The 7-story Broadview Hotel in Downtown East St. Louis is being redeveloped into senior and veterans housing.
Illinois State Senator, Christopher Belt (D-Centreville/57th District) made the announcement via press release that the State of Illinois is funding the redevelopment of the over 100 year old building. The project is being funded by the "Rebuild Illinois" plan, which passed both chambers of the Illinois State House and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019. The amount of money going towards this project is $1.5 Million.
According to a 2020 report issued by the City of East St. Louis, the project will consist of a 109-unit Senior and Veterans Living Apartment Community that will also serve as a home to a Transit Oriented District Senior Services Center. The TOD Service Center will provide community-based supports and services and act as a link to specific resources for older adults that include health and wellness programs, nutritional support, computer and information technology, and educational programs. This makes sense as the building, which rises at 5th Street and Broadway, sits just a little over a block away from the MetroLink Station at 5th and Missouri. The MetroLink then connects Downtown East St. Louis to other employment centers on both sides of the River.
“I’m pleased that the State is prioritizing the revitalization of historic landmarks in our community, like the Broadview Hotel. This project will create hundreds of jobs downtown and will provide new and affordable housing and development to a city in need of investment in local infrastructure. This building has been a historic landmark in our community for nearly 100 years. I look forward to seeing this building and the rest of downtowns’ renewal in the years to come". - State Senator Christopher Belt
The building has sat vacant since 2004, when Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) vacated the building of their housing branch and ceded the building to the City of East St. Louis in 2006. In 2009, a $35 Million redevelopment plan was hatched to redevelop the building into 88 loft-style apartment units. That project fell apart, but there are signs that this was once a redevelopment site. Most notably, a construction elevator and trash chutes remain on the building's north facade.
Based on a 2019 press release by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the building was awarded some funding then. The release also specifies Efficacy Consulting, LLC, a North St. Louis based firm, and East St. Louis-based Community Lifeline will both undertake the building's redevelopment. A timeline for construction has not yet been made public, but crews have been spotted on site over the past several weeks gutting the building. The project's contractor, according to a City of East St. Louis Facebook post, is HBD Contracting.
Expanding Investment in the Hopes of Revitalizing Downtown East St. Louis
The City of East St. Louis, in partnership with the East St. Louis Housing Authority and Urban Strategies, are co-leading a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant in the amount of $350,000. The grant is to aid in the creation of the "Transforming Downtown ESTL" plan. This plan, which is seeking input from community stakeholders, businesses and others, is to develop a forward-looking vision for the East St. Louis Central Business District and Olivette Park Neighborhoods. One housing development, the Samuel L. Gompers Homes, is being targeted for strategic overhaul to improve overall living conditions and make it safer for the residents. It is the oldest Public Housing development in East St. Louis and sits to the Northeast of Downtown East St. Louis.
In Downtown East St. Louis, the plan is to revitalize it and make it a community asset and use the potential that's there. The plan places an emphasis on the vacant building stock in Downtown East St. Louis as a way to kickstart the process of making it a vibrant area. The Broadview Hotel redevelopment project could be the first step in this plan. The plan also places an emphasis on mixed housing types and re-establishing the North-South thoroughfare as Collinsville Avenue as a "Main Street" with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. The Union Trust Building, Majestic Theater, and Grossman Building are identified as the "key anchors" in establishing this new district.
Mayor Robert Eastern III supports and boost the plan, writing this in the plan document...
"The vision in this plan creates an opportunity to strengthen this vibrant community by elevating our assets and developing solutions to help the community continue to reach its full potential. This plan recommends a diverse array of commercial, residential, and recreational amenities, while preserving its rich historical roots as a Great All-American City. The strategies uplift residents to ensure outcomes are for our community. I believe that this project will change the paradigm of our community. I am excited to share the ideas and thoughts put together through feedback from over 400 community members. This plan is funded through the Department of Urban and Housing Development’s (HUD) Choice Neighborhood Initiative with contributions from East St. Louis and the East. St. Louis Housing Authority."
Mayor Eastern took office in 2019 and has made it his mission to improve life in East St. Louis for the better.
The full plan can be viewed at the link below.
In my view, Downtown East St. Louis makes sense to be the "Eatern Bookend" to the Central Corridor. Reason being it is connected via the MetroLink and is in the shadow of Downtown St. Louis. By revitalizing it, it can become part of this key East-West activity spine that has seen significant investment in the past few decades. With this plan, and the apparent push to see it through, I have hope that the Spivey Building is redeveloped. As some may remember, I was part of a push to save the building but we fell short due to unforeseen issues. Rendering below is from September 2018.