Fifth Time's a Charm? The Chemical Building Could Become a Hotel


The beloved Chemical Building in Downtown St. Louis is rumored to become a dual-brand hotel if plans move ahead.


It was reported this week that the 17-story, red brick and terra cotta building at 8th and Olive in Downtown's Old Post Office neighborhood was acquired by an entity tied to New Orleans-based architecture firm JT Campo Architects for $5 Million. Now, it's rumored that the building will be turned into a dual-brand hotel, potentially seeing the long awaited redevelopment of the building through. JT Campo Architects is the firm who designed the dual-brand Tru and Home2 Hotel at the Shell Building in Downtown West. That project is expected to open to guests some time this summer.


This is the fifth redevelopment plan for the building since the early 2000s, but unlike previous redevelopment plans, this one is expected not to include any residential space. Previous plans called for condos, standard-sized apartments, micro apartments, and, most recently, a mix of hotel rooms and apartments. Restoration St. Louis's plans, which were the most recent, faded away during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The building was listed by CBRE and was being sold by Morgan Communities of New York (who was behind the micro apartment plan).

The Chemical Building is one of Downtown's last big vacant buildings. However, depending on what your definition of a vacant building is, this one might not qualify as longtime tenant, Kessler-Mroz Jewelers, still occupies a retail space on the first floor on the Olive Street side. Other major vacant buildings Downtown in need of a new life include the Railway Exchange Building, Millennium Hotel, 909 Chestnut, and the Jefferson Arms.


No further details on the potential project are available at this point in time, but I'll be sure to keep everyone updated once updates become available.