Updated: Jan 21, 2021
An unknown developer has acquired the 718,000sf Butler Brothers building in Downtown West. That's according to sources in the real estate business who say that the sale was 100% confirmed.
The acquisition comes at a time when the Downtown West neighborhood is heating up in terms of development. With the St. Louis City SC Stadium under construction just two blocks west of the Butler Brothers building, the property sits in an area with lots of potential. And with the sheer size of the structure, a full city block, the redevelopment of the building can act as a link between the Washington Avenue lofts and bars to the soccer stadium district.
I have reached out to the two supposed developers, JDS of New York and DSG of Memphis, for a comment on this project, but have yet to hear back. If I hear back, I will provide an update. As such, the plans for what exactly will happen are unknown, but previous marketing materials put out by Cassidy-Turley (now Cushman Wakefield) in 2013 reveal that the building sets up well for 342 apartments and retail space on the first floor. Those materials also mentioned the 200 on-site parking spaces and plans to add an additional 197 spaces. Recent reports from my sources do indicate that a hotel component was being looked at here, so that could still be in the mix but is not confirmed at this time.
According to the City of St. Louis Recorder of Deeds website, and in particular the Property Records Search, the Butler Brothers building was previously bought by New York-based Sovereign Partners in 2007. At the time, the building was referred to as “the Plaza Square Building”. More recently, Alterra Worldwide expressed public interest in the building but backed off due to issues with the Jefferson Arms redevelopment on Tucker. JDS is the firm behind the world's thinnest skyscraper, 111 West 57th Street, and is constructing the tallest building in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, 9 DeKalb. Both structures are designed by SHoP Architects. JDS has also developed other things ranging in usage from offices, to apartments and to condominiums in both new and reused structures. The firm was founded in 2002 by Michael Stern. DSG, whose full name is Development Services Group, is a company based in Memphis Tennessee and has developed numerous projects throughout the nation including some beautiful old building redevelopments. Their portfolio seems to be mostly based around hotels. The firm was founded in 1987 by Gary Prosterman. The Butler Brothers building was built in 1906 and designed by Mauran, Russell, and Garden, which is the same firm that designed the Crunden-Martin complex on Chouteau’s Landing. The Butler Brothers company was founded in 1877 in Boston and was a catalog wholesaler. Presently, it is one of the "big 5" vacant building sin Downtown St.. Louis. That list includes the AT&T Building at 909 Chestnut, the Railway Exchange Building, Butler Brothers, Jefferson Arms, and the Millennium Hotel complex. Updates will be made as they become available. Note: A previous story named JDS as the developer, but competing claims but multiple sources have led to me retracting that claim the information each source was providing point to a split JDS/DSG situation where the developer is one of the two. In other words, the original story was disputed.