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Hicor Group Moves Into New Grand Center Headquarters After Completing $1.1 Million Renovation Of Historic Washington Avenue Residence

in Companies/News

The Hicor Group, a minority certified (MBE) Contractor based in St. Louis, has moved its headquarters into the former Bronson Residence, a 132-year-old Late Victorian home listed on the National Historic Register at 3201 Washington Avenue, after completing an extensive $1.1 million historic renovation.  The renovation began in April 2016 after the building had been left in a state of disrepair for many years and included significant interior and exterior upgrades.

The focus of the project centered around the interior finishes of the building. Special attention was paid to repairing the original plaster moldings on the ceilings and walls along with meticulously preserving and restoring the vast amount of original millwork and casework throughout the building. Utilizing their recently acquired millwork reproduction capabilities, the Hicor Group was able to recreate a considerable amount of historically accurate wood windows for the project.

“The biggest challenge was creating an updated commercial office space while maintaining the historical accuracy of the building,” said Andrew Stafford, President of the Hicor Group.  New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were also an important aspect of the project to convert the former residential building into a functional commercial space.

“We do have a vast amount of experience throughout our organization when it comes to historic restoration work. This project created the opportunity for us to showcase our capabilities while at the same time meeting our need for growth and giving us a distinct facility to house our corporate offices,” said Stafford. “The uniqueness of this space has created an energetic and creative environment for us to work in and enjoy.”

Three levels of the interior have been converted into commercial offices. The back yard of the house, once a historically significant Japanese garden, has been converted into an outdoor meeting and event space with lighting, décor and amenities suitable for small to medium size gatherings.

The Washington Avenue property was redeveloped by Acree-Kelley LLC, which bought the house in 2014.  The property is located next to the former Central States Life Insurance Building, now known as the Barnett on Washington, at 3207 Washington.  Drew Acree and Jeff Kelley of Acree-Kelley LLC are also co-founders of Chameleon Integrated Services and managing partners of The Hicor Group.  Chameleon provides Information Technology support services to agencies and organizations worldwide.

The Hicor Group provides carpentry, concrete, and general contracting services to multiple facets of the construction market here in St Louis and throughout Missouri. Founded in 2014, the company is a MBE and an SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).  Stafford, a ten-year veteran construction industry, is President. For more information on The Hicor Group, visit www.thehicorgroup.com.

Founded in 2003, Chameleon is a minority and SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).  

HDA Architects Completes Dramatic New Event Space in Grand Center

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HDA Architects recently completed Anew (A Rooftop Event Space for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri). The $3.7 million project is in the heart of St. Louis’ Grand Center and has a rooftop restaurant that is 4,250 square feet and features a glass-enclosed dining room, a 10-seat bar and an outdoor terrace.

“Conceived as a gathering space to promote and cultivate relationships, the ANEW Rooftop is a modern addition perched atop the historical Woolworth building, now owned and operated by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. The stout, Art Deco styled masonry of the existing building provides a wonderful contrast to the minimalist and light aesthetic of the rooftop. This old/new juxtaposition creates an exciting dynamic, exemplary of the Grand Center district.”​

The Big Brother Big Sisters Rooftop project consists of a 3,000 SF retail space, a 4,250 SF rooftop space with a 2,250 SF terrace. Sitting atop the existing Big Brothers Big Sisters offices (previously the Woolworths Building) at Grand and Olive, the new addition is a sleek, modern compliment to the existing architecture. Folded planes of wood, glass and metal create a dynamic form that is purposefully perched to create a moment of drama by overhanging the existing building. Floor to ceiling glazing helps visually extend the interior space outward to the roof terrace and views beyond. The retail space on the ground floor provides the connection from the ground to the rooftop and can be programmed as an event space, café / restaurant, or exhibition space.

There were many challenges with this project. Besides the difficulties of building on the roof of an existing building, the greatest challenge was working over the existing structure of the building. During the Woolworth Building’s previous 2007 renovation, many of the building columns were removed to accommodate the theater needs of the Kranzberg Arts Center. Thus, the position and layout of the building is driven by the locations of the remaining columns capable of carrying the new roof loads to the ground.

Team Members​:

​Architect: HDA Architects

Contractor: BSI Constructors

Electrical Contractor: ​Bell Electric

Mechancial Contractor: ​Jarrell

Structural Engineer: KPFF​

Owners Rep / Project Manager: Gabriel Project Management

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