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Construction starts on $40M apartment building near Busch Stadium

Site work has started at 1014 Spruce St. on a new seven-story apartment complex with 148 units, 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 48 parking spots.

ST. LOUIS — Construction has started on a new apartment complex in downtown St. Louis, a rarity in a neighborhood more accustomed to the redevelopment of historic buildings.

San Francisco-based Balboa Real Estate Partners finalized its financing, along with city approvals and incentives, and has started site work at 1014 Spruce St. on a new seven-story apartment complex with 148 units, 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 48 parking spots, said Tom Calahan, a partner at Balboa.

The project cost is currently estimated at just under $40 million. The goal is for the apartments to be move-in ready by January 2024, Calahan said.

The new development, to be called 11th and Spruce, will occupy a vacant lot that previously housed the Cupples 7 complex.

Credit: Balboa Real Estate Partners
The vacant site of the former Cupples 7 historic building is shown here. It is the future site of an apartment complex from San Francisco-based Balboa Real Estate Partners.

The century-old, 0,000-square-foot historic warehouse was condemned by the city and torn down in 2013. It was part of the Cupples Station Landmark District, which a century ago was a manufacturing and warehouse district. More recently, nearby Cupples warehouses have been rehabilitated for modern uses.

The tear-down opened up the possibility of ground-up construction blocks away from Busch Stadium, and Minnesota-based developer Opus Group, which has a Clayton office, proposed the apartment complex in 2020.

Balboa worked with Opus Group on that project, but took it over after the developers differed on whether to move forward, Calahan said. Opus Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Balboa, which has a philosophy of developing and holding properties long term, is excited to take advantage of the rare vacant lot near the stadium, Calahan said. Balboa’s equity and debt investors for the project are also taking a long-term view, he said. Capital One is the construction lender, Calahan added.

“We think this is a fantastic in-fill site, which naturally benefits from all of the activity and investment around Ballpark Village,” Calahan said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of history to this site, which we’ve incorporated, along with the neighborhood’s character, into the building’s design. I think we’ve struck a good balance here and are excited to develop a new apartment community downtown.”

The project required 30 months of development work prior to construction due to several factors, including rising costs due to supply chain and inflation issues that significantly increased costs, Calahan said. Permitting and zoning also took time.

As part of the city's requirements for building in a historic district, the apartment complex will have to match the red brick of the other Cupples buildings.

Ground-floor retail and parking spaces will occupy a base. The complex will be built above that, Calahan said. The U-shaped building will surround a second-floor courtyard built on the base, with a dog park area, a pergola, fire pits and grills, which will connect to community spaces inside.

Critical to the project was a long-term deal for the leasing of spaces in the city-owned parking garage next door at Cupples Station, Calahan said. That meant 1014 Spruce didn't have to have its own parking, he said.

The project is the latest apartment project developed within blocks of Busch Stadium.

Read more of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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