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Nov. 15--Nearly 240 apartments, a Marriott hotel and commercial space are elements of the planned $103.7 million remake of the Jefferson Arms in downtown St. Louis.

If the project follows the developer's preliminary plan, construction would begin in March with the remade landmark on Tucker Boulevard opening in August 2019.

Alterra International, the Dallas-based developer behind the project, is seeking tax incentives. The largest is $17.4 million in tax-increment financing, which the city's TIF Commission is scheduled to consider Wednesday. The developer also is seeking $1.3 million through a community improvement district and $1.3 million through a transportation development district.

Additional financing would come from state and federal historic preservation tax credits and state brownfield tax credits.

The project is infeasible without tax breaks, Alterra says in its TIF application. The developer notes that the deteriorated, 13-story building needs total renovation after being vacant more than a decade.

"The proposed renovation will reactivate one of the premier, iconic buildings in the city, attract new businesses to downtown St. Louis and contribute to the continued residential growth of downtown St. Louis," Alterra says in its TIF application.

Previous renovation plans by other developers never happened, Alterra notes, referring to the Jefferson Arms as "the proverbial white elephant."

Preliminary plans include 239 market-rate apartments and a 198-room Marriott-flagged hotel. Under consideration are Marriott brands AC Hotels, Autograph Collection, element and aloft. The building's first floor would be rehabbed for 18,603 square feet of commercial space. A 91-car garage in the basement would handle some of the project's parking needs.

Merriman Anderson/Architects of Dallas is the project's designer.

Mike Sarimsakci, Alterra's president, has said the project would begin with construction of restaurants and other commercial space. Work would then proceed to putting apartments in the original building that opened as the Hotel Jefferson in time for the 1904 World's Fair. Apartments also would occupy the top floor of the hotel's 1920s Locust Street addition, where the Marriott hotel would be located.

Pyramid Construction paid $19 million for the Jefferson Arms in 2006 and planned to redo it as condos. Pyramid went out of business in 2008 without beginning the project, although it cleared the building of its senior-housing residents. Real estate investor David Jump bought the building out of foreclosure in 2010. Alterra's TIF application says the developer plans to pay $6.7 million for the building.

Tim Bryant --314-340-8206

@tbry51 on Twitter

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