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Delayed redevelopment of tobacco building moves ahead, switching from offices to apartments

The project will convert the building's four floors and 105,000 square feet into 62 loft-style apartments, with a ground-floor commercial tenant.
Credit: LCRA
This map shows the location of a tobacco building that will be converted into apartments.

ST. LOUIS — A developer is moving ahead on a $24 million plan to turn a former tobacco building into apartments, after a previous plan to redevelop the space into offices fell through due to the pandemic.

St. Louis-based developer Urban Improvement Co. plans to redevelop the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Building at 4140 Park Ave. and a vacant lot at 4145 Park Ave., both in the Botanical Heights neighborhood. The project will convert the building's four floors and 105,000 square feet into 62 loft-style apartments, with a ground-floor commercial tenant.

The city of St. Louis' Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority approved an amendment Tuesday to extend the deadline on the project’s original redevelopment plan, approved in 2018, that required construction to finish by July 2020. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen in 2017 approved an ordinance that authorizes a 10-year tax abatement for the property’s redevelopment.

The extra time will allow the developer to finalize the design of the project and get started on construction, said Brent Crittenden, CEO of UIC. The company had to change its original $8 million proposal to convert the building into office space after a potential deal with a company that planned to move from St. Louis County to the city fell through. That tenant opted for another site.

“We ran into Covid and as you might imagine, the demand for office space just isn’t there,” Crittenden said.

The company is retaining part of the original plan to build live-work suites, which are oversized apartments adapted for people who might want to work from home during the day. 

Read the full story on St. Louis Business Journal website.

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