Downtown East St. Louis Buildings

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects in Southwestern Illinois, including East St. Louis, Belleville, O'Fallon and Edwardsville.
framer wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:22 pm
The latest on the Spivey:

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/col ... a1674.html
I was in this article and me and Joe Holleman talked about far more than the demolition. I told him about the efforts that Scottie Porter and I are trying to accomplish. We both know how bad of a condition this is in but we are going to save it. Scottie and I have a meeting next week with the City Economic Development Board about this. The redevelopment would be done in phases if the City allows us to acquire the Spivey.

Phase 1: Secure the façade and clean it up (remove all graffiti). Rebuild the cornices on the roof and add a new roof. Add new windows to keep the elements of the weather out. Secure all entry ways so no urban explorers or homeless people can get inside. Install a single elevator for future phase.

Phase 2: Clean the interior of graffiti and junk. Put new drywall, installation and plaster up to make the building occupiable. Reorganize the ground floor for future retail tenants. Build an addition onto the building that would house an enclosed stairwell so the code of two stairwells would be met (it would replace the current fire escape). Add the second elevator in. Floors 2 and 3 would be home to a co-working office section that could be easily converted to something else later on. Market the remainder of the building as Office Space geared towards doctors and some small law firms and/or insurance companies. Begin planning rooftop bar. Build a parking lot out back.

Phase 3: Add in a rooftop bar and get tenants for the retail spaces.

While it seems incredibly ambitious to do, we believe that if this building's rehab gets underway that other nearby buildings will follow. Plus, Downtown ESL is on the National Register of Historic places and was included in Bruce Rauner's "Opportunity Zone" plan for incentives for development. We can get this thing done it's just a matter of time. It would most likely take two to three years to get special historic tax credits, Opportunity Zone credits and what not to get this thing done, but in the end, it will be worth it.

I know some of you may be like "good luck" so I thank you for that even if it is sarcastic. Scottie and I believe in East St. Louis. Despite the carnage that has happened there since the 40s, we believe that now is the time to invest. They have a Mayor that wants to see their city come back. Along with that, you have the opportunity zone and the views of St. Louis can't be beat from the East side. I'm surprised that Mr. Holleman didn't add that part in.
I do wish you well on this, and much (non-sarcastic) good luck. It's a huge challenge.
As has been said before, there's a world of potential there if you can find the resources to do it. And there's a world of need. It's the logical eastward extension of the "spine," though obviously vital infrastructure works against connection to some degree. (Which has always been the curse of the Metro-East.) I have to hope it's possible. I wish you the best luck. Sincerely.
Chris, do you have any financing lined up? My expectation is that they’ll want to see the numbers to determine how realistic your plan is before selling you the building.

I wish you all the luck in the world, but I don’t know if they’re open to a long term phased plan without a plan that would allow for immediate work to stabilize it and secure it now.
And have you had any conversations with Kimberly Williams regarding her efforts to redevelop the building? If you're serious about this and think you can line up the financing to do so, her experience dealing with the local government offices might prove helpful, or at the very least informative.

-RBB
No offence, Chris, but you're very young. Even if you have the financial resources, it's doubtful that you have any experience with such a huge, complex project. Can you tell us anything about Scottie Porter? Does he have development experience? Real estate? Financing?
chaifetz10 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:44 am
Chris, do you have any financing lined up? My expectation is that they’ll want to see the numbers to determine how realistic your plan is before selling you the building.

I wish you all the luck in the world, but I don’t know if they’re open to a long term phased plan without a plan that would allow for immediate work to stabilize it and secure it now.
Me and Scottie have enough money lined up for acquiring and stabilizing the building. Our offer to the City of East St. Louis would be $50,000 for the building and estimates are at $1.5 Million to safely secure the façade to prevent no bricks from falling and securing so no vandals break in. But that is conservative estimate. Most of the money is coming from him and his small company Historic Restoration LLC. He is based in Fayette Alabama but owns some properties up here in Illinois and Missouri. I will bring in some of my money to pay for the acquisition but full on amount has yet to be determined. Scottie though ahs enough money to fully complete Phase 1 without the need for tax assistance and opportunity zone money. After Phase 1, we would have to apply for the assistance. While there are some things we are working out behind the scenes, like tapping an architecture firm among other things, I can't really talk about it at this point. When we have everything in place, we will approach the City, which should be next week but if not, we have a back up meeting scheduled for mid-July.

We actually think the City is open to a long range plan as long as we complete the public safety portion in a timely manner.
rbb wrote: And have you had any conversations with Kimberly Williams regarding her efforts to redevelop the building? If you're serious about this and think you can line up the financing to do so, her experience dealing with the local government offices might prove helpful, or at the very least informative.
I will have to contact her somehow. I don't want to be in for a rude awakening like she was. Thanks for sharing.
framer wrote: No offence, Chris, but you're very young. Even if you have the financial resources, it's doubtful that you have any experience with such a huge, complex project. Can you tell us anything about Scottie Porter? Does he have development experience? Real estate? Financing?
No offense here. I know I am very young but this is what my profession will be. It is the truth that I am young. Scottie restored buildings in Fayette Alabama that were in the condition of the Murphy and were destined for demolition. One of them is a old hotel building. He invested $3.5 Million into it over 2 years and brought the building, which had trees, rodents, rotting wood and no roof, back to life by repairing it. He then opened a Antique Shop in it. It was completed in 2016 and his Antique Shop made about $1 Million over the course of the year through in store and online sales. This past summer, a developer came in and acquired the building for $3.75 Million and promised to pay back the remaining tax credits to the state of Alabama. Then came an old church building in 1940. He is currently renovating it for $1 Million and hopes to turn it over to the VFW for a new meeting hall soon.

Other properties renovated include historic homes form the late 1800s to early 1900s. He has restored around 7 of them and sold 6 for between $125,000 and $250,000. One of them is in Birmingham and the other is his own. He will sell it when he moves to St. Louis. His brother lives here and got me in contact with Scottie. Scottie's brother, James, wants to start a Historic restoration Company up here in St. Louis too so Scottie wants to move up here and help in start one. Some properties they are looking at are on the South Broadway strip in Carondelet, of which they are looking at three and one will be on the Northside near Martin Luther King Drive. They also want to buy the small two floor building catty corner to Imo's HQ in Downtown and convert it into their office and a small restaurant.

Historic Restoration LLC is Scottie's company and it is a registered 501c3 Non-Profit dedicated to restoring historic buildings built prior to 1940. Scottie says that money earned on their projects will be spent on restoring another building and hopefully restoring the community around it. So he has experience. He has had his share of real estate since 2015 and has his experience in dealing with the government for credits. But the one thing he must have is the Local Governments support because he doesn't want to end up having a feud with the government like he did in Danville when he bought the Bresee tower and they wanted it gone. The feud ended up going to court but another developer came in and acquired it to take it off Scottie's back. Scottie sold the plans to the developer which included apartment units.

We are pretty far along in the process, but I don't want to say how far along we are. We don't want to say much else then what I have said here. If anyone has other questions, please PM me.

Thank you all for the good luck wishes. God knows we will need it.
The first week of July, me and Scottie go before the St. Clair County Board to acquire the building and then before the City of East St. Louis for a building permit for the restoration of the exterior. Several landmark associations are behind us and we have a tenant lined up for the office portion, I am East St. Louis Magazine would like to move into the office space we will have in the building. We are currently looking at the idea of creating an Airbnb Hotel here with 10 rooms that allows us to remove the rooms for apartments in the future if need be.

We have an architecture firm working with us. The firm will design the rooftop bar and interior. Our contractor knows what the exterior should be like. All we are ultimately waiting on is the acquisition of the building and a building permit.
Hey i want to wish you the best of luck on this journey and no matter high the obstacle may be I'm confident you can pull this off... Sounds very exciting and wish you nothing but success and hopefully this will trigger a renewed interests in all of Downtown E.St.Louis. This will only add to St.Louis's resurgence...
St.Louis1764 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:45 pm
Hey i want to wish you the best of luck on this journey and no matter high the obstacle may be I'm confident you can pull this off... Sounds very exciting and wish you nothing but success and hopefully this will trigger a renewed interests in all of Downtown E.St.Louis. This will only add to St.Louis's resurgence...
Thank you for the wishes!
Wow, this is fantastic. I'd also like to wish you the best of luck, thanks for doing what you are doing!
We have a meeting on Monday at 1:30PM. I hope to have some good news after this. I wanted to invite the public to come to the meeting but they (government) want to keep it quiet for now. If all is good and we earn approval, we will have a special event on the backlot of the Spivey. Details on that will be dealt with when the time comes. Everyone on here and Twitter will be the first to know the results of the meeting.

In attendance will be Chairman Mark Kern, Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, Tina Philips, Tim Tolliver, Scottie Porter and me. The good thing about this meeting is that I have talked to all four of the members on the phone and they all want to preserve it so they are optimistic.

A question for all of you, what type of tax credits/incentives should we go for? Scottie wants to try the "Oppurtunity Zone" and Historic Tax Credits and I agree but is there anything else?
The meeting was pushed back at the request of Mayor Hicks. She is out of town for 4th of July and wants to push back a week. I'll get the new details soon but tis is an advantage for me and Scottie as it allows us to further examine the things sent back to us from architecture firms and move forward. We will also go to Downtown East St. Louis and talk to business owners surrounding it and ask them their opinions on our plans. There has been hate mail sent our way on Facebook from three people but whatever, they don't even live in East St. Louis so I'm not worried about them.
I have to be candid... if you don’t even know what tax incentives you need or want to make this project work, I’m extremely concerned about the reality of your financing.

If you say you don’t need them to make it work, then why ask for them? And if you know you need incentives, then shouldn’t you come in asking for precisely what you need?

I’m all for this project IF you can make it work. My only other advice is to not overplay your hand or over promote details if you’re still working on the details. Under promising and over delivering is better than broadcasting grand ideas but never getting things done (at least from my professional experience).
Any update on this?
chaifetz10 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:50 am
Any update on this?
First meeting went surprisingly well. We told them (planning commission) that two architecture firms are working together on this and that we should have full details by Mid-August. They issued a support letter to take to the County to receive the building. That meeting is scheduled for August 6th.
Hello everyone,

I decided to give you all an update regarding the Spivey Building Preservation Effort. The meeting with the County has been pushed back to the second week of September as the two architecture firms have requested a little more time to get their plans for preserving the façade in place. They plan to have their plans in place by September 1st and give us a little bit of a review time to select the firm we are going with. Both firms are St. Louis based and are excited to be working with us. We plan on tapping Nehring Design for interior design once we get approval to start on the exterior. Right now, it appears we have a start date sometime around the Beginning-Middle of November if all goes well. Our number one priority, as specified by the City, is to remove all loose pieces of the building and secure it from vandals. We plan to do that immediately after receiving the building from St. Clair County. The exterior restoration should take a year to a year and a half as pieces of it will have to be completely reconstructed as they were back when the building was new. The cost is still expected to be $11 Million before HTCs and Oppurtunity Zone Tax Credits. New Market Credits and Brownfield Credits (there is toxic ink in the basement from the printing operations for the East St. Louis Journal) will come in handy when restoring the interior.

Also, me and Scottie are requesting the public submit ideas to us aboutt hwat they would love to see at the Spivey. As specified earlier, we plan on doing a rooftop bar and lounge, office space and residential/hotel space. But what would you like to see? I've heard ideas for a Museum on East St. Louis and a Honky tonk among other things. Ideas? Share Away!