Wash U scoops up the Pin-Up Bowl plus eight other properties on the Delmar Loop
Washington University has expanded its portfolio of commercial holdings with the purchase of nine properties along the Delmar Loop.
The deal with Joe Edwards means the private university now owns the established Pin-Up Bowl and several other mainly vacant retail properties and two parking lots. Neither party disclosed a purchase price.
Edwards still owns many other properties, including restaurants and music venues, along the entertainment district, including Blueberry Hill, Peacock Diner, the Pageant and Delmar Hall.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Washington University because I respect them so much, what they mean to St. Louis, not just the Delmar Loop,” he said. “Little by little, over a period of time it evolved, and we decided and agreed on which properties to sell at this point in time and which ones not to.”
The specific points of the transaction were finalized late last year, Edwards said. He added he’s pleased the university is the properties' new owner and expects that means the character and nature of the Loop will remain consistent.
“It’s very satisfying and gratifying to me that they’re going to be here and take good care of them and still rent to owner-operated places, minority businesses, clothing boutiques, art galleries and cool restaurants,” Edwards said. “They’re just going to continue what’s been created over the many years.”
In a statement, Washington University said it sees this transaction as a way to preserve and support the vitality of the Loop and also to secure space for a few administrative offices close to the university’s main campus:
“We have no plans to change the tenants who are currently occupying any of these buildings or the way these businesses are operated. We’re grateful for our partnership with Joe and appreciate him thinking of us when he decided to put these properties on the market. We’re united in our commitment to preserve the vitality and long-term success of the Loop.”
This is important for Edwards, who said he doesn’t want to see the overall look and feel of the area change.
“I wouldn’t consider transferring to private individuals at all because you never know what they’re going to do or what their plans are going to be,” he said. “I love creating places where people can put their troubles behind them for a couple hours and just enjoy life before they go back to whatever they had been going through.”
The transaction frees up time and resources for Edwards to pursue other development projects, including Magic Mini Golf, which is set to open later this year, he said.
Eric Schmid covers economic development for St. Louis Public Radio.