Big Names Have Big Ideas for Vacant St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar

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The “Grand Missourian International”? The “Delmar Divine”? These are the aspirational names for a series of buildings that are anything but inspirational. The hodgepodge of buildings that constitute the abandoned St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard in the City of St. Louis has attracted some big names and big ideas.

The Post-Dispatch is reporting that two developers have presented redevelopment plans to the city that would preserve the existing complex. Located at 5555 Delmar Boulevard, the approximately 7.5-acres site is owned by the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Agency (LCRA).

Submitting presentations to the city, according to the Post-Dispatch, were the team of Maxine Clark, founder and retired chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop (now CEO of the Clark Fox Family Foundation), and Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive of Clayco Corp (nope, they’re not related). Titled “Delmar Divine”, the project could include 160 apartments serving Teach for America – an idea once explored for the Jefferson Arms building in downtown. The redeveloped complex could also house various non-profits, providing shared services and low rent.

Bob Clark and Clayco are near completion of the fast-tracked The Everly, a 14-story mixed use building to the west on Delmar Boulevard. The company’s largest project is the multi-phased expansion of the Centene corporate campus in downtown Clayton.

The second proposal, “Grand Missourian International” was presented by Prad Sabharway, managing director of Ananta Advisors. Sabharway’s presentation reportedly included plans for apartments, a movie theater, and production space for clothing and other small item manufacturers.

Ananta’s website shows projects in the UAE, Greece, Uruguay, India, and two in St. Louis: “a 400 room hotel situated on 19 acres of land one mile from St Louis Airport” and T3T Esco, a company focused on retrofitting warehouses with LED lighting for energy savings. According to the Ananta website, Sabharway “spent 20 years with Citibank in various US and International assignments in Greece, UK, USA, Colombia and Japan.”

Immediately north of the vacant hospital, Rise has completed the Village at Delmar Place development, which includes 40 single-family apartments and townhomes, 16 2BD apartments, two 3BD apartments, 18 3BD townhomes, four 4BD townhomes, and a community building.

Village at Delmar Place by Rise:

Read the Post-Dispatch story for more information and history on St. Luke’s Hospital: Two plans to redo the former St. Luke’s hospital on Delmar


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  • kjohnson04

    I’m okay with redevelopment of the St. Lukes/ConnectCare but only if they avoid the mistakes they made with City Hospital. Don’t tear down the tower that would give fantastic views of St. Louis. One of the biggest losses there was tearing down the Towers Addition.

  • brickhugger

    I had a notion that WU could move their offices from the Clayton Famous-Barr and CBC building into this complex, but these concepts are certainly worth looking into as well.

  • Alex P

    I assumed this was lost to demolition. A perfect example of something forgettable that could be great. Historic preservation makes for great, interesting cities, something new construction rarely achieves.
    Both proposals sound great. I was really impressed with how quickly Clayco got Everly going, granted the student housing aspect was a huge driver. Hopefully it’s a trend that continues.

    • Tim E

      Bob Clark & more importantly Clayco definitely give some financial legitimacy to the first proposal as well as the fact that the Teach for America aspect is much more reasonable or attainable in this proposal vs. what was once proposed for Jeff Arms building IMO.
      I think its interesting on in where Clayco is getting involved & wonder how much Centene money is indirectly behind the scenes on the Everly, like you state happened quickly, and if the city were to choose Clark’s proposal over the other. Lets not forget that Clayco is suppose to be on the Koplar/Koman team for Koplar’s prime real estate at corner of Kingshighway & Lindell

      • Alex P

        I was surprised to hear about the Teach for America Jefferson Arms effort at all simply because one function couldn’t possibly occupy that building. 160 residential Units is much more attainable.

  • tbatts666

    Love the idea of rehabbing an old hospital. Located just down from a really great Main Street, this part of delmar has so much potential.

    We should just make sure to retain any remnants of Main Street walkable potential here in case walkability ever spreads out from the loop east. Delmar here could use a little traffic calming too.

    • tbatts666

      The building is pretty bad thoughnin terms of urban form.

      • Alex P

        Overall, I favor historic preservation over urban form. One of the key aspects of walkability is simply keeping the built environment interesting. A building that tells a story, with different styles and additions, does just that.
        For new construction, there’s never an excuse. The CWE Whole Foods situation is infuriating.

  • Get the facts str8

    originally this hospital was the Jewish Hospital that moved over to kingshighway and forestpark

    • Adam

      Where did he say otherwise?

      • Alex P

        I think it was just a fun little fact. Granted the user name can be a little misleading.

    • PhilS

      No. The previous location of Jewish Hospital was at 5415 Delmar, about a block further to the east. It opened there in 1902. St. Luke’s opened at 5535 Delmar in 1904.