UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Joe Edwards, the driving force behind the Delmar Loop redevelopment over the past 50 years, says he has no plans to retire, but he is unloading some properties.
“I couldn’t be more excited and happier,” he said.
Washington University St. Louis is purchasing seven buildings and two parking lots from Edwards and his limited liability companies.
“Washington University is one of the great institutions in the country,” he said. “But what they do for St. Louis is remarkable, and I couldn’t be happier transferring some of these properties to them because, long term, they will protect what I’ve built up through the years in these various buildings, and I’m delighted.”
Edwards will still manage and own Pin-Up Bowl, but now Washington University plans to move into some of the vacant spaces for administrative offices.
“Oh no, this allows me to do more things, which is exciting,” Edwards said. “I like creating experiences where you don’t have to be good at the sport to enjoy it, like darts at Blueberry Hill, or bowling at Pin-Up Bowl. And soon, Magic Mini Golf, where you’ll be able to play golf all year long, and soon shuffleboard.”
The combined properties have a tax value of more than $584,000.
Among the buildings included in the sale are the former Craft Alliance building, the former Pi Pizzeria location across the street from The Pageant, and locations where Ben & Jerry’s and Rocket Fizz were once located.
“Plus, they’ll be able to fill in some of the upstairs of the second and third floor office spaces with some of their staff, which will great for The Loop, because that’s more people walking up and down the sidewalks, which makes the area safer, and they have more security,” Edwards said. “It’s just a win-win for everybody.”
Edwards will retain ownership of the Moonrise Hotel, Blueberry Hill, Delmar Hall, and The Pageant. His next project, Magic Mini-Golf, an indoor 18-hole putt-putt location, is set to open later this spring.