Developers aim to preserve and enhance many of the original architectural details in what is said to be the strongest building of its kind in St. Louis
The historic Witte Hardware Building – located at 707 N. Second Street on Laclede’s Landing – is undergoing a $2 million renovation by Creve Coeur-based Drury Development Corporation. The improvements aim to meet the evolving needs of the existing tenants, while also attracting others who will appreciate the renovated building’s blend of historic details and modern conveniences, along with its exceptional location in St. Louis City’s oldest district and only riverfront entertainment/dining destination.
The historic building was originally a warehouse distribution facility for Witte Hardware, an exclusive wholesale hardware business that operated on The Landing from 1849 to 1975. It served that purpose for 73 years, before being converted into office and restaurant space. The office space in the building is serving as home to a variety of tenants in the fields of financial services, engineering, marketing, logistics and technology. Opportunities abound for growing companies with over 25,000 square feet of office space available, including the entire 6th floor. The ground floor, former home to the popular Hannegan’s Restaurant, has been set aside for a new restaurant concept or two with a smaller footprint more consistent with today’s dining experience. Renovations to the 80,000-square-foot building began in September 2017, and the first phase of renovations is scheduled to be completed by spring 2018.
Renovations in progress include a complete makeover of the main common areas, including new key card entrances, tiled lobby area, modernization of the elevators, upgraded conference rooms and new restrooms, as well as new carpet and furnishings in the common areas to foster collaboration for individuals working in the office spaces. A new dock and tenant entry directly from the dedicated, attended parking lot at the rear of the office building will feature a full glass storefront entry, new canopy, and enhanced lighting. The second phase of renovations will be focused on reducing the energy footprint of the building, with new energy-efficient roof-top HVAC units, all new digital VAV boxes, and all new LED lighting throughout the building.
“We believe that this project is helping return Laclede’s Landing to the vibrant live-work-play neighborhood it once was, while providing people the opportunity to work in a truly one-of-a-kind historic structure,” said Tom Milford, Drury Development Corporation.
Built in 1902 of timber, bricks and cement, The Witte Building is said to be the strongest building of its kind in St. Louis. Recognizing the particular appeal of the building’s history, during the renovation, many of the original architectural details are being preserved and enhanced, including:
- The building’s original, massive, 16-inch-wide cedar timber columns
- The six-story atrium that allows for natural light on every floor of the building
- Exposed timber in all the office spaces
- Restored trademark signage on the south side of the building. (The “Witte IXL Square” trade-mark was placed on only high quality hardware and was an indicator the product was backed with a guarantee of satisfaction.)
- Ornate doors with leaded glass that provide a dramatic backdrop for the office spaces on the west side of the building
- Two original locking vaults, another spot inside the building where the distinctive Witte trademark logo is present
“We’re excited to see the thoughtful transformation taking place in the Witte Building and believe it will be a great location for businesses to grow and flourish,” noted John Clark, president of Laclede’s Landing Community Improvement District. “This project is the latest in a series of exciting developments underway on The Landing and it helps to reinforce that this district is the full package, featuring not only amazing dining and entertainment venues, but also affordable, modern and convenient office space just steps from the river and iconic Gateway Arch. With the dramatic renovations to the Arch Grounds complete and now more easily accessible from The Landing, and the new museum set to open by summer of 2018, we fully anticipate this section of the St. Louis riverfront is going to be THE place to be.”
Laclede’s Landing is downtown St. Louis’ oldest district and only riverfront entertainment/dining destination. The nine-block area features unique restaurants, bars, and nightclubs as well as a variety of retail shops, attractions, and businesses. Just steps away from the Gateway Arch, Laclede’s Landing offers a historical experience with charming cobblestone streets and century-old buildings overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.