St. Louis Neighborhood Development Blog
A Catalog of St. Louis developments, large and small
Cherokee Street Shipping Container Cafe Project Advances (2622 Cherokee)

Might we soon be dining in a series of re-used shipping containers to be assembled at 2622 Cherokee Street? Possibly. Owner of the current vacant lot at the site Jason Deem has applied for a $75,000 permit to construct a commercial building there. That permit has not yet been issued.

The new venture has been widely publicized in local media as it will be St. Louis’s first major commercial project to utilize shipping containers. The restaurant that is set to occupy the new building is called the Empire Cafe, named for the old establishment that once occupied the site in a historic building that was demolished in the mid-2000s.

Current plans look like this (all images were obtained from this Riverfront Times write-up; designs are from Killeen Studio Architects):

(View is looking northeast; buildings in color front Cherokee Street while the black and white facade is the Empire Cafe, set mostly along Texas Avenue.)


Another view:


And another:


Click here for a map of the area.

Cherokee Four Family Once Threatened with Demolition Now Under Rehab (3006-08 Cherokee)

A four family building located at 3006-08 Cherokee Street that was recently bank-owned and scheduled for demolition in July 2013 is now under a $60,000 rehab by its new owner, Will Liebermann (HJL Cherokee, LLC).

Mr. Liebermann owns and has redeveloped several properties on Cherokee Street west of Jefferson (including, for example, music venue/art gallery 2720).

Below is a photograph of the building obtained from Geo St. Louis:

Click here for a map of the area.

Major South Grand Structures to See Rehab (3546 S. Grand and 3552 S. Grand)

Building permits have been issued to rehab two major South Grand commercial/mixed use buildings into apartments. The buildings at 3546 and 3552 S. Grand will be rehabbed by the Lawrence Group into an unspecified number of apartments and ground floor commercial space. The permit amount for 3546 S. Grand is $1.56 million; the permit amount for 3552 S. Grand is $1.21 million.

The buildings sit across the street from the South Side Tower, another once vacant building redeveloped by the Lawrence Group.

Below is a Google Streetview capture showing both buildings:


Based on Missouri Housing Development Commission Rental Production FY 2012 Funding Approval documents, the two buildings together may be branded as “Southside Station” and may contain a total of 39 affordable units geared towards families. If we can confirm these details, we will note that here.

Click here for a map of the area.

Cherokee Street Storefront to be Rehabbed (2728 Cherokee)

A $70,000 permit has been issued for owners and husband-wife duo Richard Rodriguez and Donna Schott to rehab the storefront located at 2728 Cherokee Street into a wood-fired pizza restaurant and wine bar. The new establishment that will occupy the space, called Yaqui’s, was announced in May 2013.

Below is a Geo St. Louis photograph of the building:

No word yet on an expected opening date.

Click here for a map of the area.

Renderings Released for Cherokee Street Shipping Container Cafe (2622 Cherokee)

A long-rumored shipping container cafe may soon be constructed at 2622 Cherokee Street (at Texas Avenue) by owner and Cherokee Street investor Jason Deem.

The establishment’s name—Empire Cafe—is a throwback to the old Empire Sandwich Shop that once occupied the site. The building that housed the old iteration of Empire was torn down in 2006.

Below is the recently released rendering of the new Empire Cafe, to be constructed using several shipping containers (a novel mode of construction in St. Louis, but now popular in Europe and some coastal U.S. cities).

As shown above, the primary portion of the new structure would sit well off of Cherokee, leaving the front portion of the lot as an open space for seating.

Here is another angle (small photo):

Both renderings were obtained from Empire Cafe’s Facebook page.

From Geo St. Louis, below is a shot of the original Empire Sandwich Shop:

From the “About” section on Empire Cafe’s Facebook page:

Slated to open in Spring of 2014, Empire will be a community centered cafe offering a rotating menu of international street food sourced from local ingredients and purveyors with an emphasis on sustainability, seasonal availability, and health consciousness.

Click here for a map of the area.

Is a Wrecked Gravois Park Storefront Being Rebuilt? (3410-12 California)

Recently, an attractive, but long vacant off-Cherokee commercial building located at 3410-12 California in the Gravois Park neighborhood was demolished.

It now appears that the building is being reconstructed (in some form).

Below is a shot (from yesterday) of the building. Just a few weeks ago, all that remained at the site was the free-standing cast iron storefront. As you can now see, a brick structure is being rebuilt around the old storefront:

Below is a Geo St. Louis photograph showing what the building used to look like:

Click here for a map of the area.

Cherokee Mixed Use Building to See Rehab Soon? (2648 Cherokee)

A mixed use building located at 2648 Cherokee Street (in the Gravois Park neighborhood) may soon see a substantial rehab—valued at $450,000 per a city building permit application—into residential and commercial space. The owner is shown to be 2648 Cherokee Properties, LLC. Note that the building permit has not yet been issued.

Below is a recent Geo St. Louis photograph of the structure that is to be rehabbed:


Click here for a map of the area.

Grand and Gravois to Receive Major Facelift with Multiple Rehabs?

The two side-by-side mixed use structures on the southeast corner of Grand and Gravois (3546 and 3552 South Grand) may soon see a full rehabilitation into apartments with ground floor commercial. The developer is the Lawrence Group. As of right now, there are two permit applications that have no dollar values listed and must be approved by Zoning first. One this approval is issued, the permits may then be issued themselves.

Below is a Google Streetview capture of both buildings:



The Lawrence Group was the developer of the South Side Tower project  across the street from this pair of buildings. That project saw the rehab of the historic South Side National Bank building into commercial space with residential above.

Note that the Missouri Housing Development Commission has approved 4% LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit) funds for this project in its Fiscal Year 2012 Application Approvals. See the list of approved projects here—this project is called “Southside Station”.

Click here for a map of the area.

Update: Cherokee Street Mixed Use Rehab Progressing (2900 Cherokee)

When we last checked into the $75,000+ rehab of 2900 Cherokee in the Gravois Park neighborhood, the stately mixed use building’s storefront had not yet been restored.

Below is a photograph from a few weeks ago that shows the building to be quite transformed with its new storefront:

And here, for good measure, is the older shot of the building previously posted on this blog (courtesy of Michael Allen), dating to late summer 2012:

Click here for a map of the area.

ALSO! SIDE NOTE TO READERS: If you’ve noticed the action slowing around this blog, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm. Winter is infamous for a slowdown in rehab projects and new construction, but worry not—there is still a long backlog of projects from late Fall 2012 to cover (not to mention update posts, like this one).

Update: Cherokee Street Rehab Underway (3132 Cherokee)

The single family home at 3132 Cherokee Street is being rehabbed at a cost of $30,000. According to the building permit application, the structure will house two units upon completion.

An earlier blog post on this site noted that the building had secured permits. At that time, we were unaware what sort of solution was being proposed for the long lost doorway/porch area, which was destroyed by an errant driver. We can now see that there will be a covered porch on the building, per this recent photograph:

Below is a Google Streetview capture showing the building without its entryway:

Click here for a map of the area.

Cherokee Street Rehab Underway (2900 Cherokee)

A three-story mixed use structure at 2900 Cherokee Street (at Nebraska) is under rehab by WJL Properties, LLC.

Below is a photograph of the building courtesy of Preservation Research Office's Michael Allen:

The blog Vanishing STL covered the rehab of this building, along with the demolition of the building on the opposite corner, earlier this year. That story contains more photographs of the building as well.

Per that blog post, the building has been extensively worked on for several years. Below is a Geo St. Louis shot of the building under construction in March 2009:

Click here for a map of the area.

Cherokee Street Rehab to Begin Soon

The single family building at 3132 Cherokee Street in the Gravois Park neighborhood has been issued a $30,000 building permit to rehab the structure into a two-family.

Below is a Google Streetview capture from July 2011 that shows the building more or less in its current state:

As you can see, something is missing from the building.

Geo St. Louis contains an older photograph that shows what the building’s entry once looked like:

It is unclear whether this entryway will be restored.

Click here for a map of the area.

3520 Oregon in Gravois Park Restored

Completed last year, the $115,000 rehab of 3520 Oregon in Gravois Park by Neighborhood Enterprises Inc. saw the conversion of a two family to a single family.

The 3500 block of Oregon is a peculiar one, closed at one end long ago to smooth out a large grade change present in the southern portion of the block. A staircase now connects the portion of Oregon where it meets Miami to the rest of the block. (See here in Streetview).

Below is a recent shot of 3520 Oregon, relatively freshly rehabbed:

A Geo St. Louis photograph from October 2010 shows the former state of the building:

Click here for a map of the area.

Gravois Park Rehab Project Completed (3454 Iowa)

Located just south of Cherokee Street, 3454 Iowa is a former three-family building that has been converted to a single family at a cost of $120,000.

Below is a recent picture of the structure (albeit partially obscured by trees).

Geo St. Louis has some pre-rehab, wintry shots for your viewing pleasure:

Click here for a map of the area.

Stunning Rehab Finished in Gravois Park (3523-27 California)

The former 6-family building at 3523-27 California in Gravois Park was one of the neighborhood’s worst looking properties back in early 2011.

Vacant since 1997 according to the city records, one might have expected this decaying building would eventually fall victim to the wrecking ball. It is now fully restored.

Take a look at the before photo, from Geo St. Louis:

And now the after photograph, taken yesterday:

The building is now three, for-sale units. It was redeveloped by Millennium Restoration and Development Corp.

Click here for a map of the area.