Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Arcade Status?

What's going on with the redevelopment of the Arcade Building? According to the Post-Dispatch a few months back, developer Keith Barket was considering taking it on.

Barket holds the second deed of trust on the Arcade, and was the one who sold it to John Steffen of Pyramid. He has been involved with the Arcade since 1979 when he was part of a group that bought the land under the building.

Barket is talking with Chicago-based Centrum Partners (which, with his son Sol Barket, was part of the Crestwood Plaza deal), some joint ventures and local investors.

"The development can be done somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million," said Barket. "Whatever is done will have to be redrawn, and it would have to go dormant about a year because of the financing atmosphere."

Apparently other sources have said that the Roberts Brothers have expressed interest as well. By taking on the Arcade, they would certainly help protect their other interests in Old Post Office Square - the Orpheum, the Mayfair, Roberts Tower, Roberts Lofts and the planned Hotel Indigo.

Steffen's $132 million plan had called for 40,000 square feet of retail, condominiums and office space.

I just hope that something is happening behind the scenes. This is the type of project that could really help move downtown forward, especially from a retail perspective. It and the Chemical Building (Alexa) are the two remaining undeveloped buildings in Old Post Office Square. The good thing for any developer willing to step up to the plate is that a sizeable portion of interior demolition and other pre-construction work has already been performed.

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