Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

The Syndicate

Dateline: 9:53 am July 29, 2008 Filed under:

My latest ULI Case Study is The Syndicate in St. Louis. Located in downtown, the building formerly known as the Syndicate Trust Tower was built in 1907 and previously a department store and offices. It is now renovated into condos, artist apartments and retail space. Taking advantage of state and federal affordable housing and historic tax credits, the Syndicate has no fewer than eight financing sources. Credit goes to the developers, Minneapolis based Sherman Associates and St. Louis based LoftWorks.

The building is a beautiful example of the Chicago School style, with a gorgeous off-white terra cotta exterior. It was adjacent to and on the same block as the former Century Building, which gained noteriety in 2004 when it was demolished and replaced by a 900 car parking garage, a move supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In their defense, demolishing the Century Building enabled the Old Post Office, located across the street, to be renovated. The new parking structure also provides critical and easily accessible parking for the apartments at the Syndicate, which gives it a distinct leg up on the competition in the local market. It is a shame to know the Century Building is lost, but the Old Post Office and Syndicate are very well done, and that is good for downtown St. Louis.

The Syndicate is a shining example of a vast number of great historic renovations in downtown St. Louis in recent years, most of which are feasible beacuse of the state of Missouri historic tax credits, a program that precious few states have. And worth noting, the Syndicate is a short walk from the light rail system in St. Louis, which also serves the airport.

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