cella family. The building most recently served as the headquarters for Southern Real Estate and Financial Co.
The 130-room hotel is planned to fly the flag of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection. This would be Restoration St. Louis’ second hotel to be part of Marriott’s independent hotel segment after the Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport, IA, which saw a complete restoration in 2010. It’s been reported that the St. Louis hotel will use the “Blackhawk” brand.
Plans also call for a small number of apartments and a rooftop restaurant, an original feature of the building. It’s expected that the $50M project will seek various incentives including historic tax credits, tax increment financing, and other resources. Work could begin as early as August of this year.
Restoration St. louis was a heavy early investor in The Grove neighborhoods, purchasing and redeveloping dozens of properties, though may be best known for the restoration of the historic Coronado, Lindell Towers, and Moolah Temple on Lindell across from Saint Louis University. The Gills sold that collection of buildings for $68.5M in 2013.
Often overlooked, and regularly referred to as the second Adler & Sullivan building in St. Louis (after the Wainwright building a block away), the lavishly adorned building remains largely unchanged on the outside. The top 13 of the building’s 15 stories are intact, with only the 1920s and later alterations to the commercial storefronts being regrettable. A 1905 addition by Eames & Young extending along 7th Street fits the building seamlessly enough that it’s generally assumed to be part of the original structure.
Luckily, the second story round windows have been preserved on the building’s alley facade, giving us a clear understanding of the original Olive St. facade. Along with the adjacent and vacant Chemical and Railway Exchange buildings, as well as the Laclede Gas Building, 705 Olive is part of an impressive collection of skyscrapers.