Carpenters Union Sues Jefferson Arms Developer | Local company

ST. LOUIS — The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council is suing the company behind the long-delayed downtown Jefferson Arms redevelopment, alleging the developer owes the union $700,000.

The union says Dallas-based Alterra Worldwide has defaulted on $700,000 in loans that the St. Louis Carpenters Board loaned the company. The money was used to pay 2018, 2019 and 2020 property taxes and “pre-development fees” related to Jefferson Arms, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

These loans, plus interest, were due in December 2021 and July this year. The union alleges that Alterra and its CEO, Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci, have yet to repay the loans.

Sarimsakci did not respond to a request for comment.

Mike Sarimsakci, managing partner of Alterra International who hopes to buy the Jefferson Arms at 415 North Tucker Boulevard, poses for a portrait in his ballroom Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, [email protected] com

The loans were made before the Chicago-based Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council dissolved the St. Louis office and sued former chief Al Bond over allegations of financial wrongdoing related to billboard advertising. display. Bond called the decision to have the Chicago council oversee St. Louis “nothing more than a political coup.”

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Alterra moved forward to 2017 with plans to turn the historic 500,000 square foot Jefferson Arms, vacant since 2006, into a hotel and apartments. The City of St. Louis has agreed to issue $17.3 million in additional tax funding to help Alterra with its redevelopment.

But funding issues have plagued Alterra ever since. The St. Louis Carpenters Bureau had also spent years battling Alterra over concerns that the developer would not use union labor.

St. Louis council announced in late 2020 — months before granting the first of two loans to the developer — that it had reached an agreement with Alterra.

Little work has taken place over the years on the property, 415 North Tucker Boulevard, until recently when the city granted Alterra a $350,000 building permit.

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