Commercial real estate firm Intelica CRETM brokered a deal for land where Ackerman Toyota will build a new $12- to 15 million dealership. The deal closed on June 20, 2015, after Intelica successfully met Toyota’s dealership requirements, achieved approval of tax-increment financing (TIF) for the project and secured private road access to obtain additional parking and provide unencumbered access to the dealership. The development allows the Ackerman family, a St. Louis legacy, to maintain its relationship with Toyota and remain competitive with a new flagship location in the city.
It was like taking three elephants for a walk, but we got it done - Gary Parker
This site at 2020 Hampton Ave near Interstate 44 was formerly a metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) main office, which sat vacant for 10 years prior to the acquisition. Intelica identified the site during a challenging search for land that would meet strict criteria set by Toyota, including five acres of ground near major road thoroughfares within designated selling districts and a certain ratio of car parking. In fact, Parker said it was his most difficult project in his 28 years of this type of work. “We struggled to find the right size in the right area. Five acres of land in St. Louis city just doesn’t exist along a major thoroughfare,” Parker said.
The contract to buy the land was extended three times due to the discovery late in the process that St. Louis City’s survey overlooked a major water main below the site. In addition, Lathrop and Gage, a law firm hired by Ackerman Toyota, worked in conjunction with Intelica and discovered part of the former MSD property under contact was partially owned by MODOT. This included access to a private road.
To fund the added cost of the water main issue, Intelica prepared documents and hired staff to pursue TIF for the project, which was eventually approved by The Board of Alderman. “St. Louis is an anti-TIF environment,” said Parker, “so this was quite a feat.”
To fix the problems uncovered by Lathrop and Gage, an agreement was made that gave Ackerman Toyota use of the private road as well as parking for 35 extra cars.
Intelica worked closely with Toyota USA during stages of negotiation, presentation and approval that unfolded over eight months. Construction for the project has begun and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018.