St. Louis Development Corporation has released a Request for Proposals for Purchase and Redevelopment of the Cupples 7 Building located at 1014 Spruce Street. The deadline for submittal of proposals is January 10,2013. Montgomery Bank took back the building from Ballpark Lofts III, LLC after developers Kevin McGowan and Nat Walsh failed to pay back taxes of over $250,000 and the $1.4 million mortgage that was held by the bank. The bank is having SLDC / LCRA administer the process to see if there is interest in taking on the task of rehabilitation of the building. Last year the St. Louis Preservation Board denied a request by Ballpark Lofts III, LLC to demolish the building. My opinion, having dealt with a smaller, but very similar collapsing building in Lafayette Square that was rehabilitated into the M-Lofts by Craig Heller and Conrad Properties, is that Cupples 7 can be saved. It will take an experienced developer to put together the right package of financing combined with a creative use of the large footprint of the building to make the project work, but It can be done.
Vanishing STL was created to illustrate the continuing loss of irreplaceable architecture from landmark buildings to ordinary homes due to demolition, abandonment and neglect. Often I write about structures threatened with demolition to bring awareness of the situation and promote preservation as an alternative. All photos are by Paul Hohmann unless noted otherwise.