Friday, July 24, 2009

New Plans for an Old Building

Bob Guller has purchased the former United Way headquarters/Post-Dispatch printing press at 1111 Olive from Larry Deutsch for $2.25 million. Guller plans on spending $9.5 million to renovate the building and is considering converting it to a hub for IT firms, similar to two other “telecom hotels” he previously owned – 201 N. Tucker and the Valley Building at 900 Walnut.
 
Under such a plan, most of the space would be filled by servers, switching equipment and other IT-releated equipment, with relatively few employees. Not an optimal use of office space, but in this case (as with 210 N. Tucker and the Valley Building), it would fill a difficult-to-lease building that has been vacant for almost five years. And, its reinforced concrete floors make it an ideal candidate to house IT infrastructure. 

The building – built in 1941 – is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, making it eligible for historic tax credits. It originally had windows that were more consistent with its overall design scheme. Guller applied for, but did not receive, New Markets Tax Credits, which were awarded earlier this month, however, the city is working with him on other sources of financing. 

It had been mentioned as one of the candidates for Emmis Communications' new offices and studios for KSHE, KPNT, KHIT and KFTK, but no announcement was ever made.

Here's an old pic of the building - I like the original windows much better than the current ones:

4 comments:

samizdat said...

Reminds me of a Bauhaus factory, or the press building for a newspaper publisher designed by Alvar Aalto. Can't remember the name, and can't find my Aalto book. The original windows certainly enhance the horizontal linearity of this design. Which, of course, is the whole point of good design: to bring about the best results by ensuring that the whole is accentuated by its' parts. Yes, 'tis a smart looking building.

Andrew J. Faulkner said...

Interesting. I had always wondered about that building. A change of windows and a powerwashing would do wonders for that facade.

Vanishing STL said...

Hopefully they will at least lease out the retail space that is currently covered with butcher paper. With the parking lot across the street, that block of Olive is pretty dead.

Michael R. Allen said...

Perhaps Guller will remove the infill third floor and restore the original appearance...