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Garcia Properties Moves Ahead with Grandview Arcade/Melba Theater Redevelopment

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

In 2018, it was announced that Garcia Properties acquired the ornate, 3-story, 30,000sf building at 3600 South Grand with the intention of redeveloping the building into 2/3rds residential and a 1/3rd commercial space. The mixed-use development announcement brought joy to many people as this building has been seen as a lynchpin for future development in the area. And with Garcia having a track record of getting things done, there was hope to believe that the redevelopment would take place.

Garcia then went and applied for Historic Tax Credits from the state of Missouri but because of how the HTC office was gutted by the Greitens Administration, the process took longer than they had hoped. Today, Garcia announced that they have been granted the tax credits and are ready to move ahead on the redevelopment of this building.

In an Instagram post, Ivan Garcia said:

We finally got approval to proceed with the Restoration of the Melba Arcade building at 3600 S. Grand. This one is very important! We are committed to doing this project but we aren’t out of the woods yet. This ornate beauty is in very rough shape and it’s going to be costly to put her back together. Projects like this one are much more about preservation than profit.

The pictures below are from Instagram posts regarding the Grandview Arcade/Melba Theater showing the building in it's current state (February/March 2018). Notice the crown molding, plaster work, and iron work on the railings. It was previously said that these components would make it into the redevelopment.

The building resides at the corner of Grand and Miami in the Gravois Park neighborhood. Gravois Park has seen an uptick in investment over the past decade as older homes are being bought and renovated by a variety of investors and developers. Cherokee Street is the main business district in the neighborhood and houses a variety of beloved, and locally owned, restaurants, shops, co-working spaces, micro-breweries and more. The project also resides on the edge of the 20th Ward, which has been represented by Alderwoman Cara Spencer since 2015.

In a statement to CityScene STL about the advancement of the project, Alderwoman Spencer had to say:

This is such an enormous project and will be a great development for the neighborhood. So glad to see the Historic Tax Credits coming through - without which, I'm not sure the numbers would make sense.

A specific cost couldn't be nailed down for the redevelopment in 2018 and one hasn't been nailed down now, but should be soon. On the tax abatement side of things, the building falls within a Chapter 99 Redevelopment Area, which makes it eligible for a 10 year tax abatement. A construction timeline isn't clear at this point either but with the project being green lit, I'd expect it to begin sometime this Fall.

The Grandview Arcade/Melba Theater building/3600 South Grand was once part of the Lawrence Group's plan to redevelop three buildings at the corner of Grand and Gravois. The plan was known as, "Southside Station" (rendered above). Only the Southside National Bank building, now named the "Southside Tower Condominiums", and a portion of the Farmers and Merchants Trust Comment Building were the only portions of the project completed. 3600 South Grand missed out on it's redevelopment due to the 2008 recession.

Prior to this redevelopment, and way back in the day, the building was once home to the Melba Theater. The theater was demolished for the construction of the modernist mid-rise that sits behind the building.

The building sits roughly 4.5 blocks South of the South Grand Business District and is served by the Number 70 MetroBus line.

Instagram post:

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