As construction continues on the $130 million project to convert the historic Butler Brothers building into more than 300 apartments, the massive project in Downtown West has a name and a target opening date.
Memphis-based developer Development Services Group could finish construction on the first phase of transforming the 735,000-square-foot building by June, when residents could also start moving in. The former factory at 1717 Olive St. spans a full city block between 17th and 18th streets, and the redevelopment is financed through a mix of federal and state tax credits and local incentives.
The project will be called "The Victor," Development Services Group's President and CEO Gary Prosterman told the Business Journal.
Marketing materials from DSG say The Victor is a "heroic building made new, with best-in-class amenities and a century of soul."Pre-leasing is slated to start in March, and construction on the first phase of 147 units is targeted to finish a few weeks ahead of potential June move-ins. The complex will have 385 apartments total.
The developer expects potential residents to be drawn to the revamped apartment complex's location a few miles from the more than 3,000 employees that will work out of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's new western headquarters, and across from the new Major League Soccer stadium that will host its first games in the spring.
Although Downtown West is near downtown, Prosterman sees it as a "different neighborhood, different vibe," with a number of residential projects underway that mark it as an up-and-coming location. DSG is working with other neighborhood stakeholders to develop an individual identity for the neighborhood surrounding The Victor.
Over the next five years or so, Prosterman said he expects a number of restaurants and retail options to open in the neighborhood. Some spots such as the new pub The Pitch and London Tea Room have already moved in.
"We are early in this neighborhood becoming what it's going to become, but I do have a lot of confidence," Prosterman said.
The sheer size of the block-long building allows the developer to offer larger units and more amenities than comparable historic renovation projects in other cities. It will have a large fitness center, community room, theater room, game room and a golf simulator. The rooftop will house a pool, rooftop bar, dog park and a pickleball court.
"For us, it's very unique to have a single building that itself covers 2 acres," Prosterman said. "So within that building, we can create a community that has everything from driving in to indoor parking, to a rooftop with a swimming pool and a pickleball court and a dog park, an all-inclusive community inside the building. And then put it in a location where there's a lot of energy around that area."
A 400-car parking garage with high-speed doors is being constructed inside the complex.
The units themselves will be "spacious, tall ceilings, lots of light," Prosterman said. Many have been built with office nooks for people who work at home.With all the activities on site, DSG is projecting that the building will appeal to a younger demographic, ages 20 to 35, interested in both the lifestyle and location. The company also foresees that employees in fintech and engineering will be drawn to the building, as St. Louis has increased jobs in those sectors.