Officials celebrate groundbreaking of Broadview Hotel revitalization project in East St. Louis

Public officials and developers on Tuesday celebrated the symbolic groundbreaking for the $44 million Broadview Hotel revitalization project in downtown East St. Louis.

Plans in the initial phase of the project are to convert the historic former hotel into apartments for people 55 and older. Ten percent of the apartments will be for veterans.

Yaphett El-Amin, president of Efficacy Consulting & Development, noted that by the time the New Broadview is completed, ``we will house 110 families in that building. “ El-Amin’s St. Louis-based company is the lead developer on the project.

…My mother always taught me, that if you want to invite people to your house, you’ve got to clean up your front room. And the New Broadview is the front room for the city of East St. Louis,” she said during the groundbreaking program. “…Once they see that the entry to your home is clean, it’s peaceful, it’s whole, it’s inviting, they would feel comfortable to join you in the rest of the house.

“The New Broadview sits at the front door, spanning across Highway 64, Highway 70 and it’s also the entry to connecting St. Louis and East St. Louis.Today marks the cleaning of our front room.”``

The 7-story building, built in 1927, has been vacant since 2004. The revitalization project has been in the works for some time.

In 2017, El-Amin’s company was selected by the city, then under the leadership of former East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, to be the developer. Since then, Efficacy has worked on securing financing for the project.

Efficacy’s development partners are Tier-1 Development Group and the East St. Louis non-profit Community LifeLine.

“I’m very excited about this project,” Mayor Robert Eastern III told the BND before the groundbreaking. “The process has taken a very long time. This great day is finally here. It is something the citizens of East St. Louis deserve.

“Anytime you can take something blighted and make it into something bright and vibrant. … That’s awesome.”

The project has received $25.3 million in state tax credits (low-income housing and historic tax credits) that’ll be leveraged for private equity to help finance construction. Red Stone Equity Partners, based in New York City, and Sugar Creek Capital, based in Webster Groves, MO, will provide the funds for the credits. The state government will also provide more than $10 million for the project,

History of the Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel was built in 1927. It was part of the city’s efforts to recover from the 1917 race massacre when white people killed up to 200 Black people in East St. Louis. The attacks caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

East St. Louis needed a resurgence. The Broadview Hotel, at 415 E. Broadway, was the answer. Built in brown brick and terra-cotta, the Broadview was known for its elegant style that attracted many visitors.

“(The hotel) was kind of the exclamation point on the process of rebuilding the city not only physically, but trying to rebuild its reputation after the massacre in 1917,” William P. Shannon IV, executive director of the St. Clair County Historical Society, told the BND last year. “The First National Bank building on Collinsville Avenue was (built in) 1926, and the Broadview Hotel was the year after that. For a long time, that’s one of the things that hurt the city in coming back. People weren’t willing to invest money here.”

Today community leaders want the building to be part of another economic resurgence for East St. Louis.

Besides the apartments, other plans for the New Broadview include:

  • Street level: Grocery store, fitness center, coffee & sandwich shop

  • Lower level: 20,000 square feet of commercial space, beauty & barber salon, banquet multipurpose center, minority business incubator, senior technology center, modern public space (for special events, catering, meetings, etc), public kitchen (for nutritional classes)