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New Investment on North Grand

July 17, 2010

Grand Center has been on a great roll this year and the whole area has seen dramatic improvement in my opinion.  While driving down Grand recently I was pointed out a newly rehabed building at Grand and Windsor Place just past the northern limits of Grand Center.  Justine Petersen recently renovated and moved into the Olivia building at 1023 North Grand.  The organization “helps low and moderate income families and individuals buy homes and build financial assets for the long term” which sounds to me like something that is good to have around.  Its building is the former home of The School of Social Economy (affiliated with Washington University).  Jones and Henderson’s Business College also called the Olivia Building home.

Ad for the Olivia Building May 18th 1903

Because of the building’s history, I am unhappy with the current owners for removing the original name (Google Streetview shows the building in its recent dilapidated state).

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1023 North Grand could read Olivia Building

The building has a lot of neighbors that could really use a renovation, and adding activity to the block is a really positive infusion of needed momentum to this dead zone that separates Midtown from North City.  Its bike rack, added to the fact that Grand has the best bus service in the city, really boosts the place’s attractiveness.

Bike Rack and Grand Bus

More projects close by have been recently completed or are in the works.  Just one block away, at Grand and Finney, another rehab was completed recently.  Two years ago the building was boarded up and not being used.

Grand and Finney - Summer 2008

Now it is in much better shape and had a clothing store in one of it’s Grand facing storefronts when I drove past today.

C.W. Fashion

Another couple of blocks away is a great example of the kind of infill we need just about everywhere in St. Louis.

PNC Bank on Page

This two-story building that faces Page half a block East of Grand is home to a branch of PNC National Bank, a refreshing site in an area with far too many storefronts advertising payday loans and surrounded by surface parking in every direction.  Grand is in pretty bad shape around this area but I see it improving.  Maybe the next renovation will be for the Douglas E Kelly Community Resource Center – advertised here 2 years ago.

1027 North Grand

Whatever it is, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next development to report on.

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