State sues STL CityWide for working without a license

A state of Missouri commission on Friday sued a St. Louis company, alleging it is acting as a real estate brokerage without being licensed.

The suit from the Missouri Real Estate Commission was filed against STL CityWide LLC, which is connected to Vic Alston of Lux Living, court papers say. It comes as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that federal authorities have subpoenaed city development agency St. Louis Development Corp. for information about projects from Alston and his brother Sid Chakraverty.

Lux officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suit says that a 2020 complaint said that STL CityWide’s predecessor, Asprient Properties LLC, leased real estate without a license. The complainant said that in 2019 it leased a condo in the Ely Walker Lofts, at 1520 Washington Ave. The unit is owned by Aconcagua One LLC, the suit says.

The Real Estate Commission said it then discovered that STL CityWide maintains a website where prospective tenants can see what units are available for rent, including 24 properties in the city of St. Louis and three in St. Louis County.

It asked that the St. Louis Circuit Court issue injunctions against STL CityWide prohibiting it from listing real estate for rent, among other things.

Law firm Grayson & Grayson LLC is representing the Real Estate Commission.

Lux has put up one of its apartment complexes, The Bordeaux in Lafayette Square, up for sale.

Lux has been involved in numerous multifamily projects in and around the city, including The Hudson and The Tribeca in DeBaliviere Place; Steelyard and Soho in Soulard; The Chelsea in the Central West End; and The McKenzie in University City. It also looked to expand last year into other parts of St. Louis County. Other of its projects, including at the Optimist site in the Central West End, have run into roadblocks. Another Central West End project that had been rejected in the past by the board, the plan to build apartments at the site of the Engineers’ Club, was granted approval in December when Lux modified the plans to keep the original building intact.

The city in June said it would stabilize Lux’s vacant buildings at Kingshighway Boulevard and Interstate 64 – then bill it for the work. Lux wanted to tear down the historic structures, but city staff opposed that, and the St. Louis Preservation Board rejected its proposal for a seven-story, mixed-use apartment building with about 144 units.

The Post-Dispatch in August reported that at least two buildings tied to the brothers behind Lux, Vic Alston and Sid Chakraverty, were for sale: Bell Lofts at 918-920 Olive St., and Lofts@315 at 315 North 10th St.

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