Hudson Holdings Seemingly Dumps the Railway Exchange Building Redevelopment
I hate peddling or even starting rumors, but numerous lawsuits and the near complete removal of any mention of the Railway Exchange Building from Hudson Holdings' website (hudsonholdings.com) leads me to believe that Florida based Hudson Holdings has abandoned their project.
The lack of progress on the project has been clear. Lawsuits and tons of finger pointing have gotten the redevelopment plan absolutely no where, not to mention a major flooding event that flooded the basement and formed a sinkhole on 6th Street. Recently, the St. Louis Business Journal reported that Hudson Holdings intended to partner with another developer on the 1.2 Million square foot project and begin within six months. That was on April 8th. At the time, all mentions of the Railway Exchange building remained on Hudson Holdings' website.
The only remaining mention of the Railway Exchange is on the News page that shows the 2017 Post Dispatch story announcing that the group had acquired the building. Another mention is a thumbnail on the Properties page but by clicking on it, it routes you to a page that says that it doesn't exist. The same goes for Louisville's Starks Building and Kansas City's Mark Twain building. Previously, the page featured renderings of the building's redevelopment plans and some more information. The header for the Railway Exchange page looked like this...
If the project is indeed dumped by Hudson Holdings, one must believe that the second partner developer, who wasn't named, must've taken over every aspect of the redevelopment. It's also a major walk back on the comments made by Hudson Holdings founder Andrew Greenbaum in the April 2019 Business Journal story.
For a building like the Railway Exchange, time is valuable. It's one of the more noticeable buildings in Downtown and among the largest. It's 1.2 Million square feet of vacant space remains a huge challenge for redevelopment. Yet if the 1.4 Million square foot AT&T tower could get a new buyer (assumed CRG) via auction and aim for redevelopment in a lesser amount of time than the Railway, there is a problem.
Both AT&T and the Railway Exchange remain Downtown's most daunting projects in part due to their size. With one bound for redevelopment (AT&T) and the other up in the air, I wonder when we will hear what's next for the Railway Exchange. Downtown has been on a roll recently by having numerous projects announced to take care of our abandoned building stock. Most recently...
The YMCA Building on Locust: It was announced to be converted into a 21c Museum Hotel.
The Shell Building: It was announced to be converted to a dual brand Tru and Home2 Suites by Hilton.
The Chemical Building: It was announced to be redeveloped into an expansion for Hotel Saint Louis.
The Tire Mart Building on Locust: It was announced that it would be converted into Lofts.
The abandoned floors of the Board of Elections Building: It was announced that they would be converted into Lofts.
The Post Dispatch Building: Pending announcement on Square occupying the former Post Dispatch building at 900 North Tucker.
The Jefferson Arms: According to Mike Sarimsacki, the redevelopment will begin this summer.
AT&T Tower: Potentially sold to CRG but no real details have been finalized.
The Mercantile Library: Conversion to apartments
LaSalle Building: Conversion to Hotel Indigo.
A redevelopment plan for the Railway Exchange will surely be revealed soon if Hudson Holdings dropped out of the development team. Whoever is the new head of redevelopment must have a doable redevelopment plan because the reactivation of the Railway Exchange is needed for the future development and vitality of Downtown.
City records show that Hudson Holdings still owns the Railway Exchange and adjacent parking garage.