By. Chris Stritzel
Despite previous news reports of Dallas Texas based Alterra International (the ones who are going to restore the Jefferson Hotel), an Indianapolis based developer wants to demolish the historic Butler Brothers building at 18th and Olive. The Company, AF Development, requested a demolition permit from the City without going to the Preservation Board to prevent "troubles of getting this junker taken down". When I asked why they have been so quiet about their ambitions and why they would want to take this down, they had one answer for me. That answer was "Paul McKee wants to continue his successful development of the Northside Regeneration development and pull it into the Downtown core by tackling this block sized building".
According to the company, the plan is to build the world's first Walmart/Sam's Club building on this lot with surface/under ground parking. The building would stand four floors tall with the Sam's Club store being on the lower two floors while Walmart rests on top. On the roof, a green roof garden will lie and will be for employees only. They also wish to put a gas station at 17th and Olive for Sam's members only. Walmart declined to comment on this development.
"We think this development will truly bring retail back to downtown St. Louis in a very unique way that has never been done before." says April of AF development, "We will be going to the City's Board of Aldermen to request a TIF worth $18 Million to pay for the underground garage and parking as well as sidewalk repairs. The entire development, we hope, should cost $125 Million". Ms. April went on to say, "If all goes well, Paul McKee will acquire the property this week and we can begin demolition by the first week of May!" Even though Ms. April Fools, the founder of A.F. development sounded optimistic, she did stress, "Even though St. Louis will lose a landmark building, we hope the new development is one to get excited about. It is a worthy replacement and with a trust worthy developer like Paul McKee, anything is possible. Just look at Northside!"
What April doesn't understand is that Paul McKee is a joke himself with absolutely nothing done to Northside since acquiring the land with the exception of demolishing the historic Clemens Mansion.
We hope everyone has a great Easter and April Fools Day! THANK THE RISEN CHRIST THIS WONT HAPPEN!