1.2M SF Railway Exchange Under Contract, Mixed-Use Redevelopment Planned

According to multiple nextSTL sources, Hudson Holdings, a property development and real estate management group in Delay Beach, FL, has the vacant 1.2M sf Railway
Exchange building in downtown St. Louis under contract. The historic building occupies an entire city block bordered by 6th, 7th, Locust, and Olive Streets.
Reached for comment, Hudson Partner Avi Greenbaum told nextSTL the group had been looking at the St. Louis market for some time and expressed confidence that the
downtown market would support the mixed used plan being considered. Recent development announcements are said to not impact plan for the Railway Exchange.
“We like to build best-in-class assets, not just a decent project,” Greenbaum stated. “The type of product we’re building is different than what whatever else is building.”
Asked about factors supporting the redevelopment plan, Greenbaum stated, “None of these deals would be possible without historic tax credits. We’re very grateful to the
state of Missouri and St. Louis leaders for supporting the program.” He also stated his belief that the departure of the NFL Rams will be an overall positive for the downtown
hospitality market and that the team’s presence had been a negative influence on downtown convention business.
Hudson Holdings specializes in redeveloping large mixed-use historic buildings near the urban core. As stated on the company website, “With an emphasis on downtown
historic adaptive re-use, Hudson infuses its vision and ─are to energize older, transformational assets.”
The Railway Exchange certainly fits that profile. While such expansive and historic properties have proven to be among the most difficult to redevelop, Hudson has
undertaken similar projects in Midwest markets such as Louisville, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.
While the 헴rm has completed several historic redevelopments, one stands as particularly analogous. Hudson purchased the 1M+ sf Huntington Building in downtown
Cleveland for $22M last year and have planned a $280M renovation. The 21-story building was completed in 1924.
The project plan for that massive building includes 550 apartments, 400K sf of office space, 300 high-end hotel room, 200K sf of retail, banquet and conference space and the
reopening of the building’s soaring barrel vaulted lobby. The Huntington Building project was green-lighted after receiving $25M in tax credits the state of Ohio made
available for “catalytic” historic-preservation projects.
If redevelopment plans proceed, the Railway Exchange would be the fourth historic building on a three-block stretch of Olive Street in downtown St. Louis to be given a new
life. The 538K sf Arcade Building reopened this year, and Restoration St. Louis is planning the redevelopment of Louis Sullivan’s 705 Olive building as has the adjacent chemical
Developer Brian Hayden is converting a large part of the Mid-Century Laclede Gas building into 111 apartments. It occupies a corner facing the Arcade and Chemical
buildings. Hayden is also redeveloping the Alvern building at 10th and Locust Streets into apartments, and further west the 500K sf Jefferson Arms is under contract