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Developer hopes to reopen St. Louis flying saucer building by March
Del Taco

Developer hopes to reopen St. Louis flying saucer building by March

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ST. LOUIS • Developer Rick Yackey said Wednesday that he hopes to re-open the shuttered former Del Taco building in midtown by March, and that he's in final negotiations with two tenants to occupy it.

In a brief public meeting under the building's now-infamous flying saucer roof, Yackey showed off renderings of his planned renovations and said he thinks he'll have a cost estimate within the next two weeks.

His plans include adding small additions to the sides of the building, replacing Del Taco's Mission-style outside with brick and installing floor-to-ceiling windows in front, as the building had in its original incarnation as a Phillips 66 gas station, circa 1968.

As for occupants, Yackey wouldn't name names, but said he's "down to the last chartstrokes" with two: a coffee shop and a "food service" establishment. He hopes to close the deals within 60 days and have the building occupied by March, when the nearby Grand Boulevard viaduct re-opens to traffic.

"It's actually going to be a great adaptive reuse," he said. "And it will stop what was going on here with crime and problems."

In an unexpected twist, the building's original architect, Richard Henmi, showed up for the small gathering. He and Yackey had never met before, and Henmi admitted being "somewhat" disappointed when he learned of Yackey's former plans to demolish the building — one of many he designed around St. Louis.

But Henmi gave a thumbs-up to the new plan.

"I like it," he said. "It pretty much keeps the original intent."

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