Monroe Street Homes

Discuss renovations and new construction in North City -- defined by the area north of Delmar Avenue.
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) is planning to develop three new homes in Old North St. Louis on the 1300 Block of Monroe on the northeast corner of the intersection with N 14th Street. ONSLRG was awarded CDBG gap financing from the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration on December 3, 2014 to help finance the project. This new project will continue to build on the infill progress made as part of the original North Market Place new homes development that resulted in 20 new infill houses being built before the recession and real estate crash brought sales to a halt in 2008.

The houses on Monroe are close to 1600 square feet, and have an open first floor design with three bedrooms and two and a half baths. The exterior is composite siding. Siding colors can be selected by the buyer if the house is pre-sold. An additional bedroom can be added in the basement at a later time if desired. Energy Star rated appliances and a high efficiency HVAC system are included. There will be a parking pad off the alley, and a garage could certainly be built at a later time. Modular construction will be used for the houses, and the houses will achieve Energy Star certification. John Wimmer of Jeff Day and Associates is the architect for these homes, and Blue Brick Construction will be the general contractor. Sale price is expected to be about $150,000.

The previous new homes built as part of the North Market Place project were all historic replicas. As you can see in the renderings below, we have moved away from that. There's many reasons for that decision, but ultimately we want to build the best architecture of our time to compliment the historic homes that have survived in Old North.

Don't get too caught up in the colors on the facade at this point. The specific details of the design are not set. The size and form is set.

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^ good stuff.... btw, what's the deal with the shack thing across the street?
That quonset hut has been there for a long time. It's privately owned, and used for storage. I have always wanted to turn it into a bar, with obvious improvements made beforehand.
Time for an update on this one. Construction is finally set to start by the end of April, 2016. Getting to this point has been an interesting process, one which will be substantially easier in the future now that we have things figured out. Section 106 design review took forever and bounced us around three different facade designs. We finally convinced CRO and SHPO that contemporary design and materials is appropriate for a National Register Historic District, especially one as devastated by abandonment and demolition as the Murphy-Blair District, but we did compromise on the solid red color. We also had some things to work through with zoning, but everything will be resolved soon with and administrative update to the North Market Place Planned Unit Development. Financing is ready to close, and the land has already been acquired from LRA. No specific dates yet, but there should be some sort of ground breaking celebration in Mid-April. The two days the modules are set are going to be really fun days.

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for the love of god, why does every damn building have to be red? the previous design looked fantastic. (i know it's not your fault MattnSTL, just frustrated with CRO and the stupid antiquated historic guidelines.)
It's the one compromise we had to go with since every other change they wanted blew the budget so bad we were going to build houses with about $200 of profit in each one. Not a good way to do development considering the risk we are taking, so I can deal with red. I agree though. Nothing wrong with mixing things up as long as the form is urban in nature. In this case, there is nothing except the expense of a paint job stopping a homebuyer from painting a different color or colors after they own it. The restriction ends after we sell them. Once we can build a strong enough market to get appraisals up and we don't need the gap financing we can get full on contemporary.
good stuff!
MattnSTL wrote:
In this case, there is nothing except the expense of a paint job stopping a homebuyer from painting a different color or colors after they own it. The restriction ends after we sell them.


which is absolutely ridiculous. at any rate I can deal as well. great to see more infill.
Having the same frustrations with CRO.

How wide are the lots?
Planning Commission approved our revisions to the North Market Place Planned Unit Development on Wednesday evening, and financing from the bank and CDA closed this morning. Next up is the building permit applications and construction starting soon. We will probably have a ceremonial ground-breaking at the Old North St. Louis House and Community Tour on May 7.
quincunx wrote:
Having the same frustrations with CRO.

How wide are the lots?


Two lots are 26' and one is 31.' The PUD gets us out of having to get variances for the lot sizes and allows for zero lot line construction. In that regard, it's making life easy. CRO was an adventure because it was Section 106 review, and the State Historic Preservation Office actually ended up involved. But we were able to set a new precedent, so in that regard the long wait and having to go back multiple times was worth it for the future.
^ Good news.

I am wondering, @MattnSTL, if you think the NGA relocation to St. Louis Place or hypothetical North-South line would have any positive impact on housing demand in Old North?

Maybe one day we can get the houses with the purple siding :)
Construction! That only took forever.

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^ congrats! you got a link to pass along for interested buyers?
Matt, just curious on the thought process of you and your organization. I know there are still plenty of structures that need rehabbing in the neighborhood, wouldn't it make more sense to tackle those first since many of them are falling apart? Is it more profitable or easier to build new construction. Again just curious.
cardinalstl wrote:
Matt, just curious on the thought process of you and your organization. I know there are still plenty of structures that need rehabbing in the neighborhood, wouldn't it make more sense to tackle those first since many of them are falling apart? Is it more profitable or easier to build new construction. Again just curious.


From what I remember, the area has plenty of empty lots so maybe they're trying to create a more coherent neighborhood. At least that makes sense to me.

What is the ownership structure there? Are all built and vacant lots owned by individuals that live there? Curious to know if there are people that live there that do not want to be part of it and don't want to sell.