December 27, 2016 | Liz Austin

Commercial redevelopment could go a long way towards revitalizing communities in the St. Louis area.

While some might interpret empty commercial lots as postmarks of a neighborhood in decline, Green Street sees only their future viability. While it’s true that many St. Louis neighborhoods have struggled in recent decades as once-dominant industries have moved elsewhere, at Green Street we see vacant lots for their potential, not their history.

To restore these abandoned neighborhoods to their former glory, Green Street repurposes old industrial buildings for new clients, transforming empty lots into thriving businesses. In turn, these newly occupied buildings have brought the bustle of commercial activity back to blocks that have been vacant for years, or even decades. Here are a few examples of redevelopment projects that Green Street has undertaken to get St. Louis neighborhoods humming again.

Green Park Broadway

From dilapidated repair facility to LEED-certified multi-use office, to say Green Park Broadway’s transformation is impressive is an understatement. Retaining as much of the original structure as possible, Green Street put environmentally sustainable practices into action to reimagine this space, which now houses two companies: Goedecke Equipment Company and Raben Tire and Auto Service.

Even more significant than the benefits this revamped space has provided our partners, however, is the impact the project has had on the local community. During construction, we were able to generate more than 100 temporary jobs — that’s 100 people coming into work every day, patronizing nearby businesses and stimulating the local economy. Once construction was finished, 40 new permanent jobs were created, in large part thanks to our phenomenal partners. All in all, the project has significantly contributed to commercial growth in the North Riverfront Business Corridor.

Jefferson Commons

Another wonderful example of creative reuse is Jefferson Commons, which was designated 2013’s City of St. Louis Development of the Year. Once an abandoned grocery store, Green Street envisioned Jefferson Commons as the perfect opportunity to bring a much-needed affordable retail space to the Gate District. Now, tenants include Save-A-Lot, H&R Block, Upscale Beauty Supply, and Fit City, with Subway and Wing Zone occupying a 3,300-square-foot out-lot we constructed on the property.

Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without the local community’s support. And we’re trying to pay that forward — not only did Green Street create 80 new jobs with this project, but we also provided an economically struggling neighborhood and in need of quality food options with a fresh, affordable grocer, as well as other important services and amenities.

Without our expert redesign of the infrastructure the previous tenant left behind, this project would have been much more expensive and time-consuming, not to mention significantly less eco-friendly. But thanks to our creative, highly talented team of developers, we were able to create a space in which both our tenants and the community members they serve can thrive.

River City Business Park

Although River City Business Park is still under construction, we’re looking forward to its becoming our next big community impact project. Formerly known as the Carondelet Coke facility, this property was one of the largest and most polluted areas of continuous vacant land in St. Louis — that is, until Green Street stepped in to revitalize it.

Rehabilitation hasn’t been easy, since there was so much chemical residue left over from the building’s previous owners; but we’ve persevered, transforming the lot into an LEED-certified business park. We’re currently accepting tenants for this space, a state-of-the-art brownfield site with the full suite of business park amenities. As with all of our projects in emerging neighborhoods, we look forward to seeing how this business park will help the surrounding community grow.

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