This is part 2 of a multipart series looking at potential sites for development along the proposed streetcar line that’d run along Olive/Lindell from downtown to the Central West End and the BJC hospital complex as well as north on 14th Street . In Part 1: Olive 15th-16th a week ago I looked at one city block on the north side of Olive between 15th-16th.
That block is underused surface parking, the Campbell House Museum, YMCA and 100 vacant apartments over the YMCA. Potential for both new construction and rehab. The south side of Olive is the 1950s Plaza Square high rise apartments, these will become more desirable after the streetcar line opens.
For this post I want to look at parts of five city blocks rather than just one; they’re bounded by 16th Street on the east, St. Charles St. on the north 18th on the west and Pine on the south. These blocks have a mix of buildings including rehabbed/occupied, non-rehabbed/occupied, vacant buildings, vacant land, a church, a non-public library building, etc.
I’ve organized them by City Block and listed the property addresses.
City Block 509
1700-1706 Olive was built in 1918, it is for sale. The facade on the base appears to have been modified later, possibly to fit in with the adjacent buildings. Click image for map.
1708 Olive, built in 1951, is less than 24ft wide.
1710-1714 Olive was built in 1946
1718 Olive (left) and 1720 Olive (right) are both occupied. 1718 was built in 1900, 1720 in 1926.
1728 Olive was built in 1929
I like variety & scale of the buildings on this block facing Olive, but with the exception of 1700-06 Olive the density is too low to be on a streetcar line and not tall enough relative to the width of Olive. The two 3-story buildings in the middle might be able to be kept with new construction on either side. However, most of these buildings contribute to the Washington Ave national historic district so rehabilitation should be considered.
The rest of the block is surface parking for the Blu Condominium Association and a dumpy 7-11.
Even though the 7-11 faces 17th, the property address is 1701 Pine.
City Block 510
1717 Olive occupies the entire block. Originally the Butler Brothers warehouse built in 1908, later renamed Plaza Square.
The building does have a few business tenants but overall it is in need of a major rehab. Because of the condition, the rents are low. Care should be taken to not price businesses out of the building/neighborhood. On the other hand, those of us living nearby would appreciate it if it was maintained to a higher standard.
This building has potential to house offices and residential.
City Block 511
1601 Olive is a 2-story office building built in 1965, it is vacant and for sale. I’d rather see a larger structure on this corner.
1613 Olive is a vacant lot owned by the city, used for parking for the building to the west.
1621 Olive is owned by the city, used for parking enforcement offices right now
1625 Olive is privately owned and is occupied. Built in 1948, it has an interesting facade. Retain the facade but build up?
1624 Locust is part of the St. Louis Library system
The 2-story building at 1610 Locust was built in 1917, next door is The Leather Trades Artist Lofts.
With the exception of the Leather Trades Artist Lofts, the block to very low in height and density. Although I don’t like the building heights, I do like the facades. Those facing Olive should probably be razed for taller structures.
City Block 828
1601 Locust is a privately-owned surface public parking lot next to Printers Lofts (1611 Locust). Loftworks had planned new construction to attach to Printers. A great site for new construction.
Although I live in the Printers Lofts building, shown above, I don’t know the legality of building on the lot with respect to the four condos and our common space that face east. Presumably this is addressed in our condo documents and in the recorded information on the vacant lot. I’d love to see new construction on this corner, though my neighbors might object. The beautiful Blackwell-Wielandy building occupied the corner until it burned down in 1988.
City Block 829
1701 Locust is a handsome 4-story building built in 1926. It has had several owners in the last decade. It is vacant.
1711 Locust was built in 1903 as a power substation for a private streetcar company, it is vacant and in disrepair. It was #5 on the Landmark’s 2010 Most Endangered List, click to view
Both of these buildings are among my favorites. The substation is a creative challenge, but I’m sure someone could come up with a creative use for the space.
Just in this small area there is room for lots of potential development over the next 10-20 years. In this type of exercise you look long-term at what the potential is for the coming decades. Some development will open before the streetcar line does, but most will come after that time. Developers will be eyeing the locations I’m highlighting in this series.
– Steve Patterson