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$35 million apartment tower proposed atop 1920s automotive building

Developers plan for The Flats at Forest Park to have 120 units, an amenity deck, a fitness center and high-end finishes.
Credit: Pier Property Group
A rendering of the new Flats at Forest Park that is being proposed by Pier Property Group.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis developer is seeking approval to build a $35 million apartment tower on top of a former car sales facility in the Central West End.

Pier Property Group, led by Michael Hamburg, has submitted preliminary plans for The Flats at Forest Park, a five-story residential building that would be added atop the former Reliance Automotive building at 490 N. Kingshighway Blvd. at McPherson Avenue. A sales listing for the Reliance building says it is a two-story, 51,618-square-foot former car sales and repair facility built in 1929 on 0.29 acres, with a paved lot of 0.13 acres behind the building.

The Reliance building sits at the intersection known as the Holy Corners Historic District, where developer Steve Smith and film producer Monica R. Butler plan to create a Gospel Hall of Fame inside the former Second Baptist Church at 500 N. Kingshighway.

The apartment building, with 120 units, an amenity deck, a fitness center and high-end finishes, will be in “one of the most walkable and historic neighborhoods in the city,” Hamburg said.

The plans will go before the St. Louis Preservation Board when it meets March 28. A plan to renovate and expand Powell Hall for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is to be heard at the same meeting.

In addition to approval by the Preservation Board, in order for the project to move forward, the city of St. Louis would have to approve some type of incentives, the specifics of which have not been worked out yet, Hamburg said. Pier is working with St. Louis Development Corp., the city’s nonprofit economic development agency, on an incentives package.

The concrete structure of the Reliance building would be used for parking, Hamburg said. If approved, Pier would build a new two-level deck to connect to the existing building, with the new residential building above spanning both structures.

Read the rest of this story on the St. Louis Business Journal's website

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