Had some time to kill in Forest Park today and took our first ride on the Loop Trolley. All cars were packed, lines at several stops, people were having fun. Lots of families with kids. I think this will be a fun novelty for tourists and visitors.
This impressive investment on Delmar Boulevard will bring apartments and retail to a property that sat vacant for ~ten years. The project is called "Everly On The Loop" and it takes its name from a popular "hipster" baby name, a nod to the age group that this project is marketed toward. If you're a music fan like me, you might think the name had something to do with the buttery and haunting harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the property's proximity to the popular music venues in this part of town...not so, but a good tie-in nonetheless.
Another of my favorites from 2016 was the proposal for a mixed-use office/retail building at the northwest corner of Delmar and Skinker Boulevards, and this one is just down the street.
Combined, these two projects will really be a shot in the arm for this part of the Loop, colloquially referred to as "the East Loop" that extends just west of Skinker Boulevard eastward to roughly Rosedale Avenue. This is the section of the popular entertainment district that is in St. Louis vs. the western stretch that lies in University City, MO.
I first read about this project on NextSTL in January, 2016.
It's easy to like a project that fills in a massive vacant lot that extended from Delmar Hall (formerly Big Shark Bicycle) all the way to Gokul Indian Restaurant at Rosedale Avenue:
Of course, this wasn't always a vacant lot, ten years ago there were a couple single-story buildings on the property until a demolition permit was issued on June 16, 2006 and those were razed, leaving the above blank palette for ~ten years.
Here's a 2006 photo of the former buildings posted on St. Louis' online record site (Geo St. Louis):
But reaching 6105 Delmar meant coming to a fenced-in dead zone. A note to passersby heading west saying: "alright, we've reached the end of the line, time to turn around".
This mixed-use project will extend the positivity and activity east and fill a major gap in the street wall.
The Everly brings a $66M 14-story building with 209 residential units making up the top 13 floors and the first floor will have street-level commercial space.
The project is targeting students from nearby Washington University and St. Louis University. It is being billed as boutique student living.
14-stories is a massive building, the tallest on this stretch of Delmar. This height will dramatically change the skyline.
soon to be 14 stories
True to the urban environment, it is being built right up to the street and it hugs the charming little Gokul building to the west. No set backs for cars off of Delmar!!!
from Rosedale Avenue looking west
The building will also hug the Delmar Hall music venue to the west.
Unfortunately Big Shark Bicycles closed their shop on the Loop and moved to the burbs (although they kept their awesome location Downtown). But how can you lament their move when we have an equally great use. And the project is bringing
more retail to the Delmar sidewalk.
Imagine being a student here. The car-free lifestyle is totally attainable.
The site is connected to multi-modes of transportation. You can get to the airport, downtown and many places in between with a short walk to the nearby
Delmar Loop Metrolink stop and catch the red line.
Come Spring, 2017 there will be a Loop Trolley stop right out front as well, connecting the inner ring suburb of University City with the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park...and several stops in between.
The apartment housing demand is high in this part of town due to it's proximity to Washington University and it's good to see developers jumping on the opportunity.
The property is being developed by the Koman Group who have offices in Downtown St. Louis.
Koman is pleased to be developing this 14-story student housing complex in the Delmar Loop neighborhood of St. Louis. The Loop offers six blocks of exhilarating one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, art galleries, live music, café culture, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. This $66 million development consists of one, two and three bedroom units with bedroom/bathroom parity.
The Everly is designed to provide a high quality off-campus student housing option in the heart of the growing Delmar Loop neighborhood.
The new development consists of one building featuring three levels of gated garage parking, first floor commercial space, and 13 floors of residential space. In addition to the outstanding location, residents will enjoy a pool and lounge area, multiple study rooms, bike storage with a fix-it station, a fitness center, and a yoga room. Individual apartments will boast high-end finishes including stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, in unit W/D and fully furnished upscale furniture.
This student housing complex is driven by a strong demand for off campus housing. The overall vacancy rate of 1.6% in the surrounding market is extremely low and indicates that the market is limited by a lack of supply rather than a lack of demand.
// Available for the Fall 2017 academic year
// 0.6 miles from the Washington University campus
// 209 units, 211 parking spaces
// High quality interior finishes and full amenities
Like the project on the corner of Delmar and Skinker, it's easy to be supportive of any development north of Delmar Boulevard as a step in the right direction toward attacking the
"Delmar Divide". Sure, this literally abuts Delmar, but investment here has the potential to bleed north (if the powers that be allow it).
We need more people living here bringing activity, eyes on the street and...well, money. This becomes very obvious if you look at the U.S. Census data for this part of town.
The property is in the West End Neighborhood which lost a whopping 27% of it's population between 1990 and 2000. Things got better from 2000 to 2010 as a tiny numerical gain was observed...but still way under-populated. This project is needed. How can one deny that?
This is a clear win for St. Louis.
The leasing office for the Everly is just down the street occupying a handsome storefront.
I look forward to seeing the full 14-stories on the skyline and watching young people enjoying our city, hopping on the trolley and bringing some much needed vibrancy to the East Loop and the West End neighborhood.
I was in the Delmar Loop recently checking out the site of a
as well as the construction progress on "the Everly" student housing project.
Stay tuned for my blog on the latter.
As I was bumming around the Loop I was
really taken by how much progress has taken place on the Loop Trolley. Man, I just don't make it to this part of town very often. I need to spend more time here. Especially on
. There is so much happening in our city right now, I just can't keep track. It's fun. These are good times, folks. I am working my way through my favorite 20 projects announced or under construction in 2016 and the Loop Trolley wasn't one of them.
That is a testament to just how much is going on. I am really looking forward to this, especially to hear what people think. I tend to think it will be a rousing success and a real treat for people visiting the Loop and those that live around the trolley line.
I remember buying a Citizen's For Mass Transit Loop Trolley poster almost 10 years ago so it's good to see things on the verge of operation come Spring, 2017.
The infrastructure of the trolley line is really taking shape. You can see how it will flow and how people will get off and on:
My wife was looking at some of my photos, and said if you put a sepia tone filter on that, it would look like St. Louis in it's heyday. So for her sake, here's an effected look down DeBaliviere Avenue:
At some stretches, the trolley runs down the middle of the street such as this section along Delmar nearest the eastern end:
At other stretches of Delmar, it makes it's way to either side of the street depending on which direction it is heading.
Even the signage is going up:
The 2.2 mile stretch will take people from the inner ring suburb of University City to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park with ten stops in between:
The trolleys themselves are coming from Portland, OR which is odd considering we had the most sophisticated street car system in the United States until we scrapped them...for buses.
photo credit: The Loop Trolley
It's great that the trolley will provide another connection to Metrolink as the Delmar Loop and DeBaliviere/Forest Park stops are on the trolley line. The latter is critical as you can get on the red or blue line.
Another plus of this project is that it brings a shuttered historic building back to life. The trolley car maintenance and storage shed will be at 5875 Delmar. There are new windows and other investment that will allow this building to carry on for at least another generation with a new life.
This building is actually the combination of two buildings (5875 and 5893 Delmar Boulevard). The first was built in 1914 the latter was built in 1911 with an extension added in 1951. These buildings were once auto showrooms and repair bays which later became the Delmar High School.
Delmar High School opened in 1975 in the Delmar Elementary School building at 5883 Delmar as an alternative high school program, used for overflow during a period of high enrollment. The school was named for the street it was on, and the street name was derived from the first three letters of the states Delaware and Maryland. The school closed in 1980.
Since then the structure sat vacant until the last year or so when construction began. Per
A Loop Trolley feature will be its maintenance building in the old Delmar High School. (Tim) Borchers (the trolley's technical manager) said it will have a public viewing area for people "to see the normal day-to-day-life of a streetcar."
It's good that it'll be open to the public.
I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product!
For an amazing blog following the progress very closely with lots of photos, check out