Louis S. Sachs, 83; developer, donated land for Chesterfield JCC

Louis S. Sachs

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Louis S. Sachs, a prominent real estate executive and developer who donated land for the West County branch of the Jewish Community Center, died Friday, May 27 of a heart attack at his home in Bozeman, Md. He was 83 and had also been a longtime resident of Chesterfield where he maintained a residence.

Mr. Sachs played a prominent role in the development of the Chesterfield area even before it became an incorporated municipality in 1988. In the late 1960s, Mr. Sachs bought property and was planning a unified development of residential, commercial and office properties for west St. Louis County. His company, Sachs Properties, has owned or developed 1,500 acres of land in Chesterfield, and has completed plans for a downtown on land northwest of Chesterfield Mall. His company provided the land for the mall and built the surrounding residential and commercial areas called Chesterfield Villages.

John Nations, now president of the Metro Transit Authority who served as mayor of Chesterfield from 2001 to 2010, praised Mr. Sachs for “being the reason for the quality of life we all enjoy in Chesterfield.”

“His guiding principle was never how many buildings he could put up, but how he could improve people’s lives,” Nations added.

Mr. Sachs was born in St. Louis on Jan. 9, 1928, the son of the late Samuel C. and Dena (Sacks) Sachs. He grew up in St. Louis and Clayton and in 1948 graduated from Washington University with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He joined his late father’s company, Sachs Electric Co.

Mr. Sachs served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952. After completing his military service, he rejoined Sachs Electric Co. and began launching real estate projects on his own, including development of the Cypress Village shopping center and apartments in northwest St. Louis County and several medical and office buildings in the country. He later sold those properties and purchased land in the Chesterfield area. Chesterfield Village includes 2,600 homes, 18 office buildings and a shopping center. Mr. Sachs, in 1990, sold Sachs Electric to a group of longtime employees.

Among the many contributions of land for arts, education and community projects donated by Mr. Sachs, was land for the Jewish Community Center on Baxter Road, which became the site of the Marilyn Fox Building of the JCC in Chesterfield. He was also a co-founder and major supporter of Chesterfield Arts, which promotes the arts in west St. Louis County. He also donated the land to Stages St. Louis and provided the funds for the Samuel C. Sachs Branch of the St. Louis County Library, named in honor of his late father. He gave five acres on Wild Horse Creek Road to the St. Louis County Library to build a history and genealogy center.

Mr. Sachs was a past board member of Barnes Jewish Hospital, Junior Achievement, Maryville University, Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Council of Boy Scouts, St. Louis Symphony and Washington University.

Mr. Sachs was chairman of Sachs Properties, Inc. and chief executive officer of Sachs Holdings, Inc. at the time of his passing. He had suffered a heart attack in January, but remained active with the firm until May, when he suffered a second heart attack. His son, Stephen Sachs of Ladue, recently joined the firm and will eventually become chairman, said Kathy Higgins, president of the firm. A private funeral service was held at Mr. Sachs’s home in Maryland.

A St. Louis service is being planned.

In addition to his son, Mr. Sachs is survived by his wife, Mary; two daughters, Susan E. Sachs of River Forest, Ill. and Charish Campbell of Easton, Md.; and eight grandchildren. Another son, Peter M. Sachs, died in 2003.

Contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. For online tributes, please visit www.fhnfuneralhome.com.