The Post-Dispatch is reporting that work on the Roberts Tower appears to have come to a halt, as contractors on the project are still awaiting payment and not a single unit has been reserved at this point.
With this project in a state of flux, perhaps the Roberts Brothers will reconsider their ill-conceived plans to build a Hotel Indigo one block to the east. Those plans involved the demolition of two historic buildings to make room for an unnecessary driveway and entry canopy at 10th and Locust.
In my opinion, a win-win for the Roberts Brothers and downtown as a whole would have the Roberts Brothers building a scaled-back hotel in the former St. Louis Design Center building at 917 Locust while selling off the buildings at 919 and 923 Locust to developers who would renovate them. Under such a scenario, the Roberts Brothers would still get their hotel (at a lower cost) and two historic structures would be saved, preserving the street wall in the 900 block of Locust.
And, really, is the hotel even necessary? According to one expert, it's not: Link
The surrounding blocks, which have received a lot of redevelopment in recent months, would benefit not only from the hotel, but from the presence of the retail tenants and office workers and/or residents in the buildings that would be preserved.
I sincerely hope they consider a change of plans. If not, my fear is that all of the vacant Roberts-owned buildings in the 900 block of Locust will continue to remain vacant for some time, impeding the progress that has been made around them.
Update 1/25: Building Blocks is reporting that construction activity has resumed at the Roberts Tower.