By. Chris Stritzel
What is currently a dead corner in Downtown should be one that is vibrant. On one corner you have the hulking Jefferson Arms Building, which is waiting for funding to be secured for redevelopment. On another corner is a parking lot for a US Bank branch. On another is a medical testing building and on the final corner is a large parking garage being held up by wood with no retail. It is really a dismal site. The old Parking Garage has been this way for the past 3 years. The former retail tenant, Papa John's Pizza, has moved a block and a half South to the Park Pacific Garage leaving the garage to rot. The garage has been stabilized by wood support beams inside because it is collapsing and poses a public safety threat.
The owner has neglected the parking garage and should've demolished it but instead, he called in the city to help stabilize the structure and now owes the city tons of money for a fix that does nothing to make money. Its a garage rotting away and one that should've been demolished a decade ago. The eyesore is clearly first and adds no value to Locust Street. It's a cancer attached to the beautiful Board of Election Commissioners Building. It's ugly all the way around. Downtown St. Louis is well over abundant with Parking Garages (both visible and hidden) and losing this garage wouldn't hurt. Its a place to waste money but it possess a great redevelopment oppurtunity.
As other large cities are demolishing parking garages for hotels and residential, St. Louis is building Parking Garages for what reason? None. Downtown is not going to thrive when you have a Parking Garage every other block. What Downtown needs is smart infill that is useful to the surrounding area. In this case, this corner deserves a building that adds value and character and not more cars. I could see a mixed use building being built here along the lines (design ands size wise) of this under construction Hyatt Centric Hotel in Downtown Philadelphia.
That hotel replaces a parking garage of similar size of the one that is the main subject of this story. Notice how the Hyatt has open store fronts with glass and a pretty classy design. This would do wonders to the corner of Locust and Tucker (if this was in our city) especially if the Jefferson Arms gets underway with it's redevelopment. That hotel is 15 floors and for Tucker in St. Louis, It would look nice considering that every single building on Tucker is of an era gone by or is just plain ugly. This corner doesn't deserve a parking garage or a pocket park, it deserves a nice sized building.
If we were to take the Hyatt Centric idea and apply it here, it would be a great investment. It fills the void for a hotel between the Marriott Grand and Courtyard Hotel on Washington and 9th Street to the Last Hotel at 14th and Washington. When the AC by Marriott at the Jefferson Arms comes into play, it offers a more upscale brand for those travelers who want luxury in a prime location. Nice small shops or restaurants could fill the retail spaces and draw people down Locust to other small businesses that line the street to the Old Post Office District. Or, if this building were to be mixed use, I could see apartments and a hotel being built here.
Apartments are a great investment Downtown especially near, or along, Washington Avenue. Retail would still be included in the mix. But for those who just need the parking, I give to you the block just North of here. The entire block is made up of about 75% surface parking with just a spattering of buildings. Find a place to park there and call it a day. This is a Downtown and not your suburban shopping mall (although this corner sure feels suburban).
This site is just to prime for a crumbling parking garage especially if the Jefferson arms is to eb redeveloped. If the company who owns the garage can't maintain it anymore or afford to keep it up, they should put out requests for demolition or hand it off to the city to demolish it. There is no need for the garage and but there is a need for other uses besides a garage. The ideas mentioned fit in perfectly here but until the site is put up for sale, this garage will continue to be an eyesore. I can picture developer wanting to build here for the reasons mentioned above but the garage has to go or be put up for sale.
Another thing that ahs to be fixed is Tucker itself. The street is way to wide for Downtown and could lose a lane in each direction for widened sidewalks and other pedestrian changes. The median could also be expanded for a place to reduce time to walk across the street. No matter what happens, with the Jefferson Arms redevelopment being the most likely project to happen at this corner, measures have to be taken to beautify it and not make the corner look so desolate. I don't care how it's done, just take the garage down and fix Tucker. It will spur new development along the way, I guarantee it.
By. Chris Stritzel
Earlier today, St. Louis Community College Chancellor Jeff Pittman, sent out an email detailing the current status of the Cosand Center's (300 South Broadway) sale. He said, "For the past year, STLCC has been under contract for the sale of the Cosand Center at 300 South Broadway.
This time period allowed the purchasers to pursue due diligence pertaining to their financing and intended use of the property. Recently, the purchase and sale agreement with the College was terminated without a final sale. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees has authorized that we place the property for sale with a broker.
While the result of the sale agreement is not what we hoped, the diligence process in advance of a sale of this magnitude is a normal function of such transactions and included an end date for the benefit of both parties.
This led to many people being either happy the new 300 South Broadway project was cancelled or disappointed. Shortly after the news broke, Brian Feldt tweeted that Patrick Holleran, one of the developers an the Vice President at HDA architects, said that "the project isn't dead" but didn't specify anything beyond that. With the St. Louis Business Journal then following with a story stating "Chesterfield-based HDA Architects and Chicago-based White Oak Realty Partners and CA Ventures — had elected to terminate the agreement to acquire the 300 S. Broadway property". It lead to much confusion and ultimately led me down a path to figure out what is going on.
I began openly guessing what some of the reasons are as to why the project could be cancelled and arrived at the conclusion that maybe lenders are more hesitant to finance large residential projects, like this one, due to the fact that we could be reaching overbuilt status. We have hundreds if not thousands of residential units under construction in St. Louis right now so that idea isn't far fetched. In order to fully understand and comprehend what is going on, I contacted HDA Vice President Patrick Holleran to get answers. His response was quick and says...
"The magnitude of a $100 million dollar transaction takes considerable time with a multitude of shareholders. We are continuing to work on the deal structure with the goal to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2019".
If that quote is a sign of anything, financing appears to be the main problem right now for 300 South Broadway. I have no doubts that the project will happen but the fact that the building is being put up for sale by Cushman and Wakefield could mean trouble for the project in this particular location. Referring back to the email sent out by Chancellor Pittman, he says, "Given the location of the property and interest from outside parties, we are confident the building will be successfully sold once it's publicly listed". This could mean that other developers are wanting to purchase the building, which will be listed for a little over $7 Million.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as one party, the architects and developers, are saying that they are still working on the project while the other party, building owners, are saying they are listing it for sale with many interested parties. Whether or not the claims of both parties comes to life remains to be seen but ultimately, money wins and talks. If HDA, CA Ventures and Whiter Oak Realty Partners can't acquire 300 South Broadway, I recommend they build at the Mike Shannon's site. And if a different developer does acquire 300 South Broadway, I would hope to see a renovation into lofts.
Until then, the answer to the question in the title is "happening" but with stipulations of course which all revert back to other developers wanting to buy in. There is no doubt something will be done with the existing building but when is up in the air. I guess we'll have to wait to see how marketing goes by Cushman and Wakefield.
By. Chris Stritzel (Liaison Officer for Historic Restorations INC)
The wait is over. We have chosen Killeen Studio Architects as the Architecture firm to design the facade restoration of the Spivey Building project in East St. Louis, Illinois. The tower, at 417 East Missouri Avenue, was constructed in 1927 by Allen Spivey for his East St. Louis Journal. The building was designed by Albert Frankel whose design ideas were inspired by Louis Sullivan. After the building went abandoned in 1980, it sat and rotted until Philip Cohn came along to redevelop the property in 2002. After controversy with him, the building has been met with multiple demolition threats while ultimately set into motion this project.
Historic Restorations INC of Fayette Alabama contacted Building St. Louis to begin the process of issuing RFPs (Request for Proposals) to 5 Architecture firms in the St. Louis area. Three firms responded but only one got their proposal pitch to us in on time and that firm is Killeen Studio architects. The firm, based in a old factory/warehouse building at 3015 Salena in Benton Park, was among the most qualified in the architecture field out of the 5 firms we asked to work on the project with. We are excited to announce that we will be moving forward with them on this Project.
The scope of the project is also known as “Phase 1”. Phase 1 consists of the following...
- Removal of Soot from the main structure.
- New windows.
- Reconstruction of lost cornice.
- Roof resealing.
- Securing of Building from vandals.
- Removal of all graffiti.
- New tuck pointing
At a later date, Phase 2 will be put into motion to complete the interior of the building for habitable uses. Phase 2 is reliant of the execution of Phase 1. The plans submitted by Killeen Studio will be used in negotiations to receive the building from the St. Clair County Board of Trustees. The County took ownership of the building when the previous owner failed to pay taxes on the property. We believe that this project will be a lynchpin to future development in Downtown East St. Louis as this building is the most visible on all of Downtown East St. Louis. The Spivey is just over 65,000 square feet so it is also one of the largest buildings.
We are so excited to be working with Killeen Studio on this project and we can’t wait to see what the future of the Spivey is. As time goes on, we will update you on the progress of the Spivey Building Redevelopment at BuildingSTLNews.com/Spivey.html. We thank you all for your interest in this project and look forward to sharing exciting news soon!
Please Contact Chris Stritzel at THIS PAGE for more Information regarding the Spivey Building project.
By. Chris Stritzel
A planned redevelopment project has appeared in St. Louis City's Planning Commission documents for September 5th's meeting. The largest project is for the redevelopment of the Southampton Presbyterian Church into 18 market rate, loft style apartments within the old church structure itself. The name of the project: Nottingham Lofts. The redevelopment is one of the more unique developments to come out of this development cycle as it reuses a old church as apartment space. The development is situated in the heart of the Macklind Avenue business district which provides a unique environment to live in. Several restaurants, some shops and other special amenities (like an art gallery, ice cream shop and a nearby school) offer current and future residents of Southampton a nice place to hang out.
The development has the support of 14th Ward Alderwoman Carol Howard who says, "I think this use is far more desirable than the potential of a vacant church building in the Southampton neighborhood". The developer is Matt Salviccio whose nearly $2 Million project will reuse both the old church and the old school building. The reason why this project is heading to the Planning Commission is to approve the rezoning of the property from "A"- Single Family to "F"- Neighborhood Commercial District. No retail is part of the project.
No timeline is given to the project but public hearings are in order according to the Planning documents. If this project is carried out, the addition of lofts to the neighborhood would be great considering the growing popularity. I looked at the exterior of the property today and needless to say, the old church needs some work but nothing to much. Window frames need painting and weeds need to be plucked out. Most of the work will be for the Lofts which will be situated in the basement of the Church and the basement and 2nd floors of the old school.
Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery
Across the street from the soon-to-be Nottingham Lofts, and next door to the burned out Macklind Avenue Deli, will be a new business to the strip known as Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery. Designed by UIC, the building features nice brickwork as well as a modern infill building for Macklind. The Ice Cream shop is a satellite location of the more well known, and main location, in Lafayette Square. I suspect the shop should be open by early November considering how the interior is coming along. Wood framing is mostly in and since the main structure is complete, the project should only take a few months to complete. Either way, Southampton residents will be able to enjoy the ice cream shop soon.
This Clementine's is part of a expansion that will see 4 new locations open up all over the region.
By. Chris Stritzel
The project that has brought much controversy to the corner of Wyoming and Morgan Ford in Tower Grove South got it's first blessing yesterday on it's road to construction from the St. Louis Board of Adjustment. The appeal filed with the Board specified that the building commissioner denied a building permit to rezone the property to multi-family residential with retail space. The Board passed the appeal and have thus authorized the permit to rezone the property. In addition to this, I got more information regarding the development that may be helpful to nearby neighbors and general supporters of the project. The new information is as follows...
Even though this was passed by the Board of Adjustment, the project must go before the neighborhood association, which will happen this September, to hear neighbor's opinions on the project. If all goes well there, the project's 95% Tax Abatement will be reviewed by the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen before officially starting construction. Combined, WYMO and MOFO will total close to $10 Million in investment by AHM in the Tower Grove South neighborhood and according to sources, more developments are on the way, but "where" remains the question. Until then, the focus remains on these two developments.
By. Chris Stritzel
If you haven't read the first Unbuilt St. Louis post, click here to read it.
Over the past 18 years, St. Louis has seen some proposals come through the pipeline but got stuck and later cancelled due to the economy or funding. In some cases, developers are just sketchy and proposed things that never get done or were just a marketing gimmick to get their way. As seen in the first Unbuilt St. Louis post, many developers actually had strong backings and even defined start dates for the projects, but all featured in the first post were cancelled after the Great Recession took hold. Now, as St. Louis comes out of that dark time, it's important to review the other projects of the past that many may wish were built. This is "Unbuilt St. Louis 2".
Lewis and Clark Library Branch
When the St. louis County Library system began to modernize and condense their libraries in the county, the center of attention was the famed Lewis and Clark Library in Moline Acres. The plan was to demolish the 1960s Mid Century design for a sleek, 21st century design with a cantilevered roof and floor to ceiling glass the entire façade. The plan wasn't supported by neighbors and instead, the replacement design included the stained glass windows depicting Lewis and Clarks Westward exploration. The new library was not designed by Perkins+Will as seen in the rendering above. Regardless, the loss of the mid-century library building is disappointing and shouldn't happen again in the future for the sake of saving these types of structures.
Westin Hotel - Downtown Clayton
Ahead of the Recession, a Westin Hotel as planned for Maryland and North Central in Downtown Clayton. the proposal would've had a neo-art deco flair to it but was ultimately cancelled after neighborhood opposition and the recession. Not to mention the fact it was redesigned multiple times. The project was shelved and will never be seen again. St. Louis architecture firm, Core 10, designed the building and would've been their tallest structure if built. For now, their are no plans for this site or any other plans in Clayton for a Westin branded hotel. To his day, the only Westin in the region remains the one at Busch Stadium in downtown.
MLS Stadium @ 22nd Street
What brought tons of disappoint to Soccer fans in St. Louis and even to those who wished to see the 22nd Interchange disappear. In April 2017, voters in the city shot down Proposition 2 which would've redirected funding from Prop 1 (Metro expansion) to pay for the downtown stadium. It was practically a given that we would've received a MLS team if the stadium was passed by voters and built. Unfortunately, with no one stepping up to either re-propose the stadium to the public for funding or self fund the stadium, this stadium has been put into the "Unbuilt St. Louis" file. But don't fret on the 22nd Street interchange. a plan is underway to redesign the interchange for the NGA and make Jefferson a true interchange eliminating the need for one at 22nd.
Optimist International Site Plans
In 2014, Covington Realty partners of Clayton unveiled a proposal for a 14 floor, 200 unit apartment building at Taylor and Lindell in Central West end. While the project as god awful in design, it would've added significant density to this corner in Central West End. The project was ultimately doomed due to no tax abatements being approved or given. Then, in 2015, Koman group proposed a plan to reskin portions of the existing building while renovating the entire interior of the building, It would've cost $9 Million. While no official reason has been given for this project's failure (which was to start in 2016), we can figure that Koman's project at Euclid and West Pine had something to do with this project never coming to fruition.
At the corner of Forsyth and South Central Avenue, a building by the name of the Montgomery tower would've risen. The 31 Floor, Soloman-Cordwell-Buenz designed building would've replaced the world news building. The residential tower was to have retail at the base, a parking podium and residential units on top of it all. The tower would've also became one of the tallest buildings in the City of Clayton and since the building would've been built on a hill, it would've appeared to be the tallest. Webster Groves based Montgomery Development planned the building but must've had no way to secure financing for such a tall building. Since this project was shoveled, I don't see this one making a return in it's current form anytime soon. Despite Clayton booming with skyline changing projects, this one seems like it will miss out this time around. If the Montgomery Tower were to return, I would expect to see a different design.
City Side @ Park Pacific
When the Lawrence Group envisioned to redevelop the Missouri Pacific Building (now Park Pacific), they planned on building a residential building on top of the parking garage at Tucker and Olive. The garage also was planned to have more color in it than what it does now. The City Side apartments would've added much to Tucker despite sitting on top of a parking garage. Because St. Louis was on fire pre-recession, this project would've only added to the momentum sweeping Downtown St. Louis at the time. Even though it was cancelled, the current parking garage could hold a building on top of it, but I'm not sure. The Park Pacific Building is open though with apartments and office space. The office space is home to stations such as 97.1, 98.1 and 1120 KMOX.
The Beacon in Clayton
In 2016, a 8 floor apartment and retail building with an art deco design was proposed for Wydown and Hanley in Clayton. The name of the projected would've been "The Beacon". Despite it being a beautiful design to fit in with the other buildings in this part of Clayton, nearby NIMBYs shot this one down because of it's size along with the City pulling an RFP for the existing parking lot. The plans were scrapped in Early 2017 with no new plans in the works for this prominent corner just blocks South of Clayton's booming Downtown.
Before Ballpark Village Phase 2 was announced, Koman Group unveiled their plans for the "first Class A office building in downtown in 30 years" in May 2016. The building would've been built on a curved lot in the Cupples District just West of Busch Stadium. Cupples X was to be 5 floors and 120,000SF and cost $42 Million to build. After winning support from the Preservation Board, the proposal went on to be marketed. However, after Ballpark Village Phase 2 was announced in October 2016, this proposal went into limbo but with plans still moving forward. A little over a year later, in July 2017, the project was pulled from plans. It's assumed that Ballpark Village had something to do with it. Koman could still be planning something for this lot, but it is to early to tell. I guess time will decide if a office building is built here.
While there are other projects that I did not cover in this post, there is always the opportunity for another Unbuilt St. Louis post. The main goal of these stories is to show what could've been built in St. Louis since 2000. Do you have anything that should be included? Let me know in the comments and I'll look into it!
For Grand Center, only the best design and projects have made it throughout the past several years. Every project in this arts district tells a story in someway. Whether it be Hotel Angad or the Woolworth's Building, they tell a story. The story is reflected in design whether that me be historic restoration design or brand new concept design. These tow ideas can be seen with the Pulitzer Museum and UMSL's building on Olive in Grand Center. Both buildings are examples of exceptional architecture that are meant to be examples for the future of Grand Center. So what happens when you get Emily Pulitzer and Steve Trampe together for a major project in Grand Center? Eye catching design worthy of the neighborhood.
Planned for the 3800 block of Olive is a development consisting of 23 housing units spread out over 17 buildings. Also included is the renovation of the Wolfner Library building and the construction of a 20 unit plus apartment building at Olive and Vandeventer. New homes will also be built on the North side of Olive (which are currently home to numerous vacant lots and parking lots). Pulitzer and Trampe plan on spending $30 Million for a development that is meant to revitalize a neighborhood, but also bring new architecture concepts to St. Louis City. The first renowned architecture firm to be working on this project, Tatiana Bilbao of Mexico City. Bilbao, a long with at least 10 other architects, will design eye catching for sale housing meant to be affordable for the middle income buyer. The development will include fountains, a garden and a playground for kids. Garages will also be included along the alley.
A less known firm, Axi:Ome is also working on the project as the head design firm for the Wolfner Building restoration. Their most famous project is UMSL's building on Olive. No matter what happens at this long site on Olive, we can be sure that it will be iconic. The apartment building at olive and Vandeventer though remains up in the air. The lot is no bigger than the lot in Tower Grove South where MOFO is rising. That has 24 units and is three floors, so I see nothing more than 3 floors being built at this lot. There has been no word on who the architect is for the apartment building, but if it is a renowned architecture firm that Pulitzer is soliciting, I can assure that it will be an iconic design even if it is small.
Below are some examples of design by Axi:Ome and Tatiana Bilbao.
By. Chris Stritzel
If you have driven on Vandeventer or Tower Grove near the intersection of the two, you may have noticed work going on at the Woodward Printing Company Building. The work that has been ongoing is for the conversion of the former warehouse into modern lofts with a historic charm. From high ceilings, large picturesque windows and superior amenities, the Woodward Lofts will be among the best loft apartments in St. Louis and set an example for the Forest Park Southeast-Grove neighborhood. Built in 1926, the building housed a large printing press operation which, at the time, was among the largest in the City of St. Louis.
The Woodward's location against the railroad tracks also provided for easy access to the rail system to ship printings across the nation. In some cases, trains would back into the building to pick up their shipment before moving on. Despite the printing operation leaving the building, it has continued to be a significant icon for this prominent corner in the Grove which meant that redevelopment was imminent once the Grove started to take off development wise. Now, in 2018, the Woodward Lofts project is full steam ahead to introduce 164 luxurious loft apartments to the Grove as well as provide two commercial spaces for businesses along Tower Grove Avenue.
Due to the building's historic nature and being on the National Register of Historic Places, the architecture firm, Trivers and developer, Pier Property Group, had to follow a strict set of laws to preserve as much of the building's original character as possible. According to Diona Jett, a District Manager for StoneCreek Communities, "old water tanks from the previous operation will be cut and made into sitting areas in our common spaces" as well as, "old office partitions will be reused as a wall to cut off the commons areas to a meeting room near the grand staircase". New windows are also being made to mimic the old window design.
The building's nickname was the "building of light" due to the wide open floor plans and spaces as well as the abundance of windows surrounding the walls which allowed for natural light to pour into the printing factory. The redevelopment is taking this nickname to extremes through design. Trivers' idea is to cut 5 slits into the building to create small courtyards and commons areas that make natural light fill the building. In addition to this, they also act as buffer zones. The building is too wide to create a central hallway with apartment doors on either side. In this case, the courtyards will offer inner building units to get some natural light while also creating a community within each courtyard. Every unit looking out onto the courtyards (if on the level where you can stand), will have access to said courtyard so residents can get out, meet with other residents or soak in some natural light.
These units also have a very unique feature about them. A lot of these courtyard facing units are bi level with 24 foot ceilings and glass covering a full wall of said unit. The way the units are set up is by having a kitchen, living room and a bathroom on the first floor while your bedroom and full bathroom is upstairs. Both levels feature closet space. The renderings below show this concept with the largest courtyard area and one of the smaller ones.
As we work our way up in features, we arrive at the rooftop. The rooftop will be a gathering area for all residents featuring a pool, views of the entire city and a club room where residents can get together some day. To get an idea of where this is, it is near the largest open courtyard space near Tower Grove Avenue. You can see this is the rendering featured above. Now let's head down.
The Woodward Lofts include several amenities now visible to people on the main roads. The main lobby area features a wide open lobby with access to bike storage and a secure mail area. the secure mail area will keep your packages secure and you can only access them with your name or photo of yourself. this helps insure that your mail stays safe and that it is intended for your eyes only. Through the area where the elevator is lies a fitness center with yoga services available for your pleasure. There is also a staircase that takes you to the rooftop amenity deck. Beneath everything will be a concealed and private parking garage for residents only. The spots are reserved so you are insured to get a parking spot. There will even be spots available to charge your electric cars.
In the end, every apartment unit comes with today's best features including Spectrum Gigabit Internet, Terrazzo Floors, Stainless Steel Appliances, Modern Kitchens, Center Island Breakfast Bars, Quartz Countertops, WIFI Controlled Thermostats, Keyless Entry and Cable Ready. As seen in the model unit that I got to check out, I can tell that all of these features are in said unit and are key to making this building rise above the competition, especially in a hot market like the Grove.
My Personal Thoughts
For a historic restoration of a former warehouse/factory building, this is being done fairly well. From all the amenities and the hidden design details, the Woodward Lofts will surely be a welcome addition to the Grove neighborhood. The lofts will also draw people down to the more sleepy section of the Grove near the railroad tracks. The railroad tracks may seem to be a problem, but the management at Woodward guarantees that the trains passing by aren't heard like you think they would be. The thick, dual pane windows coupled with 12 inch thick walls gives me, and should also give you, the assurance of living in a railway view loft in peace.
Overall, I wish this property the best, the developer surely was gutsy when the move was made to redevelop this building. As the neighborhood around it springs to life with projects such as Core at Newstead, Vista Place, Grove South Homes, Missouri Foundation for Health, Adams Grove and Hasta La Vista apartments, Woodward Lofts is in the heart of it all and, in my opinion, is the final piece in the puzzle to bringing the success of the Grove Southward into McCree town and into the streets immediately surrounding it.
I look forward to returning when construction is complete on the Woodward Lofts so I can share with you all my thoughts on the project at that time. That time should be around the opening, which is set for around Christmas. In the meantime, I have attached floor layouts and links to the building's website and social media.
Layouts and Links
By. Chris Stritzel
The Grove continues to change with the current wave of development wrapping up, a new wave is getting ready to make it's presence. With developments such as 4101 Manchester, Arbor on Arco, Hasta La Vista Apartments on Newstead, Vista Place, The Dogwood and now, 4143 Manchester. 4143 Manchester is an odd development in many ways because of how it is mixed use on a fairly narrow lot. Currently occupied by an 1896 shotgun house (which will be demolished), 4143 Manchester will be a three floor building built as residential and an expansion to the neighboring Everest bar. The planned new building will follow the ultra modern architecture design that is being seen throughout the Grove. The design will include brick, wood and deep blue metal panels. Gray stucco accenting will also be included on the building but primarily on balcony facades.
The current shotgun house sits a few feet back from Manchester while the new building will be built in line with the existing Everest Bar adding to the street wall. The actual expansion of the Everest Bar will have a unique collapsing window along Manchester which allows the business to let fresh air in on nice days. Up stairs, there will be three apartments on floors 2 and 3 totaling 6 units. There will be 4 studio units and 2 one bedroom units. Of these, 4 will have balconies (2 studio and both one bedrooms). The two studio units with the balconies face Manchester while the other two face a neighboring building and sidewalk. The one bedroom units balconies will face the Everest patio and alley. There will be 4 parking spaces in the back.
The planned development is seeking a 10 year tax abatement from the City and will cost $800,000 to execute. Construction could start in January 2019 and end in December 2019. The general contractor is Restoration St. Louis. They recently completed the 4400 Manchester project, are working on Arbor on Arco and have done several other projects in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Their offices are located along Manchester.
By. Chris Stritzel
On August 15th, Green Street shared a photo on Twitter showing the interior of the historic Armory Building being gutted for their mixed use redevelopment. The hulking structure, that has sat dormant for years, is now being given a new life as a office building and retail center. After waiting to start, and even me thinking it may have been cancelled, it has begun construction and I am excited to see it happen. I have been excited since it was announced because, between this and the City Foundry project, a huge portion of midtown is being transformed from an industrial center into a area of innovation, preservation and enhancement. The neighborhood around the Armory and City Foundry (Vandeventer-Forest Park-Grand-Chouteau and Railways) has been renamed "Prospect Yards" to reflect this change. The success of the "Prospect Yards" area relies on redevelopment and infill projects in the neighborhood footprint.
While no tenants have been officially named for the Armory yet, construction is moving forward for, what is shaping up to be, one of the more anticipated projects of this development cycle. This project peaked my interest following the Tweet by Green Street, so I dug into news stories, videos and renderings that have been published to every single media outlet's, Arcturis' (architect) and Green Street's websites. When I previously did this, I found that Trivers designed a small, AC Hotel for the project. That is simply a concept to show what they can do and will not happen. But what I did find was this rendering/drawing in a video posted to YouTube, which has led me to search everywhere for better renderings.
The drawing shows a midrise building near the MetroLink Station, small infill and a amphitheater concept at the base of the tower. Arcturis is clearly visible on the drawing which lead me to believe that 500 and 502 Prospect would be demolished for new structures, which wasn't included in previous site plans and iterations.
I now have found new renderings, posted to Arcturis' website on a hidden page, showing detailed renderings of the new buildings previously never seen before, and changes to the main Armory Building. While the design of the main building remains the same, new signage peaked my interest. As seen in the gallery below, these two renderings look similar to previous ones shared but include signage for a hotel, meeting rooms and other things. The main takeaways from here are the addition of the hotel signage on the building's interior in the atrium section. But lets dig deeper.
Also included on the hidden webpage is a rendering titled, "Armory+Master+Plan+Render". However, no date of the rendering's posting has been included leading me to think one of two things, either this is a concept that never made it, or is something still in the planning phase. The same goes for the two above renderings. The large building from the drawing (mentioned earlier) is visible here along with a circular building that appears to be residential. The amphitheater is also gone. The bases of the buildings include spaces for retail and restaurants centered around a nice courtyard. The taller of the two appears to be 18 floors according to the rendering while the circular building appears to be 15 floors.
These buildings give the district significant density while also making it more of a district with places to shop and eat. It also gives the Armory District an iconic, modern flare to tie old and new together. Arcturis seems to have thought highly of these buildings to give them their time to come up with them and have thus led them to design something amazing. Very rarely to architecture firms invest tons of time into renderings and plans for something that is simply a fantasy.
Now, while I can't confirm that these renderings are concepts or for sure happening, I must mention something. These new buildings certainly look good and would dramatically change Midtown along with Lawrence Group's City Foundry Phase 2 Tower. In this case, whether or not Green Street will continue with their current plan, which restores the Armory Building, 500 and 502 Prospect, is their choice since it is their money to spend. They have, and continue to specify, that a hotel is planned for the site but whether or not it is designed to be tall and iconic remains the question. I honestly do not care which path GreenStreet takes since I am praising them for their audacity to take on the Armory Project and make something good out of it.
Regardless, I'll finish this story with something I would like to see happen. The I-64 bridge through Midtown is ugly as can be. The highway is meh all the way around, but if Green Street and Arcturis can take some nuisance and make it cool, I'll take it. I like the signage and art but I don't get the "Brooklyn-St. Louis" thing.