By. Chris Stritzel
Earlier today, St. Louis Community College Chancellor Jeff Pittman, sent out an email detailing the current status of the Cosand Center's (300 South Broadway) sale. He said, "For the past year, STLCC has been under contract for the sale of the Cosand Center at 300 South Broadway.
This time period allowed the purchasers to pursue due diligence pertaining to their financing and intended use of the property. Recently, the purchase and sale agreement with the College was terminated without a final sale. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees has authorized that we place the property for sale with a broker.
While the result of the sale agreement is not what we hoped, the diligence process in advance of a sale of this magnitude is a normal function of such transactions and included an end date for the benefit of both parties.
This led to many people being either happy the new 300 South Broadway project was cancelled or disappointed. Shortly after the news broke, Brian Feldt tweeted that Patrick Holleran, one of the developers an the Vice President at HDA architects, said that "the project isn't dead" but didn't specify anything beyond that. With the St. Louis Business Journal then following with a story stating "Chesterfield-based HDA Architects and Chicago-based White Oak Realty Partners and CA Ventures — had elected to terminate the agreement to acquire the 300 S. Broadway property". It lead to much confusion and ultimately led me down a path to figure out what is going on.
I began openly guessing what some of the reasons are as to why the project could be cancelled and arrived at the conclusion that maybe lenders are more hesitant to finance large residential projects, like this one, due to the fact that we could be reaching overbuilt status. We have hundreds if not thousands of residential units under construction in St. Louis right now so that idea isn't far fetched. In order to fully understand and comprehend what is going on, I contacted HDA Vice President Patrick Holleran to get answers. His response was quick and says...
"The magnitude of a $100 million dollar transaction takes considerable time with a multitude of shareholders. We are continuing to work on the deal structure with the goal to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2019".
If that quote is a sign of anything, financing appears to be the main problem right now for 300 South Broadway. I have no doubts that the project will happen but the fact that the building is being put up for sale by Cushman and Wakefield could mean trouble for the project in this particular location. Referring back to the email sent out by Chancellor Pittman, he says, "Given the location of the property and interest from outside parties, we are confident the building will be successfully sold once it's publicly listed". This could mean that other developers are wanting to purchase the building, which will be listed for a little over $7 Million.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as one party, the architects and developers, are saying that they are still working on the project while the other party, building owners, are saying they are listing it for sale with many interested parties. Whether or not the claims of both parties comes to life remains to be seen but ultimately, money wins and talks. If HDA, CA Ventures and Whiter Oak Realty Partners can't acquire 300 South Broadway, I recommend they build at the Mike Shannon's site. And if a different developer does acquire 300 South Broadway, I would hope to see a renovation into lofts.
Until then, the answer to the question in the title is "happening" but with stipulations of course which all revert back to other developers wanting to buy in. There is no doubt something will be done with the existing building but when is up in the air. I guess we'll have to wait to see how marketing goes by Cushman and Wakefield.