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Kummer buys Clayton site as he plans $270 million project

Kummer is planning to build luxury condominiums and a high-end hotel.
Credit: James Visser Photography
Fred Kummer has acquired a half-block site in downtown Clayton.

CLAYTON, Mo. — Longtime businessman Fred Kummer has acquired a half-block of Clayton real estate with plans to redevelop it into a $270 million mixed-use project, the Business Journal has learned.

Kummer, 89, is planning to build luxury condominiums and a high-end hotel, and is partnering with Steve Smith of Lawrence Group, Stafford Manion of Gladys Manion, and Gary Feder of Husch Blackwell on the project.

Details of the project are still being finalized, but Kummer is hoping to start construction within a year.

The development comes as Clayton is undergoing roughly $1.2 billion in construction, fueled largely by Centene Corp.'s $770 million campus. Kummer's project follows the completion of several new multifamily projects in Clayton — the 120-unit Ceylon is adjacent to the site at 25 N. Central — and would deliver one of Clayton's first hotels in years. HomeBase Partners of Montana also is planning a hotel at the former police headquarters about a mile away from Kummer's site.

The development will be privately financed, and Kummer will not be requesting tax abatement nor tax incremental financing (TIF), said Manion, who is serving as a real estate consultant. Kummer acquired the property, which is zoned for high-density development, from the Gershman family for an undisclosed price.

The site, which Gershman Commercial Real Estate marketed last year, borders Central, Maryland and Bemiston avenues and includes a slew of restaurants such as Nami Ramen, Vincent Van Doughnut, BARcelona Tapas and John P. Fields. Clayton license office, tax assessment firm PAR Residential and AKS Law Firm also have offices at the site.

Fred Kummer has acquired a mixed-use block in downtown Clayton.

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