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SkyHouse: Filling in the Downtown St. Louis skyline

*NOTE – This article was originally written in March of 2007 for the newsletter.

Some development projects are in the public eye for years before ground is broken. But every once in a while, a new project gets off the ground, seemingly, overnight. Such is the case with Metropolitan Development Enterprises’ new SkyHouse project.

This 22-story, 166-unit condominium tower at 14th Street and Washington Avenue is set to get underway this summer carrying a projected construction cost of $67 million. The tower will occupy the former location of Ehrlich’s Dry Cleaners and an adjacent parking lot.

Chicago-based Metropolitan unveiled the project plans at a Tax Increment Finance Commission meeting Feb. 22. They are seeking $12 million dollars in TIF monies to get the project off the ground.

Plans call for 13,000 square feet of retail space, several hundred parking spots, and a rooftop recreational area which will include a pool and a fitness center. Each condo unit will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with prices starting in the mid $200’s. One, two and three-bedroom units will be available, ranging in size from 850 to 2,230 square feet. The top three floors will feature 12 penthouse units. Sales are set to begin this May.

“We looked at what was missing, and we want to go after that niche,” Metropolitan’s Director of Marketing Nellie Donovan said. “That space is underutilized, and with this project we can enhance the neighborhood. We want to be part of the Washington Avenue corridor.”

Metropolitan will be teaming with local development group RileyWaldrop LLC in a joint venture on the project. RileyWaldrop is a loft-conversion veteran of sorts; having developed the 14-unit Barton Street Lofts at 2401 S. 12th Street among other projects.

With the dwindling availability of former warehousing space for conversion, infill developments such as this one, have been a long time coming. If developers continue to receive positive public response, expect to see more projects such as this very soon.

*UPDATE – Presales are still in progress and groundbreaking has yet to start. The site seems prepped, but rumor has it that the developer needs to reach 40% in their presales before they start. They were at 25% in October so, hopefully, they will reach that level soon.

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Matt Kastner

Matt Kastner is an Investment Real Estate Consultant at St. Louis Real Estate Society in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also develops properties on the side through Threshold Properties. When he isn’t representing investors in the purchase or sale of multifamily properties, rehabs, foreclosures and other income producing properties, he is often taking on rehab projects himself. He lives in South St. Louis and has been in the real estate business since 2004.

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