Article in the St. Louis Commerce Magazine - February 2004 - about Eric Friedman named" May 17, 2002
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.
" PRESERVATIONISTS HONOR THOSE WHO BRING NEW LIFE INTO OLD
May 17, 2002
Edition: FIVE STAR LIFT
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