Local developer pushing for more Downtown living space, wants to ‘bring back St. Louis’

Screaming Eagle Development founder Matt Masiel said getting people downtown will help drive down crime and bring the community back.
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 9:20 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- We’ve shown you the flashing lights, blood-stained floors and ongoing crime sprees in downtown St. Louis. However, people are still moving back East into the city. One local developer said he’s working to change the trajectory of the heart of St. Louis.

“This area that we’re in right now has 800 or so units coming online in the next two years,” Matt Masiel said.

It’s staggering numbers covering just two blocks of downtown St. Louis and it’s purely renovations.

“It’s too expensive to build like this, so having the beauty of the buildings we do have, and being able to show those, is something we enjoy a lot,” Masiel said.

Masiel’s the owner of Screaming Eagle Development. The Missouri native said he’s pushing for more living space downtown and advocating for people to move back into the city. His goal is “bringing it back to life.” To Masiel, that means driving down crime one renovation at a time.

Screaming Eagle’s newest project is the MacDonald Building on 18th and Washington. Just south, they’re now leasing Lofts at the Hupp, another renovation. Down the street from city hall, they finished rehabbing the hold Post-Dispatch building, which is now Front Page Lofts. This means dozens of more living spaces downtown.

“The reason crime went up is because we had less people. We need people down here to have a thriving and successful city. Without people in these giant, vacant buildings, it’s going to be a worse city for everyone living down here,” Masiel said.

Many of these historic remodels are just blocks from the new MLS Centene Stadium, a project announced in August 2019. City data shows from 2019 to now, more than 1,000 building permits have been given out downtown for commercial, industrial and residential space. A large majority of those permits are for renovations.

“You have to take a little bit of risk, and we wanna give back to the city. I’ve lived here for the last 15-20 years now. It’s my home, and we wanna be able to help,” Masiel explained.

Masiel said his new MacDonald rehab should have tenants moving in before STL City’s start of the season, next spring.