Three More “Urban Assets”

by Michael R. Allen

In the fall, the “other” North St. Louis assemblage team picked up three more beautiful historic buildings at the Sheriff’s land tax auction. These companies are those represented by Eagle Realty Company and its agent Harvey Noble that include Urban Assets LLC, Prudent Investor LLC, Feasible Projects LLC, Diligent Properties LLC, Incentive Properties LLC and others (see “Private LRA in the Works Across North St. Louis?”, May 21, 2009). No ownership link is definite, but the companies are buying in the same wide swath of north city using the same real estate firm that handled acquisition for the Northside Regeneration LLC shell companies.

The building at 5172 Page Boulevard.

The multi-family building at 5172 Page Boulevard is located inside of the Mount Cabanne-Raymond Place Historic District in the Academy Neighborhood. The building is in the 26th Ward. Feasible Properties LLC purchased it for $3,000 at the auction held on September 21, 2010. Because the 26th ward has demolition review, and because the building is a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places historic district, the building has some demolition protection.

The house at 5134 Wells Avenue is at right in this photograph.

The two-flat at 5134 Wells Avenue is located on the very dense but increasingly vacant 5100 block of Wells Avenue. Feasible Projects LLC purchased the building for $2,878 at the Sheriff’s auction on September 21, 2010. The building is located in the 26th Ward. Because the 26th ward has demolition review, thanks to Alderman Frank Williamson (D-26th), the building has some demolition protection.

The house at 4946 Wabada Avenue.

The house at 4946 Wabada Avenue may be the saddest story of the three new purchases. This house was under rehabilitation, and the owner applied for a building permit after the sale to shell company Inventive Properties LLC. I suppose that party did not realize that its property taxes were unpaid for the three years prior to the auction. Incentive paid $4,500 at the Sheriff’s auction on September 21, 2010. This lovely single-family American Foursquare is the only vacant house on its block in the Kingsway East neighborhood of the 18th Ward. The 4900 block of Wabada is an immaculately maintained block — the sort of block where owners will utilize nuisance laws against a negligent owner. Unfortunately the house is not in a historic district and the 18th Ward lacks demolition review, so there is no protection against demolition of the house at 4946 Wabada Avenue.

The Eagle Realty-managed shell companies have not recorded any purchases since these three on September 21, 2010. Still, their holdings number nearly 300 parcels inclusive of over 90 historic buildings across the city’s 4th, 5th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and 26th wards. The parcels remain too spread out to add up to a real development plan, but too numerous to ignore.

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  • Douglas Duckworth

    How can we contact Harvey Noble if we were in the market to purchase one of his historic properties?

  • Adam

    Would it even make sense to tear down the Wabada house considering that the rest of the block is occupied and maintained? Unless the plan is to let it deteriorate in order to encourage out-migration…

  • Chris

    Bingo, Adam.

  • GMichaud

    I know the city goes hard after people in Lafayette Square, Soulard and several other neighborhoods if property is not maintained. It would prejudicial not to do the same in these neighborhoods. There should be demolition review throughout the city. Is the alderman responsible for requesting preservation review for their ward? You would think each alderman/woman would want that option.

  • Chris

    Neighbors have to complain, then complain again, and then complain yet again. If you don’t the City will not help you. You get the government you ask for.