Controversial Developer Linked to New Apartment Proposal in the Loop

Lux Living’s St. Louis developments have generated complaints from residents and city officials

click to enlarge A look at the 7-story apartment building proposed for the Loop called "The Bond." - VIA CITYSCENE STL
A look at the 7-story apartment building proposed for the Loop called "The Bond."

A new seven-story apartment building, with ties to developer Lux Living, could soon tower over the Loop.

The development, named "The Bond," would bring 300 apartments to 6630 Delmar Boulevard, and would include 133 studios, 134 one-bedroom units and 33 two-bedroom units. It would also include up to 20,000 square feet of retail space and over 512 parking spaces.

University City Director of Planning and Development John Wagner told the RFT that the city received the proposal, technically a rezoning application, from St. Louis Property Holdings LLC on August 8. The planning commission will likely review it at its September 28 meeting, Wagner says.

Chris Stritzel, a blogger at CityScene STL, reported that the proposal is linked to the now-infamous St. Louis-based development company Lux Living, which has come under fire for poor living conditions, among other things. Stritzel formerly served as a paid consultant with Lux Living.

Filings with the Missouri Secretary of State show that the designated agent for the St. Louis Property Holdings is William Richmond, a Dallas-based lawyer. Richmond is the agent for just two other Missouri companies, records show — one also formed in October of 2021. The second company is named Delmar Loop 1. An email used by Sid Chakraverty, one of the co-owners of Lux Living, is listed as the contact for Delmar Loop 1.

Ira Berkowitz, the Clayton attorney who represents Lux Living, initially responded to an email from a reporter asking for clarity on what proposal he was being asked about. After that, he did not respond to two emails, including one asking about Stritzel's reporting and mentioning Chakraverty's email address being used for an LLC created by Richmond.

click to enlarge The University City planning commission will likely review the proposal to build a 300-unit apartment building at its September 28 meeting. - VIA CITYSCENE STL
The University City planning commission will likely review the proposal to build a 300-unit apartment building at its September 28 meeting.

In recent years, Lux Living has emerged as one of the largest developers in the St. Louis area, with large apartment complexes such as the 152-unit Chelsea in DeBaliviere Place and a forthcoming 322-unit SoHo homes in Soulard.

But owners Vic Alston and his brother, Chakraverty, have become a focus of anger from some residents and also city officials. Their previous brand Asprient was the subject of a 2016 Riverfront Times cover story that depicted the poor living conditions in the company’s apartments. Since then, residents at various Lux Living locations have complained publicly about what they see as the company’s negligence.

Most recently in July, the Riverfront Times reported issues at the Raphael Apartments, which the brothers lease under their STL Citywide brand. Residents claim the building has a faulty elevator, overflowing sinks and leaking ceilings. They said that management fails to respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner and many feel helpless.

But Lux is still finding ways to expand. In the last two months alone, according to CityScene STL, it has proposed four projects in Missouri, including a 250-unit building in Kansas City. And by claiming it is the developer behind the big new project proposed for the Loop, blogger Stritzel is linking the apartment proposal to a company that’s drawing increasing ire from city officials.

“While I’m sure we all appreciate these projects being proposed by Lux Living (since they add residents and densify neighborhoods),” Stritzel wrote, “it’s likely that we also sincerely hope that they get a grip on the issues that are presently plaguing their company before anything is allowed to advance. There's no excuse to defer maintenance or ignore orders from the city for the safety of nearby residents.”

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