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Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Bobcat'nSTL, Jul 4, 2009.
What area is this?
Looks like it needs some love from a 200 size hoe!
Haha, reminds me of what my dad always says about this kind of project - "Nothing wrong with it you couldn't fix with a D-9 Cat."
some "Love Bites"
Hi everyone. I am the brother that owns the house, err the pile of bricks conveniently arranged in the form of a house. It may not look like much, but it will be beautiful when it is done several years from now. Should provide us with work for quite a while. But it's fun and satisfying work.
This house is in the Old North St. Louis Neighborhood, a bit north of Downtown St. Louis. Basically, if you know where Crown Candy is, you know the neighborhood. The neighborhood has experienced a dramatic revitalization going from the poster child of urban decline to the poster child of urban revitalization. I work as a Community Development Specialist at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group. My schooling is in Urban Planning and Development, so basically my job is to make development happen up to the point that contractors take over and then supervise it. Our organization is a 501c3 not for profit Community Development Corporation. Together with our partners, ONSLRG has been involved in over $50 million worth of development in the past 7-8 years, including a project close to wrapping up that has renovated 27 buildings into 80 apartments and 33,000 sq. ft. of retail space. A failed pedestrian mall is also being removed and the street is being put back into place right now. Many individual rehabbers have also brought homes back to life in the neighborhood, including converting an old Ford Charcoal warehouse into a really cool loft like home and sculpture studio. By comparison to many of the buildings in the neighborhood, my house is pretty easy even with needing new roof framing and about 50% of the joists needing replacement. Some of the buildings in our development packages have actually collapsed while interior demo was underway and were rebuilt perfectly to the point that no one knows what happened. Gut rehabs doesn't even start to describe this kind of work. The best part is walking through these buildings pre-rehab and figuring out how to avoid going through the floor. I've already done it once in my house.
You may think demolition when you see these buildings, but they are one of the last remaining connections to the cultural heritage of the area, the Village of North St. Louis before it was swallowed up by the rapidly growing City of St. Louis in the mid-1800's. There are some buildings left from the 1850's, and mine is from 1873 and possibly earlier. You just can't build like this anymore. We are also in a Federal National Register Historic District, so all demolitions are scrutinized.
To answer the question on why we had tracks on the Bobcat, it's because the best price on something is free. When you are not paying, you work with what you are given. The superintendent for the construction company running our project right now is being nice to me since we have kept him employed the last 2 years. We'll have a Cat 242B this Saturday. And it's a 763, although it's only a 3 according to the machine.
So now you know way more than you ever wanted to know. Any questions?
Matt, I think it's a cool project. It does look like a lot of work but you just have to break it down to stages and it will happen. Thanks for sharing.
I find old buildings and always think it would interesting to rehab them in to something. Right now I have one that is right on the river in a small town that would be killer but the area is so depressed I can't think of how to make it profitable.
Thanks Matt, that looks like a cool project albeit, not for the faint of heart......
I'm familiar with the area, having worked on the Missouri side of the rehab of the McKinley bridge. I also worked on the reconfiguration of the Salisbury-I-70 interchange a couple of years ago.
Is that the area of North St. Louis that Paul McKee is involved? How far are you from the just let, soon to be built Mississippi river bridge?
Sorry for all of the questions, I've just been reading and hearing the buzz about the near north side for the past few years...
Paul McKee's development area is about 3 blocks to the west and 6 blocks to the south. Most of my neighborhood is not included, but a piece of the southern part is included in the first phase. We'll see if anything happens with it. I have my doubts. I'm 2 blocks west of I-70, and about 5-6 blocks north of where the new bridge will come in. I will be able to see it very clearly out my front windows. The overpass that I use to get to work and the house will be torn down in a couple weeks to be rebuilt as part of the bridge project. The bridge project should make traffic flows in the area a little interesting for a few years. I don't mind any questions at all. I love to talk about the neighborhood since many people have no idea or do not believe what is going on. We have a long way to go, but we have made great strides.
A little perspective on the area we are talking about, and the conditions that these buildings have gotten into.
Is that N. Market in this picture?
You are correct.