Article in the St. Louis Commerce Magazine - February 2004 - about Eric Friedman named
Realtor of the Year by the Commercial Board of the St. Louis Association of Realtors.

Article in St. Louis Business Journal about March of Dimes Building the Community Awards

Article in St. Louis Business Journal - Hats off - about Eric Friedman's unique way
to lobby legislators about the Missouri Historic Tax Credit Program.

Article in St. Louis Commerce Magazine about Realtors Available Property Database
-Commercial Information Exchange

Click here to see photos of Manufacturer's Bank at 1731 S  Broadway,
home of Lift for Life Academy.

    " Eric Friedman, president of Friedman Group, Ltd. handled the acquisition for
Lift For Life of the historic Manufacturer's Bank building at 1731 South Broadway
along with Dan Wofsey of Armstrong Teasdale, LLP.

Eric and Dan then headed up the development team that included Kimble Cohen of
Kimble Cohen Architects, Kevin Chapman, Knoebel Construction Inc., Commonwealth
Land Title, Stock Associates Surveyors and Environmental Operations.

"             May 17, 2002
            Section: BUSINESS
May 17, 2002
Page C1
  •   Charlene Prost

  •     of the Post-Dispatch
        St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

    Developers bring sweat, dreams and many thousands of dollars into 
    projects that reclaim historic properties Roy Wurst and Winston 
    Alvarez's dream of owning a business led to an abandoned, 
    vine-covered, Queen Anne-style building in Wildwood, dating to 1875. 

    Guy Slay, an executive at Slay Industries with another kind of dream, 
    ended up with a deteriorating commercial building in St. Louis, one with 
    living quarters above what was originally a saloon and later a furniture store. 

    None of the three had renovated buildings before. In fact, Alvarez 
    said that when he and Wurst first checked out the old house, known for 
    years as Pond Inn, they weren't sure it could be revived for the 
    restaurant they had in mind. "It looked so abandoned and was so 
    covered with vines," he said. " But then we said, 'Well, maybe.' "

    This week, during National Historic Preservation Week, 
    preservationists are honoring developers, business owners and others 
    who have made discarded historic buildings useful -- and often 
    revenue-producing -- again.

    Wurst and Alvarez, along with a group that saved an 1880s house in 
    Florissant, received awards Tuesday from St. Louis County Executive 
    George "Buzz" Westfall and the St. Louis County Historic Buildings 
    Commission. The Landmarks Association of St. Louis will hand out 
    11 awards today at WireWorks, a historic factory complex in Lafayette 
    Square renovated for apartments and a restaurant by Siedlund Co. and 
    Parkside Development Co. 

    Seven of the award-winning projects in the city, including WireWorks, 
    involved recycling old commercial buildings. Three of them, including 
    Slay's, are the kind that Landmarks Executive Director Carolyn Toft said 
    developers have tended to avoid: corner storefronts, once neighborhood 
    anchors, with living quarters upstairs.

    "They are very hard to adapt and reuse," Toft said. "But this year, 
    we're seeing more of them being renovated." 

    Slay said he had tackled his building, at 4266-4270 Manchester 
    Avenue, as an "aside" from his regular job. 

    "I wanted to join other folks who are doing so much to restore 
    the city," he said.

    Built in stages between 1892 and 1924, the red brick complex housed 
    Carp Department Store for years. (The store closed in 1970.) 

    Slay said he's spent about $450,000 so far, renovating the first floor 
    with its large display windows, perhaps for a restaurant. He's making
    the old living quarters upstairs into two rental apartments and 
    redoing a small attached building for commercial use. He has 
    tenants interested, but not yet signed up. 

    "It's a prominent building on a prominent corner, and we're going to 
    make it useful again," he said.

    Pyramid Construction Co. has sold most of the condominium space it 
    built into a three-story commercial building at 1901 Arsenal Street. 
    Vice President Matt O'Leary said Pyramid had spent about $800,000 
    renovating the structure with two, two-level residential condos on 
    the upper floors and two commercial condos at street level.

    "We went into this knowing we would be on the cutting edge with 
    the commercial condos," he said, "but they're selling, and in a 
    relatively short period of time."

    Developer Malcolm Wittels' finished products aren't exactly cutting-edge, 
    but he also will receive an award today for renovating and reselling two 
    historic houses at 4915 and 4925 Fountain Avenue. They are part of a 
    once-threatened enclave of houses, dating from the 1890s, that the 
    Landmarks Association has been trying to save for years. 

    Wittels and his Midtowne Development Inc. have been renovating 
    dilapidated houses in St. Louis for about 20 years. Often, he said, 
    "We just do one building at a time." 

    But he and members of his family have made the business work. 
    Wittels said he finds vacant, often-vandalized houses, "ones we can 
    buy at a reasonable cost." He works with subcontractors to renovate 

    "We have a list of people wanting renovated houses in the city, so 
    usually they are sold before they are finished," he said.

    Sometimes, he said, his company makes a profit on the houses it 
    renovates; sometimes it doesn't. 

    "I've made a living at it," he said, "but it's also a labor of love."

    © 2001 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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