Proof that Any Building Can Be Saved: 2924 McNair – Benton Park

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The real estate listing for 2924 McNair near Benton Park says it’s a Landmarks Association Most Enhanced award winner. We’d call it a holy #&[email protected], you did what?! award winner. This shell, ruins really, of a modest home in historic south St. Louis is now on the market for $399K. The previous recorded sale price is $300, making the listing a +132,900% increase.

The building that was left for dead for many years is now a 3BD, 3BA, 2,900sf home. The property had been in the possession of the Land Reutilization Authority, abandoned by a previous owner. We first noticed the building when it was purchased by a developer back in 2014.

Built in 1890, modest shotgun homes like this have been seen as a challenge to restore. Without a significant alteration, they’re smaller than what many families desire. It may not appeal to everyone, but it makes a bold statement. It’s proof that not only can any building be repurposed, but that every building has value.

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Basic work such as water lines, tuckpointing, etc. can be very near the cost of a much larger home. Getting a return on a project like this is difficult. So we hope this home sells for the asking price and the risk taken here is rewarded.

St. Louis does not get the credit it deserves for its historic building stock and the incredible investments being made to preserve our amazing buildings. Projects like this can change the narrative. We’ll keep this home in mind the next time we hear that it’s not “feasible” to renovate an historic St. Louis building.

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  • gmichaud

    Great little rehab/rebuild, 2900 sq ft must include part of the basement, Iooked up lot 25×124, 3070 sq ft according to city records. I guess that one large room pictured is the basement portion. It looks like a set of steps off of the hall, hard to tell.
    Nice job, I wonder who is the architect.

  • Mike Williams

    Wow! This so beautiful!

  • Guest

    These are the kinds of efforts that make a neighborhood truly desirable, not profit seeking developers who tear something down because it isn’t “feasible”. Can you imagine what Lafayette Square, CWE, Soulard, Benton Park, etc. etc. etc. would look like if individual rehabbers had never bothered with what “sensible” people would term “not feasible”? Can’t really out perform labors of love, can one?

    • Nat_76

      Except this project was done by a profit seeking developer. So much for the theory about feasibility and profit seeking vs. labors of love. This project was feasible for two reasons: 1) the property was essentially given away to the developer and 2) the neighborhood can demand a price of $130/sqft for a residence of this size with these finishes. This isn’t proof that any building can be saved. What is does demonstrate is that in specific neighborhoods, these one story vintage buildings can be saved, provided the investor has a bit of imagination regarding how to rehab the structure to make it attractive to the market. If we respect the historic characteristics of other neighborhoods, their days may come too.

  • jhoff1257

    “St. Louis does not get the credit it deserves for its historic building stock and the incredible investments being made to preserve our amazing buildings.”

    This phrase pretty much sums up the entire purpose of my Instagram page.

    • Adam

      I’m a big fan of your Flickr stuff (assuming you’re the same jhoff). Haven’t seen your Instragrams yet.