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Press Release

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - One group is working to turn the old St. Luke’s Hospital in St.Louis into a home for nonprofits.

Build-a-Bear founder Maxine Clark is behind the project “Delmar Divine” and the goal is to bridge the gap in development along the east side of Delmar.

ST. LOUIS - A project to bring housing and space for social innovation will move forward after signing a contract with the City of St. Louis.

Delmar DivINe is a high-impact real estate project to transform the former St. Luke’s Hospital located at 5535 Delmar Boulevard into a space for St. Louis social initiatives and institutions.

A partnership led by former Build-A-Bear CEO Maxine Clark and a subsidiary of Chicago-based Clayco Inc. plans a $90 million rehab that will turn the old St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard into apartments and collaborative office space designed for nonprofit organizations.

Delmar DivINe, as its backers call it, envisions 180,000 square feet of office space in its first phase for area nonprofits and community organizations as well as 160 apartments. Ground-floor retail space will house neighborhood businesses: a bank, restaurants, maybe a gym or an early childhood center.

Maxine Clark got to know the Debaliviere Place and West End neighborhoods, sometimes called the East Loop, when she was looking for a spot to open KIPP’s first charter school.

Last month, Maxine Clark, founder and retired chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop (now CEO of the Clark Fox Family Foundation), and Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive of Clayco Corp (nope, they’re not related), presented a redevelopment plan for the shuttered St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard to the City of St. Louis. Titled “Delmar DivINe”, the project would include 160 apartments serving Teach for America and house various non-profits, providing shared services and low rent.

Although a developer has not yet been officially chosen, Clark appears all-in on the Delmar DivINe. A website has been set up to promote the development proposal and present initial renderings for the project. The site states the project will open “Winter 2018”. The second proposal, “Grand Missourian International” by Prad Sabharway, managing director of Ananta Advisors, is described below.

St. Louis development officials are considering two proposals to renovate the former St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard as offices, apartments and stores.

Most recently the old hospital at 5535 Delmar was the site of St. Louis ConnectCare, which filed for bankruptcy in 2013. The city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority owns the vacant building complex.