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C. F. Vatterott Building Five Homes on the Former Site of Historic Charless School

in Companies/News

Ground was broken Sept. 29 for Charless Village, a five-home development in the city of St. Louis on the former site of the historic Charless school. These are the first new-construction homes to be built in the near-southside neighborhood of McKinley Heights in over 25 years.


Construction of the first of the energy-efficient new homes to be constructed by long-time St. Louis housing leader C.F. Vatterott is under way on Shenandoah Avenue six blocks south of Interstate 44, in the City’s 7th Ward. The two-story, three-bedroom, three-bath, 1,598-square-foot homes designed for families are priced from the $210,000s, said Greg Vatterott Jr., Vice-President with Vatterott. “These new homes will expand the supply of quality housing in the neighborhood and should spur additional new development of other currently nearby vacant ground that could dramatically improve this part of McKinley Heights.” 

The homes will have brick elevations historically consistent with the neighborhood, but will feature modern open floor plans, full basements, two-car garages and high-efficiency systems as well as 9-foot first- and second-floor ceiling heights. Buyers of the homes will benefit from tax abatement, further increasing their affordability. Two of the five homes will even feature main floor master suites, with one fully accessible – something quite rare in the city.


The ground was formerly the site of the Charless Elementary School, built in 1895, which was torn down in the late 1980’s prior to when Vatterott purchased the property. The site is within one mile of three city parks, and a block away from McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, one of the city’s premier magnet schools.

Funding for construction of the new homes is provided in part by the St. Louis Community Development Agency (CDA) and will utilize Missouri Neighborhood Preservation Act tax credits to make these homes even more affordable.

Tarlton Holds “Sporting Pink-Let’s Build a Cure,” For Breast Cancer Awareness

in Companies/News

Construction crews and employees of Tarlton Corp. turned construction job sites into a plethora of pink on Friday, October 7, in a company-wide display of unity in support of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Tarlton Team at 40 North Euclid, a commercial construction site for a mixed-use building by The Koman Group, joined hundreds of Tarlton employees, staff and subcontractors  throughout St. Louis and the Midwest region as part of Tarlton’s “Sporting Pink–Let’s Build a Cure,” initiative.

The event topped off Tarlton’s “Pedal the Cause,” campaign, in which the firm has been a sponsor and participant since 2010, raising a lifetime total of nearly $35,500. Team Tarlton hopes to boost that amount in 2016 through Sporting Pink–Let’s Build a Cure and other donations.

HOK’s Pedal the Cause Cycling Team Raises More Than $4,000 for Cancer Research

in Companies/News

HOK’s annual Pedal for the Cause cycling team raised more than $4,000 for cancer awareness and research at Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  The Sept. 24-25, 2016 ride was led by Tom Bahr, an avid cyclist and an architect on HOK’s design team for the Campus Renewal Project for BJC Barnes-Jewish Hospital, BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.   HOK’s eight-person team cycled more than 140 combined miles.  Bahr was joined on the team by the three managing principals of HOK’s St. Louis office—Lance Cage, Eli Hoisington and Angelo Arzano—as well as Alyse Garbisch, Gabe Garrett, Tim Gaidis and Bob Schwartz.

“This ride gave us an opportunity to raise money for St. Louis-based funding for cancer research, discovery grants and clinical care,” said Arzano. “And we enjoyed seeing each other outside of the office to participate in a fun, healthy activity. It was a win-win for all of us.”

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

S. M. Wilson & Co. Completes Construction of $12 Million Assisted Living Community Expansion at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria

in Companies/News

S. M. Wilson & Co. has completed construction of a $12 million expansion to its assisted living community and a new REACH short stay rehabilitation center at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria. The three-story, 38,000 square foot addition includes 24 new assisted living apartments and 24 short stay rehabilitation private rooms.

“Both new areas will provide space for innovation and compassionate care,” said Shelly Heiden, Executive Director of Lutheran Hillside Village.  “Planned and constructed with thought to convenience and comfort, the new apartments and short stay rehabilitation rooms will allow us to grow our mission to help older adults in the greater Peoria area to live life to the fullest.”

The project began in April 2015, and represents the first phase of a two-phase building program that also includes renovations to the existing skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care assisted living areas, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy rooms and dining areas.  The second phase is scheduled for completion in late 2017.

Lutheran Hillside Village is a continuing care retirement community located at 6901 N. Galena Road in Peoria.  Part of Lutheran Senior Services, Lutheran Hillside Village offers five levels of senior living services on a 37-acre campus.  For more information, visit

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis.

Port Official from New Orleans Highlights Economic Growth Opportunities for St. Louis Region

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Groundwork laid for Memorandum of Understanding between Port of New Orleans and St. Louis

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie
Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie

Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange joined Bi-State Development and the St. Louis Regional Freightway to host an insightful forum that called attention to the tremendous economic growth opportunities for the St. Louis region through the Inland Port System.  More than 70 of the St. Louis region’s leading manufacturers, shippers, logistic experts and economic development professionals were on hand on September 28 to hear from LaGrange. He has been at the helm of the Port of New Orleans since 2001 helping to position it as the number one port for logistics in America and the fastest growing U.S. port for container on barge shipments.

St. Louis Regional Freightway Executive Director Mary Lamie opened the forum by noting the purpose of the event was to learn. “We are thrilled to have Gary here today to learn how we can best coordinate his supply chain with our supply chain.” The information shared during the forum revealed the desire for increased coordination is mutual, and would be mutually beneficial.

LaGrange’s leadership brought the Port of New Orleans back into operation only two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005 to become the most extensive natural disaster in U.S. history to date. Also, under LaGrange’s direction, the Port of New Orleans has made great expansions in spite of great adversity—including opening new, state-of-the art container, cruise and refrigerated terminals. Over the past decade, a total of $500 million has been invested in the Port of New Orleans, and it today is responsible for 165,000 jobs in the state of Louisiana, and a total of 380,000 jobs in the U.S. While he has championed the port’s growth, LaGrange made it clear the growth at his port, and future growth around freight movement through the ports in the bi-state region, are already intrinsically connected. “The St. Louis region is the envy of the barge industry. Located in the heart of the nation and strategically positioned at the northernmost ice-free and lock-free point on the Mississippi River,” LaGrange said.

“Five-hundred million tons of cargo move through our port because of you,” LaGrange said. “We are the largest single port system in the world. Out of nearly 400 ports in the United States, we’re the only single port that has the Mississippi River and its tributaries, which combined offer 14,500 miles of navigable waterways.”

He noted those waterways are already being well utilized, but it is often to transport empty containers. LaGrange said 50 percent of the barge containers that travel from St. Louis down the Mississippi River to New Orleans are empty before they are either reloaded with cargo at New Orleans or shipped empty.

While they still want and need some empty containers, there are growing opportunities for more of them to be loaded in the St. Louis region and upriver regions with fertilizers, phosphates, animal foods and other products that there is growing demand for overseas.

LaGrange said 80 percent of the product coming into the Port of New Orleans is ultimately bound for the St. Louis region or the Midwest. But the products do not always travel directly up the Mississippi River to get to their destinations. He cited for example, the Port of New Orleans is the nation’s largest importer of rubber, but the St. Louis region gets its rubber from the East Coast instead of having it come directly from the Port of New Orleans. And while automobile manufacturing plants currently have parts shipped in by rail from the East Coast to Missouri, there is no reason those products could not be transported by water, rail or truck from the Port of New Orleans.

Largely in response to consumer demand for various products, the Port of New Orleans saw a 16.7 percent growth in container cargo traffic just last year, and that growth is expected to continue. Fifteen to 18 percent of the growth from the Panama Canal expansion alone is expected to come through the gulf ports, including Port of New Orleans, and LaGrange estimates that could translate to a total of 5 million new TEUs* for the gulf ports.  And LaGrange notes that with the potential for an all water route to and from Asia through the Panama Canal directly into New Orleans, their container on barge growth opportunities could be unlimited. There’s no question that growth at the Port of New Orleans can trigger growth on the inland waterways here in the St. Louis region. To capitalize on that growth, LaGrange stated that the St. Louis region needs to “Go beyond thinking outside the box, to actually creating a new box.”

Colin Wellenkamp, executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, also spoke at the event, and he saluted the St. Louis Regional Freightway and its executive director Mary Lamie for doing exactly what LaGrange was advocating. “What Mary is doing is unique. I’m responsible for 10 states and we don’t see what you are doing anywhere else,” said Wellenkamp, who added that while other cities and towns along the Mississippi River may not be engaging to grow their freight industries in the same way the St. Louis region is, they are paying attention to the St. Louis Regional Freightway is doing.

Aimee Anders, executive director of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc., the trade association for the nation’s inland waterway, port and terminal professionals, was also on hand to share her insight with the group. “The collaborative partnerships here really enhance the St. louis region’s ability to move freight for the entire nation,” she said.

Among the ideas discussed to foster even greater collaboration and really leverage the connection between the Port of New Orleans and the St. Louis region is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two entities. Lamie and LaGrange will be regrouping in short order to hammer out the details of what such an understanding would look like, but they concurred that it must include measurable deliverables for both parties, and that branding and jointly marketing the St. Louis region’s multimodal assets, the Port of New Orleans multimodal assets and the St. Louis region’s direct connection to the Port of New Orleans, should be key components.  Among the assets the St. Louis region offers are six Class I railroads with international market access (the same six that also operate at Port of New Orleans), the third largest inland port, two international cargo airports and four interstates that provide national access.

John Nations, president and CEO of Bi-State Development, took a few moments to comment on the significance of the forum, its attendees and the work being spearheaded by the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the newest Bi-State Development enterprise.  “We have the best of St. Louis region represented here today,” he said. “The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a great example of good cooperation for real progress.”

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director of America’s Central Port, which was the presenting sponsor of the forum along with supporting sponsor Ingram Barge, urged the crowd to embrace its role as ambassadors. “All of you sitting here are ambassadors for this region and this effort,” he said. “It is all of our responsibilities to talk about the great things that are happening here.” 

Bi-State Development (BSD) operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district, and operates Bi-State Development Research Institute. BSD is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 391 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 77 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. 

*Note: The twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks. 

Photo Above: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie

Accella Donates Eco-Friendly Product for Wellston’s New Trojan Park Playground

in Companies/News

St. Louis-based Accella Polyurethane Systems, has donated its Tru-Motion™ product to develop the new Trojan Park Playground, located in Wellston, MO.  The former vacant lot is undergoing a complete transformation into a state-of-the-art playground, using an all pour-in-place safety binder thanks to the efforts of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Great Rivers Greenway, and their contributors.  Accella’s Tru-Motion products provide an eco-friendly, highly durable, visually appealing ground surface that covers the entire span of the playground’s flooring.

Installers were able to cover the 1-acre-sized park with the rubberized material.  All parties involved with the construction of Trojan Park are eagerly awaiting its unveiling and opening celebration on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Through the Parks Build Community initiative, the NRPA selects a location to restore a park in the host city of its annual conference.  This year, the NRPA decided to take on a new challenge – creating a park from scratch for the first time. The NRPA’s 2016 convention is being held in St. Louis, and the suburb of Wellston was chosen as a prime location to create a revitalized gathering place for youth, families, and adults.

IMPACT Strategies Completes Belleville Police Department Headquarters, Begins Renovations to City Hall

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Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies announced it completed construction earlier this summer on the City of Belleville’s new

$15.8 million police department headquarters, located at 720 W. Main Street. Department personnel moved from 101 S. Illinois Street, the former building it shared with City Hall, to its new location earlier last month. With all personnel and offices vacated, IMPACT Strategies has begun asbestos remediation and demolition as part of a major renovation project at City Hall that will be ongoing until spring of 2017.

Belleville City Hall
Belleville City Hall

IMPACT began working with the City of Belleville early last spring in an effort to provide a solution for the outdated, overcrowded building that housed police headquarters and City Hall offices since 1957. With the City having purchased the 44,000-square-foot building at 720 W. Main St., IMPACT Strategies undertook reconstructing the building’s interior, transforming it into a new, state-of-the-art police department with a forensics lab, dispatch center, sally port, community classroom, 9-1-1 emergency call center, and storm safety areas for prisoners and employees. IMPACT also built an adjacent parking garage with enough room to accommodate a large number of police cruisers and a maintenance area for city vehicles.

With the completion of the police headquarters project, work is now underway to help to expand and modernize Belleville’s existing City Hall facilities. The project’s first phase involves the removal of asbestos throughout the building, as well as changes to its exterior and interior to make it ADA accessible. Renovations also include updates to the main administration areas on the first and second floors, significant security enhancements in Council Chambers, and the addition of a balcony in Council Chambers to provide increased seating capacity. The renovation project is costing the City approximately $2.5 million. IMPACT collaborated with The Lawrence Group Architects of St. Louis, Inc., for both City projects.

Mayor Mark Eckert said, “IMPACT Strategies did outstanding work on the renovation of the new police department, diligently working to ensure that no detail was overlooked and that we remained operational without any disruption to police business and the emergency call center. I am confident they will complete the City Hall project with the same efficiency and professionalism, and with as little disruption as possible to City business. In the end, we’ll have a facility that will much better serve the needs of our citizens.”

IMPACT Strategies, Inc. specializes in Retail, Commercial, Medical, Senior Housing and Education construction and offers comprehensive construction services including design-build, general contracting, construction management and pre-construction management.

Hicor Group to Handle First Phase of Renovations at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site in St. Louis

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Scott Joplin RagtimeThe Hicor Group will begin a series of updates to the Scott Joplin House and Rosebud Cafe in St. Louis next month. The project is the first phase of a long range historic renovation program being planned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Upgrades to the buildings will include tuck-pointing, a new period correct cedar shake roof and metal coping along with a flat roof replacement.

CMT Roofing, Crossroads Roofing and McDonnell Building Sealants will work in conjunction with The Hicor Group as part of the project. Hicor will self-perform the demolition, carpentry and other miscellaneous repair work on the project. Work is scheduled for completion in November.

The Scott Joplin House is a Missouri State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark that is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 2658 Delmar, it is estimated to have been built during the Civil War and is typical of the tenant row houses built in the City during that period.  Scott Joplin lived there from 1901-1903.

“We are honored to be a part of the long range preservation of this historic gem in our community,” said Andrew Stafford, President of The Hicor Group.  “Our previous work, including the current renovation of a large historic house at 3201 Washington into our future company headquarters, will be invaluable to maintaining the historic accuracy and integrity of the Scott Joplin House.”

Stafford also said The Hicor Group looks to continue to build on the recent success they’ve enjoyed on state construction projects, including playing a significant role in the construction of Echo Bluff State Park. The $52 million project was completed in July and opened this summer as one of Missouri’s premier state parks.

The Hicor Group is a minority certified (MBE) General Contractor that specializes in commercial construction and historic preservation work.  The company also provides construction management, general contracting and carpentry services.  Founded in 2014, The Hicor Group is an SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chameleon Integrated Services (Chameleon).

The Hicor Group’s office is currently located inside Chameleon’s headquarters at the Barnett on Washington building at 3207 Washington.  For more information on The Hicor Group, visit

S. M. Wilson to Build New Residence Independent Living Building at the Tallgrass Creek Community in Overland Park

in Companies/News

S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by Erickson Living to build 108 new independent living apartments at the Tallgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas. The location of the apartments will be in a new residence building, to be called Hummingbird Square. This will be an 110,000 square foot, four-story structure adjacent to a picturesque courtyard. A weatherproof enclosed walkway will connect the new building to the Audubon Clubhouse.

Other features of the new addition will include an underground parking garage for 74 cars and an adjacent surface lot with 65 parking spaces. A new turnaround will also be added at the main entrance of the campus.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017.  S. M. Wilson will provide General Contracting services.  Architect for the project is Lantz-Boggio Architects.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis.  S. M. Wilson is one of the largest general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area.  The company posted $305 million in 2015 revenues, and ranks 220th in Engineering News-Record’s 2016 list of Top 400 commercial contractors nationwide. For more information, visit www.smwilson .com.

McGrath Completes Construction Of New Girl Scouts Science & Engineering Program Center

in Companies/News/Uncategorized

GSA E. MO 2McGrath & Associates has completed construction on the expansion of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri headquarters at 2306 Ball Drive in Maryland Heights. The new Berges Family Girl Scouts Program Center houses programs that are focused on STEM careers, health and money management. Oculus Inc. was the architect. Landmark Contract Management was the owner’s representative.
McGrath constructed the 6,500-square-foot one-story facility in an existing space adjacent to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri headquarters. The new program center includes a robotics lab, science area, demonstration kitchen and program studio. Design features include suspended lighting, acoustical ceiling “clouds” and a glass feature wall.

“McGrath has been a tremendous partner in taking our ideas and working with us to bring them into fruition,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. “The result is more than a space, it’s an environment that will nurture girl leadership development for years to come.”

The Program Center is the first of its kind for the organization, according to Barczykowski. GSEM has more than 43,000 girl members and 15,000 adult members in St. Louis City and 28 surrounding counties.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983. 

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