If you went to Central Casting to find a "beloved landmark in south St. Louis," you’d probably come back with Bevo Mill. It’s a ninety-year-old structure based on a turn-of-the-last century German-American brewer’s idea of an old Flemish windmill. And we all cherish it.
Anheuser Busch, which has owned it for years, understood this and wanted to make sure that as Anheuser Busch became part of InBev this landmark would have the opportunity to be preserved. Anheuser Busch approached my office about how this might happen. We suggested that Anheuser Busch could donate the building to an SLDC agency.
Otis Williams of the St. Louis Development Corporation has been handling this transaction for the City. As of Friday, an SLDC agency will own the building. The documents that have been drafted will preserve the landlord-tenant relationship with the current tenant, only now the SLDC agency will be the landlord. The tenant will pay rent to SLDC.
Ownership of this building by a City agency will make sure that it can be preserved. Had it been transferred to InBev as part of the acquisition of Anheuser Busch, its future would not have been certain—InBev would have been free to sell it to anyone and the City would have faced the potential for continuing arguments down the road as to the future of this unique and prominent landmark.
So, thanks to Anheuser Busch’s foresight and generosity in donating this building to a City agency, we can all rest assured that it will continue to be one of the City’s most unique attractions forever.