The thought of another project north of Delmar is enough cause for good news. Delmar DivINe, the caps referencing the dividing line we're all aware of immediately catches your eye and addresses the history of this part of the city head-on.
NextSTL first reported on this in March, 2017 shining a light on a project that would convert the shuttered hospital to a mixed-use property with apartments, retail, office and shared work spaces serving the immediate community.
This property at 5535 Delmar is on the border of the West End Neighborhood. The central corridor neighborhoods just north of Delmar, including Fountain Park, Academy, Visitation Park and the West End are incredible and seem to be lying in wait for more investment. Delmar DivINe seems to be a righteous bridge toward the future.
This is a historic property built in 1904 and added onto throughout the years up until 1975 when St. Luke's vacated St. Louis for then small town Chesterfield, Missouri (now ~43K residents and growing), providing a massive blow to this part of St. Louis. St. Luke's-related operations ceased in full by 1985 and the property reconfigured itself as several health care organizations including Charter Hospital and Connect Care. The hospital closed down for good in 2014 never truly recovering from the suburban migration. A win for the suburbs usually comes in the form as a loss in St. Louis. This is a perfect example.
But the reason this makes the list of our favorites from 2017 is this project really seems to get it and address the history of the city and the Delmar Divide head-on and embracing the neighborhood in its current state with an eye toward the future.
From a May, 2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article:
No beating around the bush with the Delmar Divide, the "history" page of the Delmar Divine website starts with a brief history of the racist housing and realty policies that carved up the city into areas where African-Americans could purchase homes and where they could not. The appeal is that this project really seems to want to bridge the gap in our city and become a positive part of the neighborhood.
From the Delmar Divine website:
Maxine Clark has an impressive track record in the city as well, as St. Louis Magazine reported in May, 2017:
While a lot of public revenue streams are up in the air, there is much cause for hope. The Delmar DivINe website says "Coming in 2019". Keep your eye on this one, I think it is just what we need at this point in our history.
Cheers to all the big thinkers listening to people in the neighborhoods and spending time & effort toward reversing a troubling time in our past.