A view of 1520 S. Vandeventer, as seen on December 2014. Located in the industrial sector of the Botanical Heights neighborhood (formerly known as McRee Town), the property is within the Liggett and Myers National Historic District. It had been formerly occupied by the National Cylinder Gas Company from 1938 to 1960. A Phase I report suggested potential contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons and other hazardous substances in both soil and groundwater, citing previous metal fabrication activities and a 6,000-gallon underground storage tank (UST).
An aerial view of part of the Botanical Heights neighborhood’s industrial area. The 1520 S. Vandeventer property is highlighted in red. The Phase I report identified the potential for further contamination originating from other properties in the area. An adjoining property to the east and northeast was of particular interest; it had operated as a manufacturing facility from 1938 to 1957. One UST and seventeen “chemical” tanks had been installed on that site.
Phase II analytical testing identified gasoline constituents on the property. Soil samples indicated 1,2,4 trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5 trimethylbenene, benzene, n-hexane, total xylenes and TPH-GRO contamination above both MRBCA default target levels (DTLs) and Tier 1 Residential risk-based target levels (RBTLs). Other soil contaminants included arsenic, lead, and PAHs. 1,2,4 trimethylbenzene and 1,3,5 trimethylbenene were also detected above both target levels in the groundwater; benzene, naphthalene, and other VOCs were present in the groundwater as well.
The $1.35m renovation of 1520 S. Vandeventer was part of a larger ongoing effort to redevelop the city’s central corridor. The 12,000 sq ft office building was sought after by Gadellnet Consulting Services, a relatively young and locally-headquartered IT consulting firm. Gadellnet had outgrown its Clayton office, and was looking for a larger location with the intention of hiring dozens of new employees. Being located near the Cortex innovation district was a vital selling point for Gadellnet.
The Urban Improvement Company (UIC), a St. Louis-based firm that specializes in architecture, urban design, real estate development and other services, played an integral part in the site’s redevelopment. UIC had already invested tens of millions in the Cortex district, and had agreed to purchase the building and share ownership with Gadellnet.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development helped put together a strategic incentive package for the redevelopment effort, provided that Gadellnet would seek to meet specific criteria for job creation and investment. The St. Louis Regional Chamber entered into a partnership with Gadellnet to assist in making the effort possible. Gadellnet also received Missouri historic tax credits to aid the restoration process. Final renovations for the site were completed in the summer of 2014, and Gadellnet has begun operating in their new location.
Completed in 2014, Gadellnet became part of the City of St. Louis’ reinvention as a hub for entrepreneurial tech startups. The St. Louis region has seen impressive growth in the IT and technology sectors, with multi-million dollar investments growing rapidly in recent years. Gadellnet is ready to play its part in attracting more tech and creative business to the St. Louis area and the Show Me State.