Chemical Building - 721 Olive Street

Renovations and new residential construction in downtown St. Louis, Washington Avenue, the Old Post Office, etc.
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This building really gets around. Wonder if the other buildings talk about it behind its back.

Any word on who the developer is?
ImprovSTL wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 4:48 pm
This building really gets around. Wonder if the other buildings talk about it behind its back.

Any word on who the developer is?

You're absolutely right this building is making the rounds she's either too expensive or too damn cheap either way someone will find a happy medium and propose a legit engagement :D
Let's hope this happens soon!!
Many of the rear windows are missing and it's exposed to the elements. I worry about this building.
Current mood:

Image
moorlander wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 3:10 pm
Yet again.....A new buyer has the Chemical Building under contract and hopes to close this summer and rehab the building into apartments.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news ... g-the.html
-RBB
Any movement on this sale? Looks like it hasn't changed hands yet.
New York firm buys Chemical Building, plans apartments


"Cresswell said Morgan Communities is considering a micro-apartment concept for the Chemical Building. “That’s one of the ideas that’s on the board right now as we look at options,” he said. “Those would be very efficient, highly-ammenitized units that are about 400 square feet. They are popular with millennials and we’ve seen them done in larger cities with great success.”"

$30-$35 mil development cost
https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... j=78799131
^ well, probably because those bigger cities have less available real estate and more demand for it.

i really don't see micro-apartments catching on here at the moment. and 400 sq. ft. is tiny AF.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:53 pm
^ well, probably because those bigger cities have less available real estate and more demand for it.

i really don't see micro-apartments catching on here at the moment. and 400 sq. ft. is tiny AF.
I agree. After Amazon decides to put its HQ2 here, then we can start talking about micro apartments. With so many options available Downtown, why would someone choose to a 400 sq foot apartment? In CWE, it makes more sense because that neighborhood is very dense. Downtown still has a way to go.
STLhistoryBuff wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:10 pm
urban_dilettante wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:53 pm
^ well, probably because those bigger cities have less available real estate and more demand for it.

i really don't see micro-apartments catching on here at the moment. and 400 sq. ft. is tiny AF.
I agree. After Amazon decides to put its HQ2 here, then we can start talking about micro apartments. With so many options available Downtown, why would someone choose to a 400 sq foot apartment? In CWE, it makes more sense because that neighborhood is very dense. Downtown still has a way to go.
Not sure. And rents aren't really outrageous Downtown either.

Take this and make some beautiful 1 and 2 bed spaces. The building is too beautiful to be wasted on micro apartments IMO. All those awesome bay windows!
On the other hand this building has been looked at to death by every developer known to man and by all accounts has been a difficult s.o.b. ... my 2c is a variety of housing options is good for downtown and if they can make it work, great. It could be attractive to folks who might be seeking a neat building to live in downtown for only a year or so and don't need much space.
As long as the first floor isn't some chintzy art gallery or event space. Has the opportunity to really activate the OPOP
dylank wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:03 pm
As long as the first floor isn't some chintzy art gallery or event space. Has the opportunity to really activate the OPOP
As did all the other first floors along OPOP that became chintzy art galleries, event spaces, and unoccupied. As did Culinaria before that..... Makes me curious what its 'activation' will actually look like.
I don't believe their is much new in the latest PD article but number of units seems high even if micro.

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... c1601.html

Cresswell said Morgan Communities thinks it may be able to squeeze about 700 “highly amenitized” units into the 1896 structure designed by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb. They would probably be less than 500 square feet, although he emphasized Morgan Communities hasn’t yet finalized its plans for the building.

Plans call for starting construction early next year and wrapping up by 2019, and Cresswell said the developer intends to apply for historic tax credits to help finance the project.

“We like the city right now,” Cresswell said of St. Louis. “We think there’s a lot of opportunity to create value.”
dredger wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:32 pm
Cresswell said Morgan Communities thinks it may be able to squeeze about 700 “highly amenitized” units
700 isn't going to happen. A reminder that the 500k+ s.f. Arcade Building only has 282 Units.
Chemical is 160,480 gross s.f. including the attic. If 85% is leasable area, that comes out to 195 s.f. units. So a queen mattress would take up 16% of the floor area in the apartment (yes, I'm aware of Murphy beds).
And 85% is the absolute highest you could get out of that building. With small floor plates, those two fire stairs, elevator shafts, and historic corridors eat up a lot of space.

So yes, it's possible but personally, I chose a 500 s.f. Mansion House studio apt to prevent myself from accumulating junk and still went crazy in two years.
^I find that number disheartening - as it makes me question the seriousness and thoroughness of their interest and proposal. This building has such an unfortunate recent history of flippers and false-start investors. Hopefully this one doesn't follow the same path, but throwing out outlandish numbers for somewhat (at least in this market) experimental housing concepts isn't the most auspicious start.
Does the building have 700 windows?
vollum wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:57 am
Does the building have 700 windows?
Definitely. I counted 76 usable windows per floor. At just 15 floors, that's 1140.
However, looking at the floor plan, I'd be lucky to fit about 32 units in per floor. At 17 floors (including attic and first floor), that comes out to 544 units. Some units with only one 3' wide double hung window would be inevitable.
^But the building is famous for its bay windows! Not all three windows of each bay (or four in the case of the bay windows along Olive) can be allocated to a separate, individual apartment! And I guess - sadly - first floor apartments are becoming a reality (did that end up happening with the Board of Ed building?), but even still as you point out that's over 150 short. It really calls into question how serious they are about development vs. just land banking it for a time.
LOL... Sharing a bay window with your neighbor...
San Luis Native wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:43 pm
LOL... Sharing a bay window with your neighbor...
In my 32 per floor estimate, I split up the two middle bay windows on Olive. You could fit 27-30 in without splitting any bay windows.
aprice wrote:
San Luis Native wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:43 pm
LOL... Sharing a bay window with your neighbor...
In my 32 per floor estimate, I split up the two middle bay windows on Olive. You could fit 27-30 in without splitting any bay windows.
Got it, wasn't trying trying to pick on you, just found it humorous that a developer might try and split up bay windows and still market the apartments as "luxury living" :)
Another interesting twist in the Chemical Building saga...

Buffalo News: Chemical Building's new owner part of federal investigation
Citing sources familiar with the investigation, the Buffalo News reported last week that FBI agents had issued subpoenas to examine the way Robert Morgan’s companies finance acquisitions, particularly what information it provides to lenders.

A follow up report from the Buffalo News on Sunday cited real estate documents and experts to indicate that on some deals, Morgan borrowed against properties for more than he bought them for and may not have put enough equity into the deals to allow for the loans’ sale to government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Why not.

What's worst case scenario here?
^ i'm guessing limbo until the bank forecloses then more limbo then the process starts all over again.
Someone on Reddit St Louis said the plans may have fallen through. Any truth?

This building is cursed.