The University City Plan Commission on Feb. 26 discussed a project presented by McKenzie-Annapurna One LLC.
The company is proposing a mixed-use project including a hotel, apartment building, retail and parking at 8400 Delmar near Interstate 170, an area currently known as Delcrest Plaza.
The commission ultimately voted to recommend to the city council a blight declaration for the area, and the development plan for the project. Director of Planning and Development Clifford Cross explained that the votes are part of the process for gaining tax abatement for the project. The developer is seeking 100% abatement for the first 10 years on real property tax and 50% abatement for the next 15 years. The city council will make the final decision on tax abatement. If approved, the project is expected to open in the third quarter of 2022.
A five-story Element by Westin hotel with 133 rooms is proposed, as is a 160-room apartment building, both to be built over a two-story garage. The developer expects the project cost to be about $85 million.
There are currently two buildings on the 2.2 acre site, both of which would be demolished: a small building that houses a craft store and an office/retail building of approximately 60,000 square feet.
The developer based the blight request largely on the condition of the larger building, which was built in 1966. Consultant Larry Marks with the firm Development Solutions said the building’s HVAC system does not work properly. There is no sprinkler system and there are multiple accessibility issues.
Marks said the building is about 75% vacant, with 20 remaining tenants on month-to-month leases. Several more tenants are expected to move out in the next several months.