by Michael R. Allen
On September 25, the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds recorded the purchase of 17 parcels at Sheriff’s land tax auction by McEagle Properties shell holding company Union Martin LLC. McEagle’s companies had been dormant for several months.
Among the purchase are seven residential buildings, of which six are historic. Here they are, with purchase price in parentheses if reported:
Why do I mention the purchase prices? I want to impress upon readers how easy it would be for other buyers to compete at the Sheriff’s auctions for these properties. Community development corporations, neighborhood associations and other that want to keep out large-scale acquisition would do well to get some money together and head to the Sheriff’s auction. Every month, dozens of north side parcels — and historic buildings — sell to speculators for low, low prices.
These acquisitions illustrate the thorniness of preservation planning in the NorthSide project. A week ago, preservationists thought they knew the pool from which the list of buildings to be rehabilitated would be drawn. In one day, that pool expanded. However, these buildings are in good shape and will be around for awhile. McEagle need not fear that preservationists have immediate demands beyond simply keeping these buildings from falling until there is a solid plan.
The remaining parcels recently purchased by Union Martin are located at 2516, 2518-20 and 2526 Slattery Avenue, 2930 James Cool Papa Bell (nee Dickson) Avenue, 2524 Coleman Street and 2832 Cass Avenue in JeffVanderLou; 3244 Knapp Street in Old North St. Louis; 2561 Hebert Street, 2231 and 2236 Benton Street and 1947-51 Wright Street in St. Louis Place.