In September, I unveiled the plans that Scottie Porter and I dreamed of. The plan would work, but we needed the support of the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County Illinois. We requested to receive support from them by us presenting our plans to them. Both St. Clair County and East St. Louis refused to hear our plan. The only time that any true contact was made with any of the two governments was during an October conference call where City Manager, Daffney Moore, got moody about the prospect of a redevelopment of the Spivey Building.
Needless to say, the phone call was a mess and was perhaps the most unprofessional thing I have ever heard. We continued to push and ultimately, nothing happened. A little glimmer of hope was made recently when East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks contacted me about the project to where I laid down the facts, cost, size and potential contractors. She said she would review it and has expressed great support for the project. Today, we are still waiting and pushing for the project to happen while looking at other opportunities, but we aren't giving up.
We plan on reorganizing and going at this project from a different angle than what we have done in the past. We need partners instead of moving forward as one team. We will be contacting other companies if they are willing to partner with us on redeveloping the Spivey and ultimately being the first domino to fall in a full restoration of Downtown East St. Louis. We want to focus on the history and culture of East St. Louis. The Spivey would have a museum detailing the history of the city (good and bad), celebrities and lasting impact along with a ground floor retail space for a local business, a rooftop bar celebrating the city and region, some residential space and office space whose rents will be competitive.
The concept presented by Killeen Studio Architects to us in September lists the first phase, a comprehensive façade restoration, securing of building and slight infrastructure work, at over $10 Million. It's a pretty penny in terms of cost with the full project estimated to cost nearly $20 Million. Because of this, it is crucial to get a partner on board with us and a partner who could potentially lead the way in redeveloping Downtown East St. Louis. As a second chance effort, on our part, to redevelop this landmark we hope all goes well on our end and we hope to share some more news in the future as we regroup.
In the meantime, if you are a developer or if you know a developer, please contact us with the following contacts...
Social Media (Twitter): @CitySceneSTL or @SpiveyEastSTL (send a private message to either).
Send a Letter: ST. LOUIS: 4319 Fyler, St. Louis, MO 63116. ATTN: Chris Stritzel
Send a Letter: FAYETTE ALABAMA: 119 Columbus Street East, Fayette, AL 35555. ATTN: Scottie Porter