Historic North City club won’t be demolished - KMOV.com

Historic North City club won’t be demolished

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Inside of the abandon Club Imperial in North St. Louis ( Credit: KMOV) Inside of the abandon Club Imperial in North St. Louis ( Credit: KMOV)
NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

The building that housed the Club Imperial in North City will not be demolished and its future is up in the air.

The Club Imperial was a hot spot with performers such as Ike and Tina Turner. Today, however, the building at Goodfellow and West Florissant looks much different.

A fire has gutted part of it, the roof is in disrepair and there is water in the basement

Owner Robert Vroman bought the building last summer and sought permission to demolish it. However, on Monday, the St. Louis Preservation Board voted unanimously not to allow demolition.

While the building is in serious disrepair inside, the preservation board says it is structurally sound, defined as it will remain standing within six months.

But other reasons were cited for keeping the building, such as its architectural and cultural significance.

“That’s what St. Louis is known for, is history, and it has so many landmarks in St. Louis that people come from all over the world to come and see,” said Alderwoman Pam Boyd.

Boyd says her community has spoken, telling her they do not want another strip mall, which was the plan for the site if permission for demolition was granted.

“Why can’t we have a nice place to take our family? We are tired of Chinese chicken, beauty supplies hair stuff. We are tired of that, we want something nice for us,” said Boyd.

It will take someone with a vision and likely a lot of funding to redevelop the vacant building.

“I’m really hoping that all of these people clamoring for redevelopment would like to take it off my hands,” said Vroman.

The building is not on the historic registry which would allow a redeveloper to seek tax credits. It is in the preservation review district, which is why the preservation board got a say in whether or it could be demolished.

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