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Developer Brings National Perspective, Expertise to St. Louis' Commercial Real Estate Market


ST. LOUIS, Nov. 7, 2006…. Orchard Development Group, an established nationwide developer of residential and commercial properties, recently received City approval to proceed with its proposed $150 million mixed-use project in Clayton, Mo. The project brings Orchard’s total real estate investment in St. Louis to $250 million, exemplifying the company’s determination as one of the only out-of-town commercial real estate developers to offer the City an abundance of new, urban lifestyle options.  

With more than $800 million in new developments nationwide, Orchard brings to St. Louis a national perspective on trends and real estate expertise that sets the company apart from most local developers. Orchard has experienced blowout successes with its local projects, including the Annex Lofts, Terra Cotta Lofts, Lafayette Square, Ely Walker Lofts and Red Moon, an eclectic restaurant on the ground level of the Terra Cotta Building. Orchard Development principals Jay Case and John Vanker seized the opportunity in 2000 to redevelop The Terra Cotta lofts, which helped initiate the rebirth of the Washington Avenue loft district.

Case, a former resident to the St. Louis area, is familiar with the challenges St. Louis’ downtown has faced over the past few decades but recognizes the unlimited opportunity to turn the City back into an active, urban community. “Our vision is to make a long-term impact on the City and to seek out opportunities that others may not have the impetus to take on,” said Case. “It’s about providing people a reason to want to live in the City and creating a neighborhood with lifestyle options that far exceed what St. Louis has ever experienced.” 

Part of Orchard’s vision includes bringing developments to the City that follow national trends, such as transit-oriented developments that utilize the expanding mass transit system, particularly the Cross County MetroLink. The proposed project in Clayton is an example of a transit-oriented development that will place residential, retail and office space across from the new Clayton MetroLink station. It also fills a portion of the existing land known as “the Clayton hole” that has failed to be redeveloped for the past few decades.

Case added, “If you look at the history of larger cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Boston, they all followed the transit-oriented development movement. We think St. Louis has a unique opportunity to be ahead of the curve in its competitive market by initiating a TOD here and we want Orchard to be responsible for bringing that to St. Louis.”

Orchard already has a successful transit-oriented project in Centennial, Col., under its belt. Dry Creek Crossing was an 8.3-acre parcel of undeveloped office park land that Orchard rezoned to build 250 moderately-priced condominiums. Less than a quarter-mile from the lightrail station at Dry Creek Road, the project exemplifies “new urbanism” at its best.

Lafayette Walk in St. Louis’ historic Lafayette Square neighborhood also introduces a new style of development for Orchard that the developer hasn’t yet pursued for this area. This unique row house community features 37 two- and three-bedroom units in six buildings. Orchard worked closely with the Lafayette Square Neighborhood Association to ensure that the architecture for this project was consistent with the unique homes in the area, many of them more than 100 years old.

For more information about Orchard Development Group or any of its projects, call 773.871.9841.

Orchard Development Group, Inc., is an established developer of single and multifamily residences in urban and suburban communities nationwide. The company was founded in 1996 by Jay Case, and his partner, John Vanker, to develop infill-for-sale housing on Chicago’s North Side. Starting with a 15-unit project in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, the company has since expanded into new markets and furthered its mission to identify infill opportunities in evolving markets, including St. Louis, Denver and Las Vegas. 

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