Hotel Ignacio earns city distinction

Hotel Ignacio was recently named “Development of the Year” by the City of St. Louis. Kelly Hinderberger/ Associate Photo Editor

Hotel Ignacio was recently named “Development of the Year” by the City of St. Louis. Kelly Hinderberger/ Associate Photo Editor

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After seven months of operation, Hotel Ignacio has settled into the Saint Louis University Community, and was recently named “Development of the Year” by St. Louis City.

Hotel Ignacio was recently named “Development of the Year” by the City of St. Louis. Kelly Hinderberger/ Associate Photo Editor

“We’re thrilled that the City of St. Louis recognized Hotel Ignacio as one of its developments of the year,” Clayton Berry, assistant vice president of communications  said. “It’s always great to be honored for our efforts to improve community.”

Previously Interiors Unlimited, the Midtown building was constructed in 1910 and first housed the Morgens Brothers Cleaning and Dyeing Company. It has been a historic landmark for more than a century. After multiple extended periods of vacancy, the University decided to buy the structure, located near campus at 3411 Olive St.

In April of 2010, the University partnered with Steve Smith, CEO of the Lawrence Group and owner of the adjacent Triumph Grill and Moto Museum, to make the building into a boutique-style hotel as part of a Midtown redevelopment project. Renovations to transform the structure began the following month in May, employing four architects, 10 interior designers and 65 different subcontractors.

“A lot of planning and hard work went into transforming the 100-year-old building into a modern boutique hotel,” Berry said.

The structure’s façade, as well as its former showroom and warehouse, were also maintained. The restoration contributed to the hotel’s most recent honor from the city.

“We have a deep commitment to revitalizing St. Louis, so it’s rewarding to work with an institution so connected to our city and with Father Biondi, whose leadership and vision have been essential to Midtown’s resurgence,” Steve Smith, president and CEO of the Lawrence Group said in a press release from the University.

This is not the first major honor for the hotel this year. In June, the Landmarks Association of St. Louis honored the structure as one of the year’s “Most Enhanced Buildings.” According to its website, the Landmarks Association said that Hotel Ignacio has had a positive impact on the surrounding Grand Center and Locust Business District neighborhoods.

The building also fits into developing the University community.

“Hotel Ignacio not only meets an identified community need, it fits perfectly with our vision to see our campus encompassed by a neighborhood that’s both vibrant and dynamic,” University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., said in a press release from the University.