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Phase I of crown center transformation nears completion

The Gladys & Henry Crown Center for Senior Living has been dedicated to providing affordable housing and a wide variety of programs and services, for a diverse group of older adults, for over 50 years. Located in University City, MO, Crown Center, originally “The Delcrest, was founded by Gladys and Henry Crown in 1967. Through the years, the center’s commitment to their mission and strict set of beliefs has created a culture of acceptance and feeling of home for hundreds of tenants.

Building for the Future

After decades of use, the original apartment tower, known as the Tallin Building, was deemed functionally obsolete. In order to meet the needs of today’s seniors, Crown Center decided it was time to invest in a transformational project that would provide affordable living options that met current standards of accessibility and usability.

In partnership with Fulson Housing Group, Russell’s St. Louis office (formerly HBD) began preconstruction work in 2017. After years of extensive planning, pricing, and collaboration, construction of Phase I began in January 2022. 

  • Phase I, includes a new 63,000 s.f., 4-story building that will house the Community Living Center and 52 apartments. This phase is on target to be completed in Spring 2023.
  • Phase II will include a second 4-story apartment building and an extensive renovation of the existing Weinberg Building. Once complete, Crown Center will be able to provide a total of 238 modern apartments to residents.

Solving Complex Challenges 

From the beginning of the Crown Center project it was apparent that the size of the new building and the tight site would pose a challenge for the construction team. Due to the size of the new building, surrounding restrictions, including utility easements, adjacent properties, and roads, the new building footprint had to be placed within 16 inches of the existing Tallin building.

You read that right – 16 inches. A new 63,000 s.f. building is being constructed within 16 inches of an existing structure.  To put this into perspective, 16 inches is the equivalent of one of these items: 

  • (1) Macbook Pro
  • (8) Business Cards (laid end-to-end)
  • (1) Bowling Pin

After extensive planning with Crown Center, Russell, and the design team of Rosemann & Associates, P.C., decided to construct 95% of the new building as close to the existing building as possible.  The next step, after completion of the new building, will be to move the residents into the new space, demo the remainder of the existing building, and finish construction on the remaining 5% of the project.

“Working on an occupied, tight project site comes with challenges, but thanks to our strong relationship with Crown Center our team has come up with creative solutions that has allowed the project to move forward in a way that’s keeps the senior residents’ comfort and care at the forefront,” said Chris Adams, Project Manager.