Work Begins on Long Vacant Pelican Building

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Construction crews began work today on the historic Pelican Building at 2254 South Grand at Shenandoah. Building permits were issued Friday to St. Charles based developer MBR Shenandoah, LLC with estimated construction costs of $900,000. The first floor will be occupied by Domino’s Pizza which will relocate from it’s existing location on South Grand. Sources say the HOK designed residential building planned for next door is still going through design revisions.

The storied history of the building and it’s various tenants is well documented at Lost Tables.

 

 

First floor interior:

From our previous story: Contemporary 116-Unit Apartment Building Planned for South Grand YMCA Site

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  • studs

    Zounds, finally here be news of a capital stripe. All the while I have despaired that this brooding landmark of yore would fester in decrepitude, someday to be struck low by undreaming insects plying their craft.

  • CB Horr

    Lived on Grand/Castleman during HS (went to Rooosevelt). Walked past this bldg everyday. Domino’s is the best they can do for tenents??? A micro-brewery would be ideal. We have one here in Festus where I live now. They built on a corner where EVERYTHING had failed. Have nice cafe on 1st floor w/ tasting room/ brewing on 2nd fl. Nice patio out back. Have already hosted couple of festivals that drew quite a lot of ppl to town. Weren’t beer festivals either. As much pizza as there is in St.Louis, couldn’t we have resurgence of old greats? Or new greats? Combo beer/ pizza would be ideal!!

    • Whipple

      Thanks for fleeing then telling us what to do

    • jhoff1257

      There are dozens, literally dozens of the exact places you just described all over the city already. All of them do huge festivals that draw thousands. If you haven’t, read some of the below comments about the forces at work behind this project.

  • John

    Glad to see this project move forward. It is an investment. It is an improvement.

    I hope the adjacent apartment building turns out better than the earlier renderings. I am totally fine with Dominos or whoever becomes the commercial tenant of this historic gem. Red brick or earth tones might warm up the modern aesthetic of the planned apartment building. I definitely would like to see heavy landscaping and street trees.

    Word to the builder…budget for heavy soundproofing.

  • SCity Bulldog

    While I’m glad to see the 1st floor space reused (by Domino’s), I’m not happy that they will be leaving their location a few blocks south. That corridor of Grand south of Arsenal keeps losing tenants and is starting to look a little worse for wear…

  • Presbyterian

    As for the new construction next door, I’ve heard there is pressure on the developer to use a brick that is more … well … more red.

    • Adam

      Pressure from whom? I’m guessing a small, vocal group of old people that live in the neighborhood behind it and clutch their pearls at the thought of anything not composed of red bricks. Pretty sure a few of them were on here moaning about Communism and prisons last time this story ran.

      • HawkSTL

        Residents who actually pay taxes and dare live in the City . . . sure, let’s roast them. 5 blocks.

        • Adam

          Well, since everything got deleted I’ll just reiterate in a more appropriate tone. I was a little drunk last night.

          I own a house/live in the city (probably closer to this development than you do). I pay taxes.

          It is selfish and inappropriate for a small group of residents to take it upon themselves to obstruct a development because the aesthetics aren’t to their liking. More appropriate would be for them to request that the developer survey a larger cross-section of people in regard to their aesthetic preferences.

          Our lack of contemporary design is a big reason that St. Louis is perceived as stodgy. And any time something contemporary is proposed a bunch of old people (and I mean that literally as the city’s demographic skews old) crawl out of the woodwork to oppose it because it doesn’t remind them of the good old days.

          Glad you returned after the fact to add the “5 blocks”. I was worried you had forgotten.

          • HawkSTL

            It is offensive to call these people old, it is unbecoming, and it merely reflects your youth and skewed viewpoint. Distance to there is probably a wash when comparing you and me. My roots are on S. Grand. I, along with most of the professional world, don’t get to be drunk on Wednesday nights. 5 blocks and faux taxpayer.

          • Adam

            I’m 40. If they’re old, it’s not offensive. It’s reality.

            Not seeing how your “roots” matter. I actually own a house/live off of S. Grand in Dutchtown. Currently. Unlike you (speaking of “faux”).

            Spare me the “Oh, I couldn’t possibly get drunk on a week night” nonsense. I had 2 Schlafly Pumpkin Ales. They’re strong and delicious. Sucks you can’t enjoy such things. Guess you picked the wrong profession.

          • HawkSTL

            Dutchtown is a different neighborhood than Tower Grove East, which is where we’re talking about. My family owned property, lived and worked in TGE for a century. Yes, we’re about equidistant given our current zip codes. You said that you were “a little drunk last night.” If a guy originally from Fenton gets buzzed from 2 beers (even when they’re ales and may be a bit stronger than Bud Light), man, I can’t help you there. No wonder you no longer can live in Fenton. LOL.

          • Adam

            “Dutchtown is a different neighborhood than Tower Grove East, which is where we’re talking about.”

            Never said otherwise. Also irrelevant.

            “My family owned property, lived and worked in TGE for a century.”

            Cool but, again, irrelevant.

            “If a guy originally from Fenton…”

            No, Sir. Originally from Boulevard Heights. Parents moved to Fenton later. What that has to do with getting buzzed only makes sense to you, I guess.

            So first I’m too much of a drunk and now I’m too much of a light-weight. No pleasing you.

          • HawkSTL

            You’re the only person I’ve heard claiming to be from down Morgan Ford that calls it Boulevard Heights. But, I digress. The points raised are relevant because they establish 1) you’re not from TGE; 2) the “pearl-clutchers” as you’ve labeled them should have more of a say than people not living there and with roots there (you vs. them and even me); 3) you don’t pay much in income or property taxes when you live on Meramec St.; and 4) you feel buzzed or drunk from 2 beers, which means that no one down Morgan Ford or from Fenton would want to claim you.

          • Adam

            “You’re the only person I’ve heard claiming to be from down Morgan Ford that calls it Boulevard Heights.”

            I guess I’m lying about growing up there and attending Immaculate Heart of Mary then.

            “But, I digress.”

            Surprise!

            “1) you’re not from TGE; 2) the “pearl-clutchers” as you’ve labeled them should have more of a say than people not living there…”

            yet you constantly complain about street calming measures in neighborhoods where you don’t live. you’re a hypocrite.

            “…and with roots there (you vs. them and even me);”

            that’s a lovely fantasy but your “roots” don’t contribute sh*t to present-day TGE.

            “3) you don’t pay much in income or property taxes when you live on Meramec St.;”

            a) you have no idea what I pay in property taxes, and b) “income tax”? what “income tax” does the city levy that varies by neighborhood? oh, i see. you’re trying to suggest that I’m poor because I chose to rehab a 125 year old, 3-story home in Dutchtown and contribute to the neighborhood’s revitalization rather than run to St. Louis Hills. that or you’re just making up taxes.

            “and 4) you feel buzzed or drunk from 2 beers, which means that no one down Morgan Ford or from Fenton would want to claim you.”

            oh… burned. as if I’m embarrassed that I can get buzzed off of two 8% beers (especially if I drink them on an empty stomach). one playground point for you, though.

          • HawkSTL

            You don’t live in TGE, but wish to dictate what goes on there. Nobody from Morgan Ford calls it Boulevard Heights. There is a 1% City income tax, and the City just levied a 20-60% property tax increase. Folks on Meremac aren’t feeling either of those too much, but I’m glad that you restored a home. There are still too few of us home restorers, and I hope that your work inspires in your area to follow suit.

          • Adam

            “You don’t live in TGE, but wish to dictate what goes on there.”

            well, i’ll stop if you’ll stop.

            “Nobody from Morgan Ford calls it Boulevard Heights.”

            but i’m from there and i did, so…

            “…you don’t pay much in income or property taxes when you live on Meramec St.”

            “There is a 1% City income tax…. Folks on Meremac aren’t feeling either of those too much…”

            it’s officially called an “earnings tax”. nobody from St. Louis calls it an “income tax”. and you still haven’t acknowledge your fallacy. that’s fine though; it’s pretty obvious.

          • HawkSTL

            People in the central corridor call it an income tax because they tend to have higher incomes, and, therefore, 1% is a significant hit. I’ve lived in the City for 20 yrs and voted to renew the 1% income tax twice. Nice try though. Back to you, Mr. Fenton.

      • Robert Barquero

        lets be fair that building design did look like a proletariat tenement, a bit of red brick, ironically, would give it some warmth and perhaps a cornice or parapets would be a nice crowning glory…. 😉

        • Adam

          we disagree. nothing fair or unfair about it.

    • Framer

      Count me among those wishing for more contemporary design in STL. Variety is a good thing. I love old St. Louis as much as anyone, but let’s start moving into the 21st Century, shall we?

      • Adam

        Yes, please.

  • STLrainbow

    Just to clarify the Dominos owner is the developer… per the owner of the building where Dominos currently is located, the franchisee basically was required by corporate to move and upgrade although it is one of the highest producing locations in Missouri. You may have seen the tv commercials of Dominos owners tearing down there old spots and fitting a new format, I believe that includes sit-down areas. Anyway, should be one of the most interesting locations in the states.

  • Dennis

    Dominos? Underwhelming tenant for this historic building.
    Destination micro brewery, Restaurant or music venue whould be more appropriate for the character of this building, not average pizza place.

    • Whipple

      Get dominos out of the south grand strip, they don’t need such a ped friendly location (it’s a delivery biz), and free up space for a micro brewery, music venue etc (or, you know, a store, like they have in other cities).

      • thomas h benton

        I totally agree but we don’t get to play developer. It will be a Dominoes now, but who knows, perhaps at some point it will be something better. The good thing is that by it becoming a Dominoes now, the building will be saved. It’s a good one.

      • HawkSTL

        “Get dominos out” sounds like discrimination. And for what exactly? Bias against chains? Against pizza? This developer/owner is trying to better the neighborhood. Give me a break!

        • Whipple

          I can see how that could read that way. It’s a little more complicated, I should have chosen my words more carefully. While the south grand biz association probably doesn’t love the presence of dominos, it’s even more advantageous for dominos to gtfo. They are paying for foot traffic they don’t get and it’s a pain for their drivers to get in and out.

          • HawkSTL

            But I think the foot traffic, in part, is the point. Domino’s is trying to move to a different model. Regardless, they want to be visible, and being off the strip doesn’t help any non-destination restaurant.

          • jhoff1257

            I’ve read in several different comments that the Domino’s on South Grand is one of the highest grossing locations in the entire State of Missouri. It’s a dense walkable area, not every pizza leaving that shop is leaving in a car, they’re called carry outs.

            From a business standpoint you don’t shut down one of your best performing locations because some urbanist doesn’t think the business model fits the location. Clearly it does, or they wouldn’t be making any money. Also, I’m pretty sure there are Domino’s located in dense urban neighborhoods in dozens of other cities…

          • Whipple

            Yet they are leaving, so they must not care about being in a dense, walkable area. They don’t offer slices like many dominos in dense walkable areas, and are moving to a more car friendly area, looks like they don’t see walk in traffic as an asset. So what’s your point?

          • jhoff1257

            It’s like 8 blocks. Hardly a far move from their customer base.

          • Whipple

            5 blocks

          • Frank Absher

            It appears that’s what BreadCo did across the street from the current Domino’s. It really was a blow to neighborhood quality of life to lose a gathering place like that.

    • Nick

      I’ll take a Dominos plus a rehab of a historic building vs. no Dominos and no rehab. Developers won’t put in the money without an anchor tenant signing on.

    • Jason Fossella

      They’re not the tenant. The franchisee is the developer. So de-snob yourself and thank a local businessman for investing in the neighborhood.

    • WikiWild

      So hating national retailers for tearing down old buildings to build strip centers and also hating them for rehabbing old buildings…

      Interesting take. So are we to just not allow national retailers the opportunity to do business in the city?

  • Douglis Beck

    I hope Doninoes does the right thing by that building. Perhaps an eat-in option would help to fill out the space (Pizza Hut and Little Ceasars does it).
    Really wish the bones of the German Branch YMCA could be saved, renovated and added to, but it seems inevitable now that it will all be gone. I always thought it a building with great potential.

    • STLrainbow

      You refer to old Y as the German Branch… can you elaborate on that?

      • HawkSTL

        Beck will need to weigh in, but that section of S. Grand was settled mostly by Germans. Many churches around there still had services in German until the ’40s (i.e. World War II). I’m guessing the Y was called that for the same reason.

  • Ben Harvey

    Kaldi’s has been expanding like crazy lately, this would be a good spot for one

    • Douglis Beck

      All of Kaldi’s expansions have been further out from the city. Doubtful they would open up here so close to Starbucks in a development that has had a variable degree of critical mass over a whole lot of years

      • Adam

        ? Kaldi’s brand new locations at Laclede and Vandeventer and in Citygarden are about as “in” the city as you can get. Also not sure what you mean by “in a development that has had a variable degree of critical mass over a whole lot of years”. What development are you talking about?

        • RyleyinSTL

          They also just opened a second location at Wash-U SoM.

      • Whipple

        Not true, Kaldis hasn’t even had a st louis location until recently, now they have 3, and more coming, including downtown (where they already have one). But they won’t leave the central corridor.