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Part of Delmar Divine, former St. Luke's Hospital in West End, opens; Ameren eyes $1.5M solar canopy at nonprofit hub

Twenty-one nonprofits and one business moved into Delmar Divine, an $89 million rehab of the old St. Luke's Hospital, at the end of last year.
Credit: SLBJ
Maxine Clark poses for a photograph in front of the old St. Luke's Hospital in 2017. Part of the complex's redevelopment, dubbed Delmar Divine, is finished.

ST. LOUIS — Part of the Delmar Divine redevelopment in the West End has opened, marking a critical milestone for the massive project first unveiled in 2017.

Meanwhile, electric utility Ameren Missouri (NYSE: AEE) said it's working with the nonprofit incubator to bring solar energy to the north side of Delmar Boulevard in 2023.

Twenty-one nonprofits and one business moved into Delmar Divine, an $89 million rehab of the old St. Luke's Hospital at 5535 Delmar Blvd., at the end of last year, it said. The project, envisioned by Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark and Clayco CEO Bob Clark as bridging the north-south "Delmar Divide" — St. Louis' longstanding geographical boundary for race and wealth — sought new life for the vacant St. Luke's. It had been scheduled to partially open in fall 2021.

The 21 nonprofits operating out of the development are Behavioral Health Response; SoulFisher Ministries; Washington University; BJC HealthCare; St. Louis Arc; Seed St. Louis; Clark-Fox Family Foundation; Asthma & Allergy Foundation; Teach for America; Girls in the Know; Generate Health; KIPP; Mound City Bar Foundation; IFM Community Medicine; Alive & Well Communities; Home Works!; the University of Missouri-St. Louis; Navigate STL Schools; Turn the Page, Sophia Project; and The Opportunity Trust. The for-profit business is Charity CFO, and another nonprofit, Your Philanthropy, will open in the building in February.

The development is to include office space, most of which is open, plus an apartment complex and community spaces that are still under construction and will open at a later date, Executive Director Jorge Riopedre said.

First announced in 2017, Delmar Divine is intended to serve as a hub for social, economic and community development, especially in north St. Louis city. It said it will feature 18,000 square feet of conference and meeting space for the nonprofit agencies housed on its campus, along with a minority business incubator, a podcast studio, transit-accessible housing and a multipurpose room that will host a number of community-oriented programs, including activities for older adult and students. 

Ameren on Wednesday said it would install and pay for a $1.5 million canopy of solar panels over Delmar Divine's parking lot on Belt Avenue. Ameren said it is also donating $300,000 to the nonprofit Delmar Divine. 

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