Updated: Aug 29, 2022
A proposal, apparently by Lux Living, has emerged for the 6630 Delmar site on the Delmar Loop in University City.
Continuing on their quest for new developments in St. Louis, Lux Living has proposed a 7-story apartment building at 6630 Delmar on the Delmar Loop, tentatively, and apparently, named "The Bond".
You might recall that the OPUS Group planned a building here back in January 2021, but that project failed to materialize. Lux's plans are completely different considering they're much more urban and better designed. The proposed development has 300 apartments, 10,000-20,000sf of retail space and a 512+ space parking garage.
Despite the Loop being one of the most walkable streets in the entire region, University City's parking minimum rules mandate there be one parking space per bedroom rather than one space per unit in addition to "shared" public parking spaces leading to an obscene number of parking spaces that'll seldom be used. It's a losing combination for a developer and most of the time, a developer will end up seeking a TIF to help cover the costs of parking. The number of required parking spaces here is 512-604 spaces. The garage will feature 2 floors of below-grade and 2 floors of above-grade parking. Total building square footage is 500,000sf with 208,000sf of that being parking related.
The Lux project apparently incorporates the facade of the historic Craft Alliance building at 6640 Delmar, but does away with the rest of it. A similar thing was done down at the Moonrise Hotel, but that was a recreation of the facade and not a "facadism". Although, the same could happen here. The project spans most of the block between Kingsland and Leland, sparing the buildings at 6662-6680 Delmar.
The planned 10,000-20,000sf of retail and restaurant space will certainly help make this part of the loop more active while the project itself helps it make it more urban. Presently, the site is mostly occupied by a parking lot and a Commerce Bank branch. The entrance to the parking garage will likely sit on Loop South Street, meaning that the Delmar sidewalk experience should not be interrupted by a curb cut.
It's expected that most of the residents in this building will likely come from Washington University. Thanks to the proximity of the nearby Ackert Walkway, getting to campus is an easy task by walking or biking. The unit breakdown is reported to be 133 studios, 134 one-bedroom, and 33 two-bedroom.
What's unclear about the proposal is when the University City Plan Commission will review the project, if Lux will seek a tax incentive for this project on Delmar because of the parking situation, and who the architect is.
This is the fourth project to be proposed by Lux in the past two months. They've revealed a 260-unit project in Maryland Heights, 276-unit project in Crestwood, and a 250-unit project in Kansas City (story from Kevin Collison of CityScene KC) within the past month and a half. The two most recent proposals, and 6630 Delmar, come shortly after a series of negative press coverage surrounding the company. Most notable of the coverage is the continued deferred maintenance at their Raphael Building in the Central West End.
While I’m sure we all appreciate these projects being proposed by Lux Living (since they add residents and densify neighborhoods), it’s likely that we also sincerely hope that they get a grip on the issues that are presently plaguing their company before anything is allowed to advance. There's no excuse to defer maintenance or ignore orders from the city for the safety of nearby residents.
As stated before, I think we all understand the need to continue to expand through new buildings, but there comes a time when a company needs to step back and take a look at what needs to be addressed if long term success is to be had. The pursuit for the new can continue, but major issues must always be, or at least attempted to be, addressed first.
Remember: quality over quantity.