American Electric Lofts in St. Joseph was recently awarded a PreserveMO Award by the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation.
The $850,000 purchase of the building and over $30 million development project by Skye Real Estate Founder and President, Wes Grammer, and Sunflower Development Group in Kansas City, Missouri, was officially celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.
Grammer said it was worth the ups and downs considering everything that transpired since the building was purchased in 2017.
“You could’ve never expected something like COVID, or pipes bursting, the roof caught on fire. We had a number of things go wrong with this project that you would’ve never expected, but we made it through it,” said Grammer.
The American Electric Lofts building that currently sits at the corner of Jules Street and N. 3rd Street was originally home to John D. Richardson Dry Goods company before American Electric Company occupied the building in the 1950s.
State and federal historic tax credits helped maintain many of the timeless features of the buildings. As Grammer looks back on the project from what it was in the beginning to what the lofts have transformed into, he considers it “night and day.”
“This building was built in 1892. It had completely deteriorated for the most part. We pumped $36 million into it, which is a lot and without historic tax credits and the support of St. Joe, it wouldn’t be possible,” said Grammer.
American Electric Lofts currently sits at a 50% lease rate and features over 140 spaces for rent.
The lofts also welcomed a local coffee business, Hazel’s Coffee & Roasting Company, to the base floor of the building as the business opened their location in the city.