Five-story, 118 Unit Apartment Building Proposed for 7th at Victor in Soulard

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook137Share on Reddit8Print this pageEmail this to someone

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.31.38 PM

Last week we mentioned an interesting residential infill project proposed for Soulard, immediately next to the recently completed Soulard IceHouse historic renovation. A rendering (though of low-resolution) of that proposal appears in the city’s Preservation Board Agenda posted online.

The city’s Cultural Resources Office recommends the Preservation Board, “approve the demolition of existing buildings and structures and grant preliminary approval to the proposed new construction”. The project would replace two brick buildings at 721 Victor Street and an adjacent structure.

Soulard

Soulard infill

Soulard infill

Soulard streetview

From the agenda:
THE PROJECT:
Whistler One L.L.C. has provided copies of contract for the purchase of four parcels at 2403, 2405, and 2415-17 S. 7th Boulevard and 721 Victor Street that it proposes to redevelop. The project would entail the demolition of a number of small warehouses and industrial structures: two buildings on the Victor Street property, one a Merit building and the other non-contributing, being constructed after both 1929, the date used in the Soulard Neighborhood Local Historic District Standards for the end of historic significance, and 1941, the cut-off date for contributing resources in the Soulard National Register Historic District; 2415-17 S. 7th Boulevard, Victor Iron Works, consisting of small buildings along S. 7th and a storage yard with a structure supporting traveling cranes at the corner of S. 7th and Victor Street, and another yard on the north side; and a Merit building at the corner of S. 7th and Barton Street. The new building proposed to replace them would be a five-story apartment building of 118 units with 59 on-site parking spaces.

There’s more on the myriad of National Register of Historic Places nominations as well:

St. Louis City Preservation Review Board – Final Agenda 04/25/2016 by nextSTL.com

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook137Share on Reddit8Print this pageEmail this to someone
  • Michael Harrison

    Does anyone know for sure if this project is still on?

    • STLrainbow

      Don’t know for sure but It appears to be a go… BoA passed the abatement ordinance a few months ago and the developer closed on the property a month ago.

  • Pingback: Wednesday BOA Hearing on Victor @ 7th Apartment Development | 7TH WARD ST LOUIS - HOME OF THE LIBERALS()

  • Lillian Thompson

    The Board of Adjustment approved yesterday’s zoning appeal. The Cultural Resources Office had already approved the preliminary design. In yesterday’s meeting there were about a dozen letters of opposition and 2 resident speakers opposing. The builder/architect (who is chairman of the Board of Adjustment) spoke on behalf of the 119 unit building, as did the Los Angeles-based builder, Alderman Jack Coatar, Lucky’s bar owner, and Soulard resident, Paul Kjorlie. During the deliberation, the builder/architect/board chairman recused himself but remained in the room, stood in the deliberation area and chatted with the board members about their decision. Mona Parsley, a Board member, real estate agent and Soulard resident, added a requirement for trash cans and large trash removal. The board agreed to waive the 1:1 parking requirement for new construction and suggested that building residents without parking spaces could be directed to park on Barton and S. Broadway. I was one of the resident speakers opposing.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Thank you for the update.

    • Framer

      Just to clarify; does this mean that the project is moving forward again?

  • Lillian Thompson

    This massive 5 story apt bldg with 118 units is planned two blocks from my home in a historic neighborhood of predominantly single family and 2 to 3 story duplex and fourplex houses. It will be anchored by two neighborhood bars. The back will not be brick but hardiboard or possibly vinyl siding. It will have a parking lot for 89 cars (and add an additional 30+ residents looking for street parking). No doubt there will also be additional cars for visitors to the apts and the bars, whose business will skyrocket. The parking lot and back siding facade will face 9th St, a residential street (not an alley). Humboldt School (which is a historic building of 4 stories) is across the street on Victor. Its parking lot faces Broadway (not a residential street) and its front faces 9th St. It is a lovely historic brick building. Hard to understand how a historic district neighborhood can tolerate this…

    • Wabash

      “It will be anchored by two neigborhood bats.”

      I don’t see any retail in the site plan or proposal. It looks like this project is entirely apartments / residential.

      • Alison Jost Weber

        There are two bars already established near the proposed complex

        • Adam

          It doesn’t follow that those two bars will take up residence in the new building.

          • Adam

            Oh, now I see. Since there are two neighborhood bars near the site of the proposed building you want to argue that those bars will suddenly get really busy and next thing ya know the whole neighborhood will be in flames. I can’t roll my eyes enough.

          • Wabash

            I guess you and Lillian are referring to D’s Place and Good Luck Bar & Grill, which are nearby. It’s really disingenuous to say that this project is “anchored” by two bars (an obvious attempt to stir the interest and ire of other residents weary of more bars). This project is entirely residential in scope. It’s also pretty silly to say that those bars’ business will “skyrocket” because of 118 apartments. It’s going to take a lot more than 118 apartments for business to skyrocket anywhere this far south in Soulard (as I’m sure you know).

            We get it, you’re worried about their being too many bars. And that’s pretty understandable for Soulard residents. Fortunately this project doesn’t have anything to do with bars, so you can rest easy and stop overplaying that scare tactic.

          • Lillian Thompson

            You have to look at the area as a whole, not individual buildings. I think apts could be ok, but not designed the way this building is.

          • Adam

            Seems to me you’re ignoring your own advice by nit-picking the design of one building rather than focusing on the good that another 300 or so residents will do for the neighborhood and city. You’re not going to get a building this size faced entirely in brick these days. It’s just not gonna happen. As is the building looks to be bricked on all sides except the one facing 9th, which will be obscured by the all-brick Ice House building. I promise you’ll survive, and you’ll likely enjoy increased property values and commercial activity due to the added residents.

          • Wayne Burkett

            It’s a weird world in which “business will skyrocket” is listed in the negative column. But it highlights that Alison isn’t actually concerned about this project beyond how it will personally inconvenience her. If you’ve got a single-family in Soulard, then this project can only inconvenience you. There’s no real upside. It just means that it’ll be harder to find parking. And that a bunch of new renters will live nearby. Your property taxes might even go up. (That might be good, if you’re looking to sell, but not if you’re planning to stay.)

            That’s a lot of downside for an incumbent. So I *totally* get why an incumbent would oppose it. It makes obvious sense.

            But we shouldn’t be fooled by their preferences. This building is good for St. Louis in every other way than that it will make it harder for Alison to find parking. This is an overwhelmingly positive project, otherwise.

            We have to stop giving so much credit to these “concerns.”

          • Riggle

            Don’t these nimbys have garages anyway?

      • Lillian Thompson

        The bars are already there–no problem with neighborhood bars, but the combination of them at each end of large apt complex would be problematic. There is no retail in the builder’s plan and no other retail in the immediate neighborhood.

        • Adam

          Why would more people living in the vicinity of the bars be problematic? Is it because the bars will likely see increased patronage to some extent? That’s GOOD for the neighborhood bars and GOOD for neighborhood businesses in general.

    • Riggle

      Wow, the nimbys are a little late to the party

      • Alison Jost Weber

        This is being built in our neighborhood .. So as residents we are concerned.. Information about this was brought to our neighborhood meeting a month or two ago , they had no plans drawn then .

        • Riggle

          You live in one of the few desirable nabes in STL(to developers, they will make money), people want to build there, and that’s a good thing

          • Alison Jost Weber

            This is the third project on 9th street this year .not many places left to buy and rehab..

            . Yes , progress is good , better than an empty building .. We as owners just want the same rules applied to them as us .. Historic district codes .. There’s around 25 + pages of codes we have to follow ..

          • Adam

            I think those codes should be relaxed to some extent and that needs to be worked on, but we can’t halt all progress while it’s getting hammered out. If it weren’t for the codes this building would probably have zero brick facing instead of 75% brick facing. Like I said below, you’re not going to get a building this size faced entirely in brick these days. The economics don’t allow it. As it is, the one non-brick side will be obscured by Ice House. It’s really not as bad as you’re trying to make it out to be.

        • Wayne Burkett

          It’s fair for you to be concerned. But your concern should not be enough to stop progress. Incumbents *always* fear change. It’s understandable. But the grown-ups at City Hall should *always* do what’s right for the city as a whole — for you and for *future* residents. If we left it up to incumbents, nothing would ever get done.

          So, again, I don’t think you’re wrong for opposing this building. I totally get it. But a smart city would build this building, despite your concerns.

          • Alison Jost Weber

            I didn’t say I was opposed to the project , but as an owner of a home built in 1849 and I have to follow a multi pages of guidelines before I can do anything to my home , they should have to do the same .. And fit in as we all do ..

          • Riggle

            Congrats, you won, guess we’ll stop trying to build city here

          • Alison Jost Weber

            well the hearing for the project is tomorrow not today .. So unless you have insider information .. I’ll wait to read what the committee votes on

    • Adam

      You’ll survive. Your life will hardly change at all. Except, you may benefit from an increase in local shops, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. due to the increased population density.

  • Mark Leinauer

    I have to say I own (and used to live in) a building down the street, and I’m ecstatic to have 100+ new units in the neighborhood. The added density will just encourage more restaurants, bars and shops.
    I’m not a huge fan of the design (kind of looks like an office park to me, and not very “Soulard”) but I’ll take it. Glad to see the old neighborhood barreling ahead.

  • Pingback: Five-story, 118 Unit Apartment Building Proposed for 7th at Victor in Soulard - ConstructForSTL()

  • Ashley

    The one complaint shared by many of my older colleagues who live outside the city is that Soulard needs its own hotel. It could serve as a staycation spot for people who live in the region and be a great home base for tourists. This massive apartment complex is a nice change from standard infill but I would like to see a medium-sized boutique hotel in the area!

  • Meh. not particularly impressed. The rendering looks pretty much like every other low-rise multi-unit being proposed in the City. Now if the primary facade was distinctly designed as attached three-story walk-ups, with the more traditional apartment structure setback above and behind, then we’d be talkin’!

    • Riggle

      5 stories isn’t “low rise”

  • Scott

    Great to see that developers are making a significant investment in Soulard again. This is a special place in St Louis and needs to be a beacon for growth. Ever wonder why places like Nashville, another river city, are growing and attracting institutional investment? Because they saw the need for change and they made it happen. Let’s get the old guard out and start bringing in fresh new ideas.

    • John R

      Actually Soulard is one of the few neighborhoods that grew last decade and, like many parts of south Saint Louis, it is different than most of Nashville as it it really isn’t easy to come by suitable sites for large-scale new development. Continued rehabs of existing buildings and small infill will continue to characterize development in these historic neighborhoods. But it is nice to see interest in larger developments where it might make sense.

      • Riggle

        Kosciusko (sp?) has some potential for large scale res development, but thats prolly WAY too far outside the box for STL developers. Jefferson ave has some potenially large sites as well.

        • John R

          Maybe we can brand it “The K” to give it a bit of boost and not have to worry about how to spell it. I agree it has potential and it would be helpful I think to consolidate some of the light industrial/trucking operations between 7th and Broadway elsewhere.

          • citylover

            Like the “K” idea. Would be cool to see this area keep its industrial feel and river appeal. I like the graffiti art. It would be cool to have art walls, murals, and graffiti in this neighborhood. Lighting poles could be recycled scrap like railroad pieces and gears and the bulbs could look very port-like. Residential uses could play off close distance to water. Maybe be a wacky form of modernism and industry. Then the North-South bike trail could extend from the arch grounds. This could be the “chill” “hip” contrast to Laclede’s Landing.

            Imagine people boating on the Mississippi, docking their boat, then coming in the neighborhood to a relaxed cafe or pub. No shoes type of atmosphere kind of like the Lake of The Ozarks restaurants along the water.The “K” could become an informal gathering place that inspires and appeals to artists and people who make the most out of life.

        • Kosciusko doesn’t have any flood protection, so you can’t easily build residential there. That’s why it’s an industrial area.

          • Riggle

            What? Guess you never heard of the Flood Wall, and there is res there, 15 people according to the 2010 census

          • Alex Ihnen

            Not sure when the flood wall was built, but perhaps it is industrial because it used to flood. The 1993 flood came very close to the NGA, and so it’s hard to imagine the block(s) nearest 7th Street ever flooding. We can start there with rezoning.

          • John R

            I don’t think that was the case that flooding was the issue; it was due more to classic, post-war urban renewal desires to clear out dense, old housing and re-make the area into something else; in this case home to industrial uses.

  • thomas h benton

    Glad to see the Soulard apartments, but I think those 5 sf McKinley Heights homes may be the most exciting part about this agenda. It’s a pleasant surprise to see development there along Shenandoah. The Benton Park project is interesting, as well – the south wall of salvage windows looks very interesting. Thanks as always to nextstl.com for providing information on our fair city that is largely not available anywhere else.

  • MRNHS

    Can’t really tell from the renderings, but it looks like underground (or at least hidden) parking?

    • Adam

      Not underground, just behind.

  • rgbose

    Is there room between single fam and giant apt buildings in this world?

    http://missingmiddlehousing.com/

    • PeterXCV

      They’ve built some new two families in Fox Park as of late.
      But I think wide 7th street is a good place for a 5-story apartment building like this, smaller apartment buildings are better suited to up the density on quiet streets in my opinion.

  • Imran

    Looks better than the Aventura ……… and the Standard ūüėČ

  • Riggle

    Phyllis and the Soulard old farts will NEVER allow this, even tho this is EXACTLY what st louis needs…

    • matimal

      Challenge them. They aren’t all-powerful.

      • Riggle

        Looks like this developer is. I left The Island, too conservative, no vision for the neighborhood. 9Th could be a legit retail center, which the south side needs between Cherokee, south grand and downtown. But the dinosaurs on the Island only care about how it would affect their parking.

        • matimal

          This developer is what?

          • Riggle

            Challenging the nimby old farts, led by Phyllis, on the island

          • matimal

            Great…..We have to stop assuming that St. Louis is utterly impervious to change.

        • Having spent some time in Baltimore’s Federal Hill lately, the unrealized potential of Soulard was more obvious. Federal Hill has a similar architectural character and grid pattern (although higher density), but significantly more retail spaces being used for retail. The impact is huge. The streets feel alive and connective. At night the foot traffic creates a sense of safety I rarely have walking around St. Louis. You are absolutely right about 9th Street.

    • rbeedee

      Has the project run into much resistance? In the agenda, it says that a model example was identified with the help of the Soulard Restoration Group, suggesting that they are supportive of the project. There’s nothing in the agenda about neighborhood opposition, and the fact that it’s gotten this far suggests to me that the developers aren’t facing major opposition. I’m curious if you have some other information to the contrary.

      • Mark Leinauer

        I’m a bit surprised that the SRG signed off on this design. But I respect their opinion. And, like I said, I’m ecstatic to have 100+ new units in the neighborhood.

    • matimal

      You were wrong.

  • Justin Striebel

    I wonder if this development could create any momentum to begin remaking the other side of 7th Blvd. You go from beautiful Soulard, to an overbuilt road, to suburban style developments, and finally to warehouses.

    The warehouses I get. The road I even kind of get. But lack of urban atmosphere just across the street from one of St. Louis’ best neighborhoods always saddens me.

    • Like I said above: the other side of 7th is non-residential because it’s too close to the river and lacks floor protection. It’s not industrial by accident, it’s very much on purpose. We’d have to put up a levy, with all the concomitant problems.

      • Justin Striebel

        I’m not asking for residential. Just urban. Does the lack of floor protection mean Bread Co. and Dollar General need a ton of front street facing parking? It would nice if at least the first row of buildings up on 7th street carried over the urban form. Then tuck the warehouses and whatnot away behind that.

        • rgbose

          Used to be before they widened 7th

        • Alex Ihnen

          Yes x100.

      • John R

        The flood wall goes all the way past the current NGA site. Kosciusko was cleared of its historic uses in the 50’s – 60’s due to the then powerful urban renewal outlook as opposed to flooding.

  • Alex P

    The rendering looks similar to the apartments at Euclid and Forest Park Ave. If it’s of similar design/construction, I think they’d fit well. Let’s hope the NIMBYs / ‘historic character’ people don’t interfere.

    • Adam

      Oh, god… please don’t let it look like Metrolofts. IMO Metrolofts has decent form but it’s ugly as hell. Nothing says “cheap” like cinderblocks.

      • matimal

        ..unless it’s particle board. Cinberblock would an improvement over some of the worst recent buildings.

        • Adam

          Truth.