December 22, 2016 | Liz Austin

Redesigning old buildings isn’t just more affordable — it’s also better for business.

For developers in search of the next promising site for their project, unoccupied commercial buildings are easy to overlook or write off as more trouble than they’re worth. Redeveloping these lots, however, is not only the most eco-friendly option — it’s an incredibly lucrative one as well.

Although these projects require more thought and commitment than their start-from-scratch counterparts, the returns can be significantly higher — not only for investors, but also for the developer, the future tenants, and the entire community. Commercial redevelopment is a powerful force — it has the capacity not only to create jobs, but also to catalyze the revitalization of an entire neighborhood.

The bottom line is that redeveloping commercial lots is a wise investment. It’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly, faster than demolishing and building from scratch, and capitalizes upon pre-existing infrastructure. With that in mind, here are some of the projects Green Street has undertaken in recent years, and the positive impact those projects have had on the businesses they house and the communities that surround them.

2351 Market Street

Home to one of our most exciting new redevelopments, 2351 Market may still be a work in progress, but it has already demonstrated incredible value not only to our current tenant, but also to the St. Louis startup community at large.

Between the pre-existing high-tech infrastructure and its excellent location, our choice to rehabilitate rather than reconstruct the building was a no-brainer. Because we were able to create such a technically sophisticated space so quickly (and at such a reasonable cost), our tenant can focus on scaling its business rather than wasting time installing a reliable WiFi network and other essential tech infrastructure.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Located at 4465 Manchester Road, Urban Chestnut is a testament to the benefits of moving your company into an space that allows room for growth. After Green Street transformed what was once a paper company’s warehouse into this now beloved LEED-certified brewery and bierhall, Urban Chestnut significantly upped production. With the potential to produce 100,000 barrels per year in the not-so-distant future, their new space at 4465 Manchester promises a fruitful future for this five-year-old brewing company.

Even more impressive than the company’s output, however, is the impact it’s made on the local community. As the largest craft brewery in the St. Louis area, this project created 50 new and part-time jobs, and serves a wide range of beer-loving clientele, from local college students to couples looking to enjoy a night out.

8455 Maryland Drive

At Green Street, we practice what we preach. So it should come as no surprise that our home office is located in one of the wonderful buildings we’ve renovated. What was once the Mini Cooper of St. Louis car dealership is now our home, a home we share with two other wonderful commercial tenants.

At Green Street, we’re committed to sustainability and the challenge of redevelopment, so redesigning 8455 Maryland Drive to fit our needs allowed us to flex our creativity while adhering to our mission statement. The location is convenient and highly visible, and because we renovated rather than building from the ground up, we even have a three-story parking structure out back, courtesy of the original infrastructure.

By inhabiting our own building as tenants, Green Street is better able to empathize with the needs of the businesses we partner with, as well as the neighborhoods they serve. After all, we understand that the impact of such a project isn’t reserved to the commercial occupant alone. Breathing life into an old lot doesn’t just revitalize a business — it also has the potential to revitalize the entire community surrounding it.

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