The Berlin Wall Of Downtown St. Louis

The failed St. Louis Centre mall has divided development patterns, and boosters are waiting for an outside investor to make his move.
January 13, 2006, 9am PST | David Gest
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"Calling St. Louis Centre a 'struggling mall' doesn't quite capture the perennial air of failure that the downtown albatross has carried throughout most of its twenty-year existence...'It remains the one big black eye for downtown the way it is right now, particularly from the standpoint of conventioneers,' seconds Jim Cloar, executive director of the Downtown St. Louis Partnership..."

"But a low-key, California-based investor named Barry Cohen...who in 1993 purchased the historic Jefferson Arms apartment complex on Tucker Boulevard, snapped up the entire moribund mall at a courthouse auction for $5.4 million -- or one-nineteenth of its 1985 price tag of $95 million -- in August 2004. In fact, Cohen, who is in the process of rehabbing a similarly downtrodden shopping center in Harrison, Arkansas, was the only person to submit a bid."

The investor's timeline, however, is irritating more than a few interested parties.

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Published on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 in St. Louis Riverfront Times
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