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Monday, April 27, 2009

Shifting the Balance in Hyde Park

Blue Shutters Development has ambitious plans for the Hyde Park neighborhood. Eventually, the developers would like to rehabilitate dozens of historic buildings in the neighborhood, including the damaged Nord St. Louis Turnverein on Salisbury Avenue. So far, the firm's efforts have been concentrated on the 2000 block of Mallinckrodt Street. Two homes, shown here, have been fully rehabilitated and offered for sale at market rate.

The house on the right is a great project because it's the type of house many developers would write off -- it's frame, it's small and it has a limited return on investment. Blue Shutters and its principal Peter George deserve credit for preserving it early on.

This work would be impossible without the state's historic rehabilitation tax credit. Relatively small projects like these would have a tough time competing for credits if there was a blanket cap on the program.

Hyde Park often seems like a world of bad news, but a few projects lately have slowly shifted the balance. Let there be more.


Unknown said...

Pete deserves huge accolades for this project.

I worked on the drawings and historic tax credit application for this house, and I can attest first-hand that it was in horrible condition. The entire back half was open to the sky. In fact, I couldn't even get into the back room to measure it.

I hope to make it up to drive down Mallinckrodt next time I am in St. Louis - I look forward to seeing these homes sold and occupied once again!

samizdat said...

I wonder if they recreated the metal cornice work with polyurethane? I can't imagine that much of the original remained. Good work here. Interesting that they finished out the window and door with the Georgian trim. At least I think it's Georgian. It also seems that this house is sitting on what appears to be a double lot. Quite alot of space on either side of it. Good luck, Blue Shutters. You'll need it.

GMichaud said...

The Turnverein would be a great project. It is too bad the building was let go for so long. The last owner was a crook who is now in jail.

It is a long, hard trek. I remember the last attempt at a renaissance when Soulard was just getting underway. I remember Soulard was just plugging along until Federal tax credits really got it moving.
If anything the current tax credits should be expanded.
Large mega developers like Jeffery Smith companies or Paul McKee should be excluded from targeted small scale credits.
Their major-mega projects never have the connection with the communities the way Blue Shutters Development demonstrates.
Bigger is not better.