Long-vacant historic property in Central West End hits the market

The Central West End’s Second Baptist Church property, vacant since 2006, is on the market for $3 million.

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The structure, at 500 N. Kingshighway Blvd., totals nearly 40,000 square feet, and it’s being marketed with 4950 Washington Blvd., a parcel that includes a half-acre parking lot with room for 50 spaces.

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The current owner, Chippewa Lofts LLC, bought the property five or six years ago from Pete Rothschild‘s development firm, said the listing agent, Ben Cherry of Manor Real Estate. He declined to further identify the owner.

Cherry said uses could include religious worship, office or residential. But he stressed that it’s a redevelopment opportunity only. The property is zoned multifamily residential.

“The building has historic significance and is protected, and cannot be torn down — nor should it be,” Cherry said.

Unique features include a center courtyard and six-story bell tower, Cherry said, adding that there are very few properties of historic significance in a high-profile location that haven’t been redeveloped. The sanctuary boasts seating for 1,500 people.

“My guess is that the developer that ends up taking on the project will be familiar working with historic buildings” and state and federal tax credit programs, he said.

Built in 1907, the church is on the National Register of Historic Places, but the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation last year called it a place “in peril,” saying it has suffered losses through theft and vandalism. “Critical building components that have disappeared over the years include but are not limited to: copper gutters, decorative collection boxes, and downspouts; stained glass windows have been stolen or broken; the campanile roof system is failing and copper ventilation louvers have been stolen from the tower; decorative iron strapping and decorative hardware from the front doors have been stolen,” the alliance said.

Read the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal here.

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