The Fit House in Shaw

Tucked away, in the heart of the historic Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri is a vacant lot. An, unfortunately, common site in this city of ours. But if group of developers has there way, by the end of the year there might something a little different at 4136 Flad: a high efficiently, green home.

This project would be developed by a partnership between The Fit House developers and St. Margaret Housing Corporation in Shaw. The thing that really makes this project stand out, is it’s contemporary design and creative use of natural elements. In this age of technology we live in, people see to dismiss natural ways to control temperature and lighting in homes. This design doesn’t do that. It is laid out in such a way that it will use natural sunlight and thermals to increase the flow of air throughout the house. Not a groundbreaking concept, but a lost art. They also incorporated a green roof into the design to control temperatures.

They will also be incorporating other elements such as solar panels, a hydronic water handler, and lots of insulation to keep energy consumption to a minimum. The design looks pretty exciting too. Very open and modern. And very different from most of the other properties in Shaw. Of course, these differences could be a hurdle in and of themselves.

Approval of the design by the Cultural Resources Office is still a work in progress so changes could still be made. At the very least, the developer seems resigned to the fact that the facade is going to have to be brick to meet the historic standards of the area. Assuming that can be worked out quickly, construction would be started this summer.  When complete, the home would priced somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000.

As history has shown us, a conceptual design doesn’t always mean the finished product will ever see the light of day, but considering the quality of the plan and the private-public partnership, the chances of this coming together seem pretty good. I am told a few more bids and part of the financing for the project are still being worked out, but it looks like this are coming together. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more as summer draws near.

For more info and pics of this project, please visit

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7 Responses to The Fit House in Shaw

  1. Matt Potter February 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    This will be a great addition to this block. I have a rental property across the the street, and the vacant lot/abandoned building where the Fit House will be has been an eyesore for at least 4 years.

    • Matt Kastner February 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

      It didn’t even register in my mind that this was on the same block as your duplex. I didn’t scout out the lot. I know which spot you are talking about now. A help for the block indeed.

  2. Patrick January 9, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Any updates on this project?

    • Matt Kastner January 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      Heard rumors that it was dead. The website is still is live, so I am not 100% sure. I’ll look into it.

      • Patrick January 11, 2011 at 9:40 am #

        Love the floor plan and logistics of the home. I browsed the website as well, hope this gets off the ground but the $250-$300K price for a spec doesn’t leave me with high hopes in this current market for new home construction but anything can happen I guess.

        I really can’t say enough about how much I like the flow of this home. The developers/architects did a great job putting this plan together. Personally I’d love to see something like this in Benton Park, dare I say with a modern exterior. But who am I kidding, that wouldn’t fly.

        • Matt Kastner January 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

          I really like the design as well. I think your right about the price point being a deal-breaker right now though. Though, knowing the powers that be in Benton Park, I doubt we’ll be seeing any contemporary designs there soon. Of course, I would have thought the same thing about Shaw before seeing this design. Perhaps the fact that such a project got as far as it did in a historic district is a good first step.


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