Historic Wabash Railway Station in The Loop Has a New Owner

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Wabash Railway Company-Delmar Station by Ben Evans

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.

Wabash Station_Delmar Loop 3Wabash Station_Delmar Loop 2

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:

Delmar infill_Clayco_Forum Studio

The existing MetroLink station and Wabash Railway building:

Wabash Station, Delmar MetroLink Station - St. Louis, MOWabash Station, Delmar MetroLink Station - St. Louis, MO Wabash Station, Delmar MetroLink Station - St. Louis, MOWabash Station, Delmar MetroLink Station - St. Louis, MOWabash Station, Delmar MetroLink Station - St. Louis, MO

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:

Wabash Station_Delmar Loop 4

Wabash Station_Delmar Loop 1

________________

*added 06/08/2016

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.

5967-5977 Delmar_WUSTLScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.02.59 PM{parcels owned by Washington University in St. Louis shown with blue dot}

*top image by Ben Evans @ STL Energized – check out his work on Flickr

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  • rgbose

    Need to keep an eye on 5989 and across the street!

    • CWE1959

      Absolutely. I’m sure they’re having discussions. Moving a dental practice (located in 5989 Delmar) is a little more complicated than the other properties that were underutilized or vacant. Similar to the dental practice that was purchased by Quiktrip at Jefferson and Chouteau. The negotiations with Quiktrip took a while and the eventual move wasn’t finalized until a new dental office was obtained and renovated on Olive east of Jefferson.

  • CWE1959

    It is great to see Wash U is taking such an active role in making sure future Delmar Loop development proceeds. Wash U has now purchased 5967-5977 Delmar. These properties are east of the Wabash Station. I’m very interested to see their future development plans.

    • rgbose

      Thanks for the heads up. You have to check daily around there!

      • CWE1959

        No problem. The steady signs of significant albeit quiet plans in the works.

  • kjohnson04

    It still baffles me that the MetroLink station is adjacent to the Wabash station, but not in it. An example the reuse of a commuter station is the Park Place BMT station in Brooklyn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Place_(BMT_Franklin_Avenue_Line), served by the Franklin Shuttle. It’s in use, and the MTA didn’t bypass the buildings use as a Ticket Hall.

    • rgbose

      I think all the stakeholders support that. Just takes money.

    • Ice_Burned

      There was a missed opportunity to do that around about 7-8 years back, when the Delmar bridge running over the tracks was reconstructed. That was an opportunity to create station access from Delmar using an elevator/stairs on the south side and perhaps the Wabash building on the northside.The way they reconstructed the bridge makes access directly from Delmar more difficult, the tunnel is actually narrower now. Around the same time their was a mostly cosmetic re-investment in the ‘bus plaza’ on Des Peres.The vision and probably also the funds weren’t there to connect those two efforts and create station access from the bridge like Forest Park or Grand Stations.

      I’m stumped as to what WUSTL could have in mind for the with the Wabash building. A security substation? A WUSTL visitor info center? Might they dissemble and move it to make it a vintage facade of a North Campus building as was done on the Moonrise?

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  • Presbyterian

    I look forward to seeing what Wash U has planned for this location. Have we heard anything specific about the former chicken place at the SE corner of Delmar and Skinker?

    • rgbose

      No, it sits. Not surprisingly, no one wants to lease a 40+ year old fast food building.

      • Presbyterian

        I would donate to a bulldozing campaign.

        • rgbose

          I would gladly buy raffle tickets to win a chance to release the wrecking ball into it.

          • Guest

            Hey, guys…count me in if either of those options become reality.

      • Riggle

        Byrd and Barrel did it…

        • rgbose

          Here’s the number to call. Opportunity is knocking!

          I’d prefer a much more productive land use there that helps pay for the infrastructure and services we’d like in the city.

          • kjohnson04

            How about a midrise with a CVS? That area needs a pharmacy badly. If I remember correctly, the nearest Walgreens is at Page, nearly two miles north.

          • rgbose

            I think we’d see something like that here if there were new owners.