Subtext is planning a mixed-use apartment building in The Delmar Loop in University City at Delmar and Leland. The site currently has the buildings formerly occupied by Commerce Bank, St. Louis Bread Co, and Craft Alliance. The property not including the former Craft Alliance building has been for sale for a few years listed at $4.9M. Commerce Bank moved across the street last August. The architect for the proposal is ESG Architecture & Design.
Proposed is LOCAL University City, a seven story apartment building with three commercial spaces on the ground floor. Subtext’s LOCAL brand is market rate luxury apartments. Subtext has developed LOCAL properties in six other states. From their marketing material- “LOCAL properties focus on efficient units to deliver cost-effective luxury housing combined with a boutique mindset that turns amenities into experiences. LOCAL properties feature a branded fitness and resident spa, flex Co-working and collaboration spaces, regular community dinners, volunteer events, and group outings.”
Facing Delmar would be retail spaces totaling 8,000 square feet, townhome residences, and lobby/amenity space amounting to over 500 feet of frontage. At the corner with Leland would be a restaurant with an outdoor patio to the west. Then a retail space, perhaps a bank or something else TBD. Heading west are eight two-story townhomes with entrances facing Delmar, then the lobby, and a 1,000 sf retail space at the western corner.
On the third floor are apartments, outdoor courtyards, and a pool. Floors 4-7 are all apartments. The height of the building ranges from 75 to 85 feet. For reference the University Square Apartments across Delmar is 68.5 fee tall. Planned are 314 apartments, 43 studios, 48 one-bedroom, 146 two-bedroom, and 77 three-bedrooms. A total of 537 beds. Many units would have balconies.
University City’s onerous parking mandate calls for 599 parking spaces. A reduction of 10% for transit access and 25% via a conditional use permit are requested, for a total of a 32.5% reduction resulting in 404 spaces. The plan has 410 spaces spread over three levels accessed via three entrances from the alley. If this were in most parts of St. Louis, the parking minimum would have been 314 plus a handful for the commercial space. There is bike parking in the second lobby facing Leland.
There are no financial details available. I’d wager the project cost is over $100M. This is obviously a much more productive land use than the current buildings.
Subtext also developed The Verve, a student-oriented apartment building, at 3765 Lindell near SLU which opened in 2021.
This is the third proposal to come to light for the location. Opus and Lux Living put forth proposals of similar scale that didn’t come to fruition. This proposal is at a density and floor-to-area ratio, 3.71, that is high for University City. Time will tell how this proposal will be received. I’m sure concerns about density, height, parking, traffic, rents, and the loss of the former Craft Alliance building, the oldest building in the Loop, will be expressed.
In 2014 University City rejected a proposal for an apartment building at the west end of the Loop.