Washington University in St. Louis is now the owner of the long vacant Wabash Railway Company building at the Delmar MetroLink Station in The Loop. The high-profile building, fronting Delmar at the MetroLink station had been owned by Loop developer Joe Edwards.
It’s not clear what exactly WUSTL has planned for the building, but its ownership is almost certainly a harbinger that redevelopment is inching closer. nextSTL has learned that the university remains committed to its North Campus, which remains mostly parking and open space surrounding a single-story office building.
The renderings here are by H3 Studio, prepared for the City of St. Louis as part of a Transit Oriented Development Plan in 2013. What the images show is the Wabash building as a central gateway for transit and a dense mixed use neighborhood. The images are theoretical, but give an indication of what type of development would be invited and supported.
Already, a 14-story mixed-use building planned for just west of the Wabash building, on what is currently a vacant lot, shows that development may mimic the TOD study, while being more context sensitive. The study also highlights the possibility of both Rosedale/Enright and Vernon traversing Skinker and running through the WUSTL North Campus.
The station building is zoned neighborhood commercial and it’s unclear if it could once again serve as the entrance to the Delmar Station, as the TOD study illustrates. Currently, the busy station entrance sits about 200 feet north Delmar, and while investments in a plaza and art have made the station more welcoming, it does not benefit from having the eyes on the street from activity on Delmar.
The Clayco/Forum Studio project at 6103-6131 Delmar:
The existing MetroLink station and Wabash Railway building:
The station was built in 1928 and was most recently occupied by a lighting store. The most recent recorded permit was for office occupancy in 1993.
The building’s owner is listed as Station Wabash LLC, with a owner address of Campus Box 1058, St. Louis, MO 63130, or Brookings Hall. The recorded transaction date by the City of St. Louis Assessor is March 25, 2016. No sale price is recorded. The previous owner had been Wabash Station LLC at 6504 Delmar Boulevard, the address for Blueberry Hill and office of Joe Edwards.
More from the TOD study:
Washington University in St. Louis also purchased the buildings at 5967-77 Delmar, to the east of the Wabash Station. The properties are adjacent to the building recently renovated as the new home for St. Louis Art Works. According to city records, it appears the purchase of the station and additional buildings was completed in March. To the west, the university has longed owned the large parcel at 6045 Delmar, and earlier this year purchased 6101 Delmar, adjacent to the Clayco project now underway.
*top image by Ben Evans @ STL Energized – check out his work on Flickr