ST. LOUIS — Clayco is underway on Delmar Divine, a $100 million redevelopment of a long-vacated hospital campus along Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis. The 500,000-square-foot project will become “a hub for innovation and enterprise,” according to Clayco. Completion is slated for fall 2021.
The first phase will establish a nonprofit working space, a café and residential apartments. The 150 multifamily units will be geared toward professionals in fields such as social work, nursing and policing. More office space and services such as early childhood education will follow. The developers hope to attract a myriad of nonprofits, foundations and community support organizations to the project.
The name “Delmar Divine” draws a sharp contrast to how the area has historically been negatively perceived, according to Clayco. For many years, the area was referred to as the “Delmar Divide” due to racial and income stratifications that existed on the north and south ends of the street.
“We want to enhance growth and investment in this neighborhood,” says Bob Clark, executive chairman and founder of Clayco. “At the same time, we want to do it responsibly so we’re not displacing people or relocating anyone, but bringing prosperity, jobs and the type of development we think will bridge that divide.”
Maxine Clark, founder of St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear, is the visionary behind the Delmar Divine project and will lead the partnership building the project. Clark came up with the concept for the nonprofit hub after working in the Cortex Innovation Community, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Cortex offers office space, capital, mentoring and networking opportunities for businesses, and Clark wanted to create something similar for nonprofits.
CRG, the real estate development and investment arm of Clayco, will lead the planning and development. Lamar Johnson Collaborative, also a subsidiary of Clayco, will serve as architect. Clayco will lead construction management while Raineri Construction will serve as general contractor.
The project is being funded through a public-private partnership that includes state tax credits and donations, including Clark’s own funding.
Dating back to 1904, the original building of St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard is the second-oldest general hospital building in St. Louis. The facility was expanded over the years to a six-acre campus before it closed in 2013.
— Kristin Hiller