Chemical Building Redevelopment to Begin

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The vacant 16 story Chemical Building at 721 Olive Street downtown has a new owner. According to city records, Morgan Communities of Pittsford, New York has closed on the property. HBD Construction is the contractor. The developer is moving quickly on the project, with construction bids due this week to replace the windows on the historic structure.

The Chemical Building. Photo: Mark Groth


Built in 1896, Chicago School architect Henry Ives Cobb designed the red terra cotta and brick tower with its distinctive protruding bays. Work has just begun on a $65 million hotel conversion of Adler and Sullivan’s adjoining 705 Olive.

Morgan Communities has a portfolio of over 140 properties including dense urban projects and suburban residential campuses. This will be their first project in Missouri. Their focus is on the residential rental market.

Proposals for the Chemical Building have come and gone in recent years.


Interior photos by Jason Deem:












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  • Bobby Gissendanner

    what is plan for parking?

  • brickhugger

    Great to hear! I was so disappointed when the condo conversion stopped with the great recession; they were doing an amazing job. I would love to live in the 16th floor Olive corner unit, even though I’m sure I’ll never be able to afford it.

  • John

    Great news. I saw it earlier in the Bus. Journal, too, but I don’t care who scooped the story first. This redevelopment news belongs in all relevant forums. Nice to see the investment in downtown St. Louis! Thanks for posting it here.

  • jhoff1257

    Outstanding. Nice to see nextSTL getting busy again!

    • lou4arc
      • jhoff1257

        In addition to their own reporting they’ve always done this. No different then the RFT or the St. Louis Business Journal plucking things from the Post-Dispatch or visa verse. Or the Post-Dispatch plucking things from the AP Wire. My point was that’s it’s nice to see some activity here.

        It’s also worth mentioning that the Business Journal has a paywall. nextSTL does not. At least here I can get the details.

        • Tpekren

          Would also like to add that Jason added some details on construction bids coming out on the windows already. I believe neither biz journals or PD reported as such. Could be mistaken but those details always add to the story just as most posters on these forms add to the discussion, thanks.

      • Nope, different sources. I can confirm that this was written independently before that came out. Looks like they beat us to the punch to publish by an hour or so but wasn’t piggybacking.