Commercial Construction

Information on applying for a building permit for commercial construction.

Overview

In April, 1999, the City Building Division implemented a full scale effort to streamline the building permit process with the creation of the Business Assistance Center (BAC) Project Steward Program, a more comprehensive Preliminary Project Review process, and the One-Stop-Shop for Permits. Our goal is to significantly increase the number of same-day permits and reduce the time frame for reviewing, approving, and issuing other building permits to between 3-5 working days after the building permit application has been made. Presently, same-day permits make up about 84% of all building permits issued. The focal point of the new streamlined permit process is the One-Stop-Shop for Permits which operates out of the Building Division - Permit Section, Room 425, City Hall. The key components of the One-Stop-Shop are:   

  • Central location (front door) to process all same-day building permits as well as all routed permits.   
  • Direct link to the Business Assistance Center Project Steward Program where Business Assistance Specialists coordinate preliminary project review meetings and assist with expedited permit issuance.   
  • Professional staff assigned to review projects in historic districts and special redevelopment areas.   
  • Registered design professionals to review all building permit applications and documents, and approve all Same-Day Permits.

Preparation

All applications for building permits must be made in person in the Building Division - Permit Section, Room 425, City Hall, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is closed on all City holidays.

Applications for building permits must have the following information:
  1. The correct street address for the project;
  2. The name, street address, and phone number of the Building Owner, the Building Occupant, the design Architect and/or Engineer, and the General Contractor;
  3. The estimated construction cost for the project;
  4. The appropriate application fee, which is non-refundable; this fee may be paid by cash, check or money order.
  5. For most building permits, the following construction documents are the minimum submittals required for making application:
    1. Five (5) complete sets of the professionally prepared, sealed, signed, and dated construction drawings;
    2. Two (2) sets of the professionally prepared, sealed, signed, and dated project specifications;
    3. Two (2) sets of the design professional's sealed, signed, and dated structural calculations;
    4. Two (2) sets of the professionally prepared, sealed, signed, and dated geotechnical soils report;
    5. One (1) set of site and/or building photographs (minimum of two (2) photos).

The construction documents, construction drawings, project specifications, structural calculations and geotechnical soils report shall be prepared by a registered design professional as required by Chapter 327 of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri. All construction documents shall bear an original embossed or wet ink seal, original ink signature and the date the documents were sealed by the registered design professional for each discipline on the first sheet of each discipline within each set of construction documents, or on the cover sheet of each set of construction documents.   

In addition, all other sheets of the construction documents, other than project specifications or calculations, shall bear the original embossed, wet ink or mechanically reproduced seal, signature and date of the registered design professional. Any addenda or modifications submitted for changes to the construction shall also bear the original embossed or wet ink seal, original ink signature and date the documents were sealed. All project specifications, calculations, reports or other documents not considered to be construction drawings shall bear an original wet ink or embossed seal, original ink signature and the date the documents were signed by the registered design professional for each discipline on the title or index sheet.

Instructions

Please bring 5 sets of plans/ drawings to the Permit Office. A minimum of two pictures are also required. A design professional will decide whether or not the application may be approved the same day or routed.

Small commercial projects may be reviewed by an architect or engineer from the staff of the Plan Exam section at the "hot spot". The plan examiner will review the applicant's plans and approve or make changes. Once approved, the applicant will meet with a customer service representative who will process the permit application.

Larger commercial projects or projects that merit review by other city departments will be routed. The application fee of $25.00 will be paid and the application will be routed to necessary city departments. Depending on the type of project, these may include:  

  • Cultural Resources
  • Zoning
  • 353/99/100 redevelopment areas
The plan examiner has the discretion to route any plans brought in for application. 

What to Expect

After an application for a building permit has been filed, the Building Division- Permit Section becomes the hub for routing and recovering the project drawing from the appropriate reviewing sections, agencies and the plan examiner assigned to the project. Final building permit approval may not be given to any project until all section and agencies have returned the required written approvals to the Building Division- Permit Office.

Typically for exterior commercial construction, the routing of contract documents will include:
  1. Plan Exam review
  2. Zoning review
  3. Cultural Resources Office review
  4. Air Pollution review
  5. Street Department review
  6. Plumbing Section review
  7. Mechanical Section review

For certain projects such as restaurants, institutional or high hazard use groups, the following agencies may also be included in the review process:  

  • Board of Public Service
  • Fire Marshal
  • Plumbing Section

The Building Division - Permit Section has a goal of reviewing, approving and issuing building permits as quickly as possible, usually within 3-5 working days after the building permit application has been made; however, if there are problems with Zoning, outside agency approvals or revisions needed and/or required to the submitted construction documents, this process can be significantly extended. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that preliminary plan exam reviews occur as early as practical in the project. This can be arranged through the Building Division - Plan Exam Section or through the Business Assistance Center (BAC) Project Steward Program.

Early project reviews with a Plan Examiner help identify any problem areas with the project, if any special outside agency approvals are required and will allow Owners, Developers and Design Professionals the lead time needed to contact the appropriate agencies to review the project to insure the quickest possible turn around in obtaining the building permit when the required submittals are ready for building permit application.

Additional Information

No one package of information will be able to address every construction project, the specific needs of the owner or design professional, or the building code requirements for issuance of building permits. The best advice the Building Division can offer is to meet with the plan examiner early in the project to review the requirements for you project. For complex projects, several review meetings may be necessary. The Building Division is as interested in the project proceeding as smoothly and quickly as possible through the permit process as you are.

Contact

Permit Section

(314) 622-3313

1200 Market
Room 425
St. Louis, Mo 63103

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Hot Spot Desk 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Contact the Permit Section

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