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Loft on Washington Avenue, St. Louis public safety department reach agreement to improve security

According to the agreement, there were 247 calls for police service to the Ely Walker Lofts over a one-year period starting on Aug. 31, 2021.

ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis came to an agreement with the Ely Walker Lofts to improve security measures after hundreds of police calls for service related to the building in the last year.

The consent decree, which was signed by the building's condo association president and St. Louis Public Safety Director Dan Isom, comes after months of concerns. According to the agreement, there were 247 calls for police service to the building over a one-year period starting on Aug. 31, 2021.

To curb safety concerns the building will install new safety measures and create a 24-hour customer service line for residents. The customer service line needs to be in place in the next seven days, while the building has a bit more time to implement the other required measures:

  • 14 days to install "No Trespassing" signs at access points
  • 45 days to install a latch access control system to limit who can use the elevators
  • 45 days to install a security camera in front of the building
  • 45 days to secure internal stairwells

The building will also be required to hire licensed and insured security for 12 months or until there is a 60 percent decrease in police calls for service.

The agreement was struck after months of issues at the building. In March, a teenager was shot and killed in the lobby. This summer, sort-term-rental parties overwhelmed the facility. 

Videos showed hundreds of people taking over a community room at Ely Walker Lofts. In another, a party spilled onto Locust Street with people jumping on cars.

"We lived there for four years when we moved here and I had full plans on staying, and then [the issues came]," Nicole Reed, who moved out three months ago, said.

She's glad to see the property making changes.

"I think that's a great start," she said.

One though that may find some current residents skeptical.

"It's not really likely to be making a long term change," Sue Kruessel said.

She owns a unit inside and believes he knows why the property is finally doing this. 

"It's because of the voice of the residents that have complained about not feeling secure," she said.

She will be a happy camper if the improvements become a permanent fixture.

"Make it the quality of what it was when we first got here," Kruessel said.

The nuisance hearing previously scheduled for Wednesday was canceled after the decree was agreed to.

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