Apartments Planned for Long-Vacant Zittlosen Building Near Lafayette Square

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The big vacant building at the entrance to Lafayette Square may be near a new life. The building was constructed as the Zittlosen Manufacturing Company and is also known as the Bouras Mop Factory building. The building is serving as the historic model for a new residential infill project on Park Avenue, announced in October.

Plans and proposals have come and gone, the building’s been under contract numerous times, without success. Now, an entity titled Vinson ONE LLC, with apparent connections to Asprient Properties has purchased the building and received support for the project from the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee. When asked late last year, a representative of Asprient declined to provide additional information about the project.

Details of the new proposal were revealed in a rezoning request presented to the city’s Planning & Urban Design Agency. The four-story building at 1322 Dolman (Google Maps) would be converted into 48-50 studio-1BD-2BD apartments with 63 off-street parking spaces planned. The estimated project cost is $10M.

Located in the Peabody Darst Webbe neighborhood, the site is covered by the Lafayette Square Local Historic District. This effectively means any proposal would only move forward with neighborhood and aldermanic support. We wrote about a 2013 proposal for a $10M redevelopment for 42 income-restricted loft apartments in the building. That proposal failed to win neighborhood support.

The connection to Asprient appears to be through common investors. The rezoning proposal states that Vinson ONE LLC has developed projects in the DeBaliviere Place and Soulard neighborhoods. Those projects apparently refer to the renovation of existing buildings and new construction in DeBaliviere Place, and the old Polar Wave ice factory project in Soulard, both by Asprient.

1322 Dolman serves as the southern gateway to Lafayette Square:

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  • John

    Nice to have the rehab and investment, but I hope the property manager/developer can clean up their questionable customer service reputation.

  • Riggle

    Near Lafayette Sq?

  • Riggle

    Across the PJs the tenants of polar wave and ice, in Soulard, park on the sidewalk, and they are charged for the privilege, apparently. Thanks asprient!

  • Guest

    Good idea to bring in more residents to Lafayette Square. Needs more peeps. It’s one of the closer neighborhoods to downtown so it should be a good area for new residents. Lovely park and a generally nice area.

    • Riggle

      Needs meaningful connections to downtown, soulard and benton park. As long as its bordered by stripmalls, swipethrus, stroads and trainyards it will forever be an urban (barely, total cars based population, there isn’t even a corner store there) “gold coast” nabe, totally isolated from the wasteland around it.

      • jhoff1257

        Completely agree, it’s probably my favorite neighborhood in the city (from an architectural standpoint) but it is totally an island. Some of these problems could be fixed. Redeveloping strip malls and other brownfield properties around the edges (new town homes on the Praxair site will be a huge improvement, provided they get the design right), road diets and better connecting to the east where there are no significant barriers until you get to 44/55 could be done fairly easily. But how exactly would you better connect it downtown? The rail yards have been there for over 100 years and while the switching yards could possibly be moved, there will always be active rail lines running through there, including MetroLink. Ameren’s property extends along Chouteau for nearly half the length of the neighborhood. Short of more viaducts or an at grade pedestrian crossing with the railroad tracks (yikes!), I’m not really sure what more you could do…well a N/S light rail line would certainly help. As far as better connecting to Benton Park it might make more sense to focus on getting better connections across 44 into McKinley Heights since Benton Park is south of that.

        Also I have a quick side note on the N/S LRT line, would love to hear what others think about this. Wouldn’t it make more sense to run the line down 14th to Lafayette instead of running west on Chouteau? Running to Lafayette and then west to Jefferson would open up all of the Near Southside (Peabody Darst), including City Hospital, to the line. It would be far closer and within easy walking distance to Lasalle Park and the northern edge of Soulard. Lafayette is more then wide enough between essentially Truman and Jefferson to give the LRT it’s own right of way without any reduction in car travel lanes. Too easy right?

        • STLEnginerd

          I think the reasoning for proposed routing NS via Chouteau is to provide service to Ameren a major employer since the routes are typically dictated by nodes of job density. The use of 14th street viaduct as the crossing point is (i think) because of the location of the Transit hub at civic center station. Its definitely not MY prefered route (or location for the transit hub for that matter) but they seem pretty stuck on that as the plan.

          FWIW personally I think tucker to gravois is the way to go.

          • jhoff1257

            I’d hazard a guess that most Ameren employees will continue to drive. Having said that, 14th is only about 4-5 minute walk from a potential station at 14th and Chouteau were it to continue south. I think the benefit for those in Clinton-Peabody, Lasalle Park, and parts of Soulard, who would benefit far more from improved transit service then Ameren employees, is a no brainer.

            And while I agree with Gravois, it has to be 14th. It makes no logical sense to move it away from MetroLink, MetroBus, Amtrak, and Greyhound. Tucker isn’t a long walk from 14th by any means but making people walk a few blocks to make a transfer at Civic Center is going to be a non starter for a lot of people.

          • Gravois is ruled out because it’s a state highway, and MO DOT has been clear that they will not reserve lanes for transit.

          • jhoff1257

            If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Chouteau (MO100) a MoDot route?

        • Riggle

          Mississippi ave isn’t bad getting to mckinley heights, the problem is the shit state of jefferson and then gravois. Fields foods and jim whoretons need to be torn down and rebuilt up to the road. Remove swipe thru from tucker and Lafayette. Signalize the onramp to 44 (that thing a ped nightmare akin the grand and 40). But you are right. Connecting to downtown is fucked (but bus service would be fine. The 80 serves the biz district. About once an hour)

        • 14th and Lafayette aren’t wide enough to handle the Metrolink without large scale demolition. The plan is to have the line running entirely separate from traffic, so the roads need to be big enough to accommodate at least two lanes of traffic, two tracks, and stations at major intersections- that’s 50-60 feet of width.

          • jhoff1257

            You make a point about 14th. It’s widest section is only about 55 feet from curb to curb. However, considering the light traffic there is on this stretch of 14th I think shared lanes would be ok here. Regarding Lafayette your argument kind of falls apart. Lafayette is roughly 82 feet wide curb to curb from 14th to 18th. From 18th to Jefferson it’s between 70 feet to 65 feet wide. Jefferson, from just south of 44 all the way down to South Broadway is never more then 73 feet curb to curb. And Chouteau never gets higher then 65 feet curb to curb between 14th and Jefferson. If anything Lafayette leaves more room as an east west alignment then Chouteau does. So using your logic here I guess we’ll be seeing massive amounts of demolition on both Chouteau and Jefferson.

            And according to the original studies conducted by EWG the width of LRT in the street WITH a station is about 37′. Without a station is about 27′.

            I also have a sneaking suspicion that since the city is going in on this alone for the time being we’ll probably see this new study include mixed traffic LRT in some sections. Either way, just a suggestion on my part. I feel like having Clinton Peabody, Lasalle Park, and a part of Soulard a little closer to light rail is a good thing.

  • Chippewa

    Look, I’m happy that this is happening overall, but Asprient? Goddamn it, when will they finally get sued into nonexistence?

    • Adam

      ^ where was your bad experience?

      • Chippewa

        Looking to rent about a year ago, looked at several properties first around the Botanical Gardens, then in the CWE. Was blown off twice by one of their employees, then finally got a showing on Pershing where they refused to show me the actual place I’d be renting, instead insisting that it would be nice, while showing me example rooms that were in clear disrepair and not sanitary.

        Combine this with their horrible reputation (to the point where they are now doing business under an assortment of different names, all one has to do is search for them online to find various sites plastered with negative reviews and complaints of scummy behavior, up to and including an RFT piece on them), and it is a major bummer with this project.

    • Patrick Goodson

      Hopefully at the same time Red Brick is. Both are pimples on the ass of property management companies.