Residential Conversion Coming to Laclede’s Landing

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A St. Louis developer is moving ahead with plans to convert the former Metro headquarters at 701 N. 1st Street in Laclede’s Landing into mixed use residential. Advantes Development closed on the historic seven story Christian Peper building in August and has spent the last eight months preparing for the project. They filed an initial $3.5 million building permit this week.

Operating under the name Peper Lofts LLC, the developer plans for between between 49 and 51 residential units on the upper floors. The lower levels will include office and retail space. Their hope is to have units available beginning summer 2018. An earlier plan had included 26 residential units plus office space. Current plans have grown that residential component. Metro vacated the 106,000 square foot building in 2015. Advantes was awarded $5 million in New Market Tax Credits earlier this year.

The Christian Peper building was built between 1898 and 1899 as an addition to the 1873 Raeder building to the north. The structure was built to store leaf tobacco for the Christian Peper Tobacco Company. The building’s red brick mass can be seen from the Eads Bridge and affords clear views of the Gateway Arch, The Downtown skyline and the Mississippi River.

Advantes already has converted the vacant Lafayette School in Soulard into 36 apartments. Advantes also was behind the conversion of the Sherman School in Shaw to the Sherman Lofts.
Perceived largely as an entertainment district, Laclede’s Landing long has lacked a residential component. A casino, hotels, restaurants, clubs and a $380 million renovation of the Arch grounds have failed to give the Landing a sense of being a neighborhood. The Landing has seen improvements to sidewalks and lighting, as well as some re-engineered street cobbles. And the removal of The Arch parking garage visually has reconnected the Landing to the Arch grounds, a benefit perhaps offset somewhat by the removal of Washington Avenue along the Landing’s southern border.

But what has been missing is a residential base that calls Laclede’s Landing home, a community of people who maintain the same set of eyes on the street month after month, who organize neighborhood meetings, who argue with aldermen, advocate for services, and who grow demand for a morning coffee shop, a dry cleaner or a bodega. The Landing is the last remaining portion of the city’s historic riverfront. It deserves to become a vibrant, mixed use neighborhood. Laclede’s Landing could be a truly amazing place to work, to play … and to live.
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  • Dahmen Piotraschke

    Boat marinas are for lakes and bays, but ziplines, riverboat cruise entertainment, ferris wheels, and maybe a new Poplar st. bridge.!!!! Our riverfront is blighted enough from the east side’s tragic void…and the Stan Musial is great but the Poplar…is the most heavily used bridge with the best views going into downtown…is the one spot for so may pics and views. We need a bright , open and modern addition to what rivers in all cities do best, building a landmark original. IE..( Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Memphis, Dallas, and the most awesome, London)..the Thames is the artery thru s many incredible bridges for cars, and peds..AND of course NYC..we have the iconic EADS… which should be a pedestrian and biking , car-less jewel, like the Brooklyn Bridge!!!

  • Whipple

    Three words, pleasure boat marina

    • Nick

      The Mississippi near the Landing is not the safest for pleasure boating…most folks boat on the Missouri near the Mississippi confluence or north of the Chain of Rocks

      • Matthew W. Hall

        What’s unsafe about it?

        • Nick

          The river is wider by downtown which means stronger currents and more debris. Also more barge traffic than north of the city. It’s not impossible as people sometimes take small craft out there, but there are more ideal spots further north.

          • Ben Harvey

            It’s actually very narrow by downtown

          • Dahmen Piotraschke

            yes the more narrow , the more elevation and depth , producing quick undercurrents…this happens all the time within cities that have both sides well developed and are structured to keep the water out and look formidable, like NYC, or London. But the MO side has a giant flood wall and the east side is barron. If only East St. Louis could try to be a success story like Jersey City has done.

          • Nick

            Compared to some areas yes. Compared to others, like the the confluence with the Missouri, it’s a little wider and much rougher. The idea of a marina downtown has been floated for decades. There’s a reason it never happens.

  • Dahmen Piotraschke

    The Landing is prime for rich money-making developers. All for people who can afford the high rent…access to the park and better walkways , all would help build up the Landing into a daily community…not just drunks at bars and the gaudy intrusive casino /four seasons high rise..build more high rise residential to fill in the award skyline left by the giant TV casino. (gamblers?..am I right?).

    • Matthew W. Hall

      Aren’t all developers “money making”?

      • Dahmen Piotraschke

        OMG yes!..I am stating it as an obvious fact…not some abstract thought…So, yes, like all development, it will come down to the one’s paying for the development.

        • Matthew W. Hall

          I didn’t understand why this needed saying.

          • Dahmen Piotraschke

            Same reason I am stunned at your insufferable questions that have zero substance or thought. Are you the judge and jury here? If so, oops, open your mind!

          • Matthew W. Hall

            I have no idea what your talking about.

  • Jakeb

    Given the increased residential in downtown, I been surprised at how slow residential was to move to Laclede’s Landing. I’ve always assumed parking was the issue.

    • Kazuya Darklight

      Parking is arguably already an issue just for those working in the area, if we add a lot of residential I’ll be curious to see how that gets handled. Maybe some of the existing flat lots will get built up and and/or the one multi-floor unit will get rebuilt to be higher. Its really got to be that or build more flat lots and I’d kind of hate to have more of the space paved over just to give cars a place to sit.

      • STLrainbow

        Well there is that old plan for Drury to develop a parking garage to replace the one on the Arch grounds… not completely sure why that didn’t move forward but I think it had something to do with Metro moving it’s offices to the core CBD. Anyway, perhaps Drury will trigger redevelopment of its key parcel next to the Eads where they envisioned a residential tower and have structured parking that can handle any additional needs in the area.

      • Whipple

        Is it? In what sense?

  • John

    Nice to see the investment in this property. Good downtown St. Louis location, and it definitely needs walkable amenities…. a coffee shop or cafe in the first floor retail would be great. I am also assuming apartment rentals vs. condos.

  • Andy

    I don’t know if I missed it in the article, but is this plan for apartments or condos? I’m assuming apartments but am curious.

    • Whipple

      Gotta be apts, awesome news

      • Dahmen Piotraschke

        It will be great to have hopefully a few high rise apartments to fill in the Landing after the Four Seasons dropped in. I would totally live on the Landing…the Eads. bridge, the all-new green space under the Arch, and just a quiet stroll down to the river. Parking is always an issue, so I’d guess doing what the casino did would correlate well, but hopefully not too much needed.