The Scrap Heap: Hydraulic Brick Lofts

Among the many noteworthy projects unveiled in the City of St. Louis that have yet to see the light of day, the Hydraulic Brick Lofts is certainly a standout. Located at 3109 S Jefferson in the Benton Park West neighborhood, the mixed-use project was cover half of the block on the SW corner of Jefferson and Arsenal. The scale of the design was revised numerous times, but the original design would have brought 30+ luxury condos and a significant amount of street retail. It would have changed the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the project now seems all but dead.

The project was originally marketed under the name Fleur de Lis when developer Millenium Restoration & Development announced the project in 2003. By early 2008, after five years of inactivity, the development came to a complete standstill when the lots set for construction went up for sale. But after a few months of hiatus, in July of 2008, revised plans for the site were unveiled under the Hydraulic Brick Lofts banner.

The revised project looked much like the old Fleur de Lis plans and still involved developer Millenium Restoration & Development and architect Killeen Studio Architects.   There was also to be heavy involvement in the project by the City of St. Louis and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in terms of financing.

Sadly, the sign that was placed in the lot to market the new plans was the last news of progress. In the 2+ years since, the housing market has continued to erode and the condo market has virtually vanished. Couple that with the dried up credit market and it seem likely impossible to get this infill project built, let alone sold. Although this location has great long-term potential, it seems safe to say that it will be a number of years before anything serious happens there. Nonetheless, even though this project now seems to be in the Scrap Heap, hopefully it is just a matter of time before a similar vision becomes reality.  This time for real.

For a glimpse of what the vacant site currently looks like, check out the pics below.


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