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A prolific and controversial developer of city apartments expands to St. Louis County

Lux Living, is proposing new projects in Crestwood and Maryland Heights and is building a new apartment complex in University City that will open next year.
Renderings for a St. Louis developer's Maryland Heights project are preliminary, but show what the outside of the apartment complex might look like.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A prolific developer of apartments in the city of St. Louis is expanding into St. Louis County, with three major projects proposed or under construction at the same time the developer's city projects have run into roadblocks.

St. Louis-based Lux Living, which to date has largely focused on building apartments in and around the Central West End and Soulard, is proposing new projects in Crestwood and Maryland Heights and is building a new apartment complex in University City that will open next year, the developer said.

Lux’s investment outside the city limits started in University City, where the 260-unit The McKenzie, at Delmar Boulevard and Interstate 170, is under construction and scheduled to open next year.

"We're moving out of the city a little bit and more into the county and into a variety of markets, anywhere between Clayton into Chesterfield, as we expand our footprint within St. Louis," Lux Living CEO Vic Alston told the Business Journal in an interview last year. "There’s a variety of places in the county that are very interested in development, are very interested in pushing new development. And so we feel that there’s a lot of benefit in going into those markets."

The company is still eyeing a number of projects in the city, but has been repeatedly rejected in bids to build new apartments at two Central West End sites occupied by historic buildings serving as the headquarters of Optimist International and the Engineers' Club. A plan for a new complex near the intersection of Kingshighway Boulevard and Interstate 64 also needs approval from preservation officials, though a neighborhood association doesn't support it.

The repeated rejections of projects come at the same time that city officials and residents have been giving Lux's projects extra scrutiny after a prominent community organization took a public stance against the developer and its business practices.

But Lux is hoping that cities in St. Louis County will welcome its brand of upscale apartments to the suburbs, as the developer proposes to replace a shopping center and 1970s-era motel with new apartments that have sought-after amenities such as dog parks, pool decks and pickleball courts. It didn't immediately say what it's investing in the projects. 

Find more information about the three proposed locations and renderings on the St. Louis Business Journal website. 

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