Developer Announces Plans for Former Del-Taco

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Developer Announces Plans for Former Del-Taco

By Curtis Wang

By Curtis Wang

By Curtis Wang

By Curtis Wang

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Picture By Curtis Wang

The future of the vacant building on Grand Boulevard that most housed Del Taco was unclear until developer Rick Yackey announced new plans for the saucer-topped structure. On Sept. 14, Yackey announced his plans for the building during a public meeting at the location.

“I have decided to keep the historic architecture in place with plans to remodel the building to move closer to its original intent” Yackey said.

Yackey said he plans to add square footage by enclosing part of the building with a glass frame near the front of the building in hopes that two tenants will be able to occupy the historic landmark.

The plan is being met with open arms from local leadership as well.

“We were all amazed, I believe, when we heard the news that this building would be knocked down,” Marlene Davis, alderwoman of the 19th Ward, said. “We just don’t do that in this district. I am very happy with the proposed plans to keep this historic building in place.”

The building’s original architect, Richard Remey, made an appearance at the meeting.

“When I first heard about the news to knock down this building, I was quite sad,” Remey said. “I am relieved that they will not be going through with that. I really like the idea to bring the building back to its original design.”

Remey said he knew the building needed to be changed, and that the extra square footage is needed.

Originally opened in 1967 as a filling station, Remey said he built the saucer-shaped building because he felt that the surrounding architecture was outdated. His new design would provide a unique architectural style to the neighborhood.

“I put the task on one of my architects to research some innovative new architecture and we came up with the hyperbolic parabola design,” Remey said.

Remey said he was pleased with the way the building would be incorporated with the developments that have taken place in The Flats.

Yackey said he hopes to have the remodel completed, with the tenants ready to open their doors, by the end of the academic year.

Yackey said he hopes to adopt “an adaptive reuse of historic property” and that any retail outlets that will move in will not be opened 24/7, like Del Taco. The constant open hours proved to be a threat to the safety of the community.

“Whatever happened, whether it was the tenant or the developer’s fault, we will not allow this location to be a spot that attracts crime,” Yackey said.

With his “tongue in cheek,” Yackey said that he hopes this building will become the next iconic spot in St. Louis, behind the Arch.”

Plans for the new building are projected to be completed by March of 2012.