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Amrit and Amy Gill (P)

January 18, 2019

Amrit and Amy Gill, present parents, were featured in the 1.18.19 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal, in an article titled "Why Hotel St. Louis is the Gills' Love Letter to the City": "Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration St. Louis poured their hearts and $68 million into the Union Trust building to turn it into downtown's newest hotel. The Gills sat down with the Business Journal to discuss why they invested in downtown St. Louis. 

Why this building? And why a hotel? Amrit: We were looking to add to the Autograph Collection. We looked at where the Last Hotel is going (1501 Washington Ave.) and decided we didn't want to do it that far west. We wanted to do it in the heart of downtown. There's no hotel left (in the U.S.) operating in a Louis Sullivan building. This was supposed to be about St. Louis, the St. Louis experience. So giving St. Louis a gift of a Louis Sullivan building that's an operational hotel seemed like the perfect way to go. 

This is one of the few vacant buildings to come back online in recent years. Why do you think there are still dozens of empty buildings downtown? Amy: Speculators. Amrit: They think, 'it's dirt cheap. I'm going to buy it.' But they don't understand St. Louis. And then the building sits. 

Where do these outside owners get caught? Amy: For one company I know of, they don't want to do a union job. But you can't do a building this big non-union. First of all, you won't find anyone qualified to work on it who's not a union contractor. But then they think they can do it cheap. Amrit: We don't need cheap in St. Louis. We need it built to last. Seventy percent of the monetary input in this building is labor, only 30 percent is material. Why would you skimp on material? 

Why aren't more local developers getting involved? Amy: I think that part of it is that people in St. Louis don't have faith in themselves. They don't have faith in their own space. It's easy for people to get caught up in the negatives. Bu I think the future is bright here."