Years of neglect as a result of white flight and depopulation are visible throughout the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods. Overgrown lots, abandoned homes and apartment buildings, overgrown sidewalks, and graffiti are plentiful and sights that are common to see. Through all of this, there are glimpses of hope that should get people excited, both within the neighborhood and outside.
Six significant redevelopment and rehabilitation projects are taking place across the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods. In addition to that, my drive around the neighborhoods led me to discover some homes and multi-family buildings that are being renovated or recently renovated. There are also numerous new-build homes throughout the neighborhood. In addition to this, lots of homes are still occupied. The six redevelopment projects will refurbish old apartment buildings and make them new again while keeping rent at a level that is attainable to a wide variety of people. Most important though, the projects being undertaken are meant to preserve the historic apartment blocks in the neighborhood for the future.
The addresses of the buildings being redeveloped and rehabilitated are...
5535 Delmar (Delmar Divine)
Accounting for a future total of 258 apartments of both market rate and affordable, the 6 projects represent significant investment by multiple developers, all of whom have the goal of dismantling the Delmar Divide and moving that term to the history books.
858 Hamilton is the smallest building on the redevelopment list, consisting of only 6 apartment units upon completion. Owned by SGR Investments, which the City website lists an ownership address in the Central West End neighborhood, this classic style apartment building sits roughly halfway between two other redevelopment projects, 5882 Cabanne and 5890 Cates. According to City building permit records, a $200,000 building permit for interior and exterior alterations was applied for on December 10th 2020 but has yet to be issued.
At 5890 Cates, this 3-story building is set to become a renewed six-family building. City property records specify that the owner is David and Nancy Mastin. On October 19th 2020, a building permit for interior and exterior alterations was applied for and valued at $450,000. That permit was issued on December 8th. Checking in on the progress, a red dumpster is out front of the building but no other change is visible at this time. I do expect that we will see some new windows and doors sometime later this winter or in the early Spring. A photo of the building in its current state is at the end of this post.
It is currently unclear if 858 Hamilton and 5890 Cates will be market-rate or affordable apartments.
Swinging up to Cabanne, the transformation of the 3-story, 36-unit 5882 Cabanne building is well underway. Being redeveloped by David Mastin and Jeff Mugg, the undertaking has so far totaled close to $4.5 Million in building permit applications. The 36 apartments offered at this building are expected to be a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments.
The building was previously derelict and overgrown based on City file photos and Google Street View imagery. In 2009, a demolition permit was applied for and thankfully never issued. The St. Louis Design Alliance is serving as the architect on this project.
Heading back over to Cates Avenue, we come across 5815 Cates, one of two projects featured on this list being developed by Clayton-based Neighborhood properties. This 24-unit apartment building, named the "Cates Park Apartments", is set to undergo a thorough renovation. Three building permits, totaling $1,782,000, have been applied for throughout 2020, but have yet to be issued. According to Fernando Cepeda, the developer and President of Neighborhood Properties, the Cates Park Apartments should be available for occupancy this Fall. The apartments in this building will consist of studios, one and two bedroom configurations. A gym, bike strange, lounge, and parking for 13 cars is included in the basement. The apartments offered here will be market-rate.
Remaining with Neighborhood Properties, we head over to 5315 Cabanne in the Visitation Park neighborhood, a 36-unit apartment building that has some architectural features that remind me of a castle. With a redevelopment price estimated at $3.7 Million, a thorough overhaul of the building is planned to take place that will yield one, two and three-bedroom apartments in addition to a courtyard, lounge and parking for 24 cars. Like the Cates Park project, the architect on tis project is Osnova Architects, a small and local firm led by Pavel Ivanchuk.
The building, as seen in the photo above, is presently overgrown, has boarded up windows, and vandalism. The building sits just West of Union Boulevard and North of the "Land of the Giants". No building permits have been applied for the project yet, but Neighborhood Properties recently reaffirmed their commitment to develop the property while requesting a tax abatement for their redevelopment of Jesuit Hall in Midtown. According to Fernando Cepeda, building permits will be applied for soon with construction beginning later this year.
Finishes in both Cates Park and 5315 Cabanne are, based on renderings, planned to be higher-end.
The largest project within the West End neighborhood is Maxine Clark's and CRG's redevelopment of the old St. Luke's Hospital at 5535 Delmar. The "Delmar Divine" will include 150 market rate apartments, co-working space, retail space, as well as space and resources for nonprofit businesses. Together, they will create a community anchor that bridges the area North and South of Delmar while also strengthening the Delmar corridor from Union to Debaliviere. Several buildings in the complex are presently under redevelopment with the hope to open to some tenants later this year.
With an estimated cost of $100 Million, the Delmar Divine is the largest, non-government related project to take place North of Delmar in decades. Clayco is serving as the general contractor on the project. The Lamar Johnson Collaborative is serving as the architect. Maxine Clark, one of the developers, is the founder of Build a Bear Workshop.
It has been a long time coming for the West End neighborhood. Now, after years of decline, the neighborhood's future is becoming clearer and clearer. Boosted by six anchor projects throughout the neighborhood plus numerous home renovations, new home construction, some multi-family building renovations, and anchored by the emerging East Loop, the West End is set to continue it's positive trajectory throughout the 2020s and become a model neighborhood for North St. Louis. A trajectory and future that is inclusive to all people and preserves as much of its history as possible.
In general, it's the future and trajectory that much of North City will take moving forward. A truly grassroots, community-driven effort to restore a section of the City seemingly forgotten for decades with the exception of the people who live there. That future is one that I am personally looking forward to.
5815 Cates, 5315 Cabanne and the Delmar Divine are featured here. Interior renderings for the three projects are included as well.
I'm sure I'm missing some past and present projects, but this map includes the ones that tI know of that fall within the Visitation Park and West End neighborhood boundaries. Click on any of the colored boxes and lines to see what the projects are. Color key...
Lighter Purple: Medical related