By. Chris Stritzel
Today was a very historic day for the Central West End and St. Louis in particular as the now famous "One Hundred" North Kingshighway Tower held a Commencement Ceremony to officially begin construction. The event was attended by about 60 people on the future site of the Tower. Everyone from neighborhood residents, to contractors to the General Public (like me) were down at the site for this historic event. Since it's unveiling by MAC Properties in December 2016, the One Hundred tower went through a design revision which removed two tiers from the design but kept the height. Some stainless steel was removed to make the building look more glassy than it did before. Other than that, it retains it's unique charm that it originally presented.
One Hundred will be roughly 50 feet taller than the Chase Park Plaza just a block North and that will surely make a difference. One Hundred will be visible from all over the City, and region if you have a sharp eye. It's unique design will also catch anyone's eye when they are driving down Kingshighway, Interstate 64, visiting Forest Park or visiting Central West End.
"We have a problem", says Mayor Lyda Krewson, "That problem is that St. Louis is a best kept secret and we are trying to reveal that secret to everyone and I hope this project helps open that door". But Maybe Lyda's hope is already coming true, by the same developer. Eli Ungar, the Founder of MAC Properties and Antheus Capital even stated, "I want to thank two of our partners on this project, Studio Gang and Clayco... We couldn't be more excited to start our relationship with Clayco and expect that we will be standing somewhere nearby at a podium like this on a equally sunny day soon talking about our 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th projects with Clayco".
"This is going to be a real game changer. This architect (Studio Gang) of this project is the most notable architect on a St. Louis building since the GenAmerica building went up in Downtown and to have that at this location will make it an instant landmark", said Joe Roddy, the Alderman of the Ward this development is in (The 17th Ward). He also emphasized what a great investment this building will be into St. Louis in the long run and even emphasized the revenue that will come off of this building by the end of the 15 year tax abatement agreement, "It will be Millions of dollars that will be pumped into the economy after 15 years".
There was a Time Capsule that was also sealed today at the event which includes 100 Letters from people and things from this day (2/27/18). It will not be opened until February 27th, 2118, approximately 100 Years after the project broke ground. "I don't know what the world will look like in 100 Years", Eli Ungar said jokingly, "but I can assure you that this site will look immensely different in 100 weeks". We couldn't agree more, and to be honest, it looks different already with all of that construction equipment and fencing on site!
In the end, One Hundred should be open by Mid-2020 as St. Louis City's tallest residential only building. Rent should hover around $3 per square foot (So a 500 Square Foot Studio Apartment, for example, will most likely go for $1500 per month). Once again, One Hundred will be 36 floors and 385 feet tall. The contractor is Clayco and the Architecture firm is Studio Gang. Total cost for the project will hover around $130 Million. A large investment on such a small lot, and we can't wait to see what MAC has planned elsewhere in St. Louis.
What do you think of the project and MAC's ambitious plans for the St. Louis market? Let me know down in the comments.
By. Chris Stritzel
The current Preservation Board agenda reveals a 7 Floor, 149 unit Apartment building on the very dense residential street of Pershing in the Central West End neighborhood. Currently, the site of the proposed building is a vacant lot and the developers are currently building another apartment building just across the street at 5510 Pershing. This 7 floor structure will not only add density to the street, but all add more than 250 residents to the already crowded neighborhood. Parking is also planned for this structure, but there will be no retail.
The Preservation Board recommends the approval of the project with the stipulation that a current driveway will be used to access the parking structure instead of a new curb cut being created. Other than that, it appears this thing may be a go. But the building will be twice the height of the neighboring structures on either side of it which creates an "air space" dilemma that is mentioned in the Preservation Board Agenda. But this will most likely pass despite this "air space" problem.
The building itself will be a floor taller than the current building being built by developers at 5510 Pershing and that is why this is raising some flags. To much height could mean that the street stays shaded by buildings and while that doesn't sound like a bad thing, it could very well cause problems by neighbors. I guess we will have to wait and see at the Preservation Board meeting on the 26th if anything happens. Bets are, this will pass.
There is no word on what the value of the building is but I expect it to be around $25 Million+.
By. Chris Stritzel
After knowing about this project since since February, nothing beats seeing what will happen here than seeing a rendering. The old remaining large city hospital buildings will be restored into 74 luxury market rate apartments. Behind the project is the Pearl Companies of Indianapolis. That company is also working on the Hibernia project in Dogtown.
The company purchased the buildings back around Valentines Day of this year according to Jeff T and have since tapped Trivers to be the Architecture firm to lead the design process of the project. "There are two buildings" he said, "Both are quite large. These structures will be divided into Buildings A and B during the construction process but will remain one building to residents. They will be completed at the same time". Due to extensive damage to the Southern facade of the main building, they opted to make it more modern by adding in glass, a nice modern twist for a historic structure.
Jeff expects it to become one more piece to the puzzle in restoring the historic City Hospital Complex. However, there still are two remaining buildings on the site that have no plans available yet. These two are a single floor structure and a 3 floor strucure. The 3 floor structure sets up well for apartments while the single floor one sets up nicely for a restaurant. The Pearl Companies have plans for those buildings as well. Those will be restored at the same time as the other two.
The Pearl Companies hope to begin on this project in the early summer of this year and wrap up around July 2019. This will be their second project in St. Louis and will bring their total amount of money invested into the City up to $40.5 Million and, when all is said and done, an additional 175 apartments into the St. Louis Real Estate Market. This complex will include Gated and Secured Parking, a business center, commons areas, studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, a fitness center and pet wash among other things like a rooftop deck.
Pricing for the units is as follows...
1. 4 Studio Units at $985 per month
2. 63 One Bedroom Units at $1100-$1300 per month
3. 7 Two Bedroom Units at $1600 per month.
This Story was updated on Friday, May 18th, 2018 to include a rendering, updated timeline and more information.
By. Chris Stritzel
After the Post-Dispatch and KTVI/KPLR reported that Indianapolis based Pearl Companies will have their 5 floor, 100 unit apartment building completed by the end of the year, I raised my doubts for many reasons. Many are obvious while others are simply speculation at this point in time. Let me list my 3 main doubts about the project before I get to the 3 main hopes that this project could get done in 10 months or less. Let’s get started...
1. Current State of the Site: I checked on the vacant site at 6300 Clayton Avenue Sunday Night. All that was on site was a Excavator and a Small Bulldozer. Nothing else. The lot’s gates were open and about 12 cars were parked there. However, an advertisement that advertises the project’s website was on the fence so that is a good sign.
2. Timeline: If this complicated project can get done in 10 months, I’ll be surprised. The fact that an underground garage has to be built for the residents and even for the general public is what really raises my doubts. You have to dig way underground, put your supports into the ground and then build up which could take anywhere from 3-4 months on a normal project AT BEST. That on top of the grocery store and 4 floors of apartments is going to be a squeeze to get done. It just seems impossible considering that the streets around the site are smaller than most and that there is no way that a entire street would have to be closed for construction.
3. General Stall: This was stalled for sometime and is just now starting. It will happen, but just at a slower pace. There may be some kinks in the construction process that will slow it down from being stalled for a while. We will ultimately see though.
1. Construction: If the city can work with the contractors on the project to fast track this, we can see it done in 10 months. While one piece of construction is underway, another permit should be applied for and fast tracked so that construction doesn’t have to stop at all. Even a day of construction being stopped could derail the hope of this opening by the end of the year.
2. 24/7 Construction: It is HIGHLY unlikely that this tactic will be used when digging a hole for parking and supports along with the neighbors, but it is an action that could be taken to fast track construction. Say if this were to be a 20 month long project typically, 24/7 means it could be a 10 months long project. I don’t see them doing this for the parking but for the residential framing and construction, I could see this being done.
3. High Labor Demands: Maybe the contractors and Pearl Companies already have this one planned, but I doubt it. Have many more excavators and bulldozers and what not to fast track construction along with more human labor. More workers = more things being done at once.
In the end, I am placing bets on residents moving in by Mid-Spring 2019. The Fields Foods market at the base could open by January 2019, but even then, it is cutting it close. I don’t know what will happen here, but we will see. Either way, this project will be significant for Dogtown as it has the possibility of adding 220 residents to the neighborhood if all units are full to their maximum potential. So this project will be a big win for Dogtown. It is also a $25 Million investment into the City by an lout of state developer which is an even bigger win.
Let me know in the comments if you think that HIBERNIA could be done in 10 months. And if so, how?
I contacted the Pearl Companies to get the scoop on this project's timeline. The person who answered me back is Jeff Tegethoff. His answer is that the project will break ground on Thursday March 1st, 2018 at 11A.M. The Company would like the neighborhood to be there to help celebrate this occasion. He then went on to say that "construction should take about 12 months, so a March 2019 completion" but they hope to have the Fields Foods Market opened by late February. Jeff also stated that the Apartment Unit residents will not have to pay additional money to park in the gated garage as it will be included in the monthly rent. Rent is also supposed to be around $1300-$1900 a month.
There will be 89 1 Bedroom Apartments that range in size from 650-800 square feet and 11 Two Bedroom units which will range in size from 1000-1100 square feet. All in all, Jeff says that these apartments will be 10-15% below the common rent in the area which means that residents can save $1000-$2500 per year. On another note, he says that the Pearl Companies are actively looking at putting a second residential building on the City's South Side in a deal worth $15.5 Million and will add 74 apartment units to the St. Louis market.
They hope to have more information on that once HIBERNIA starts to rise. In all, the Pearl Companies will invest more than $40 Million into St. Louis City.
By. Chris Stritzel
Construction is now officially underway on Ballpark Village Phase 2 and so far, it has been moving slower than expected. The weather is partially to blame. But after the PWC and One Life Fitness announcement back at the groundbreaking event in December, we haven't heard anything else on who the other tenants will be. Nothing on restaurants or stores. So who will they be? We got some answers after digging through more than 500 pages of planning and blue print documents (it wasn’t enjoyable but was interesting). Lets get started with the Leasing Center for One Cardinal Way.
Ever since Ballpark Village Phase 1 opened, the vacant retail space on the Northwest Corner of the building has stuck out. Now, with Building Permits filed with the City and plans to go along with it, we can confirm that this will be where the One Cardinal Way Leasing Center will go. The nearly $150,000 mini project should be underway soon as the building permit was issued on February 14th for the alteration. Model Units are places where prospective renters go to view how the unit will be laid out. We will be sure to show you it once it opens!
Now to some retail announcements.
First of all, the Americana is not a real business. It is just a place holder for whatever future business goes in on that corner of the building (see map below). The rendering featured above shows the first tenant of the retail portion of the building. It is Shake Shack*. It has been rumored that Shake Shack would move in here, and now it is confirmed. The signature logo is found in this image and the Shack will occupy a small roughly 1500 square foot space in the building and will be right next door to the Office Tower entrance.
In case you have been living under a rock, this is Shake Shack's second location in St. Louis and will be third in Missouri once the one in Kansas City's Country Club Plaza opens up sometime in the fall. Next up on the retail list is a place known as Power and Life Yoga*. This Yoga Studio will sit at the base of the One Cardinal Way tower in the Northwest Corner. It is a small 1,435 Square foot location. There are other Power and Life's in the Country with the closest one being in Kansas City. That combined with the Onelife Fitness Facility will make this place ground zero for athletic junkies.
No word yet on whether the Wahlburger Place* will open up in Ballpark Village after shake Shack appears to be moving in.
The Pennant Building
It appears the Office Building will no longer be called 9 Cardinal Way but will instead be called "The Pennant Building". How fitting for it being next door to Busch Stadium. Plans reveal that the Building will now be 11 floors instead of the original 10 that was widely talked about. The 4 floors of office space will sit on top of a 7 Floor Parking Garage that will serve the hotel, offices and the remainder of the district. A $13.5 Million Permit was applied for which would allow the building to begin rising from the ground. It will be built with metal beams instead of the concrete used on the Residential Tower.
The building will stand roughly 174 feet** above the district.
Found in the document is a cool sculpture of a baseball which will sit on top of a portion of the hotel so pool guests and people in the Busch Stadium 2 Plaza can see it. It will be made of Steel and have red neon lighting for effect. Also, the mural facing into the courtyard will be past Cardinals Players. The Gallery below allows you to view what I am talking about.
Below is the site plan map showing all of the available retail spaces. Please note that Shake Shack will be occupying the Retail Space directly to the left of "The Pennant Building" wording and that Power and Life Yoga will occupy the space to the Left of the "One Cardinal Way" wording. The Leasing Center will be to the left of the Fudgery. So far, Cardinal Way retail spaces are filling up with only three left to fill. The entire project still has 4 spaces to fill that range in size. Some shopping would do wonders down here besides restaurants.
By the way, the Market may not be a grocery store market or convenience store, it may be a "Eatery" kind of place*** like the one at the Metropolitan Building.
All designs for this block are by HKS architects. That is who the documents are by. They are accessible if you know the way on public city websites.
Ballpark Village Project Updates.
Click the button below to go to the project update page!
*-Both announcements are not yet official until the Cordish Companies and the Cardinals say so. These were merely pulled from documents submitted to the City.
**- Based on information given in the document TO THE TOP OF THE MECHANICAL SCREEN. Actual Height around 164 feet.
***- Not yet confirmed but we were told by someone close to the project.
By. Chris Stritzel
Whether you have ever had the experience of living there, driving through here, patronizing the numerous businesses or even participating in Mardi Gras, Soulard is undoubtable St. Louis' best preserved historic district. Numerous houses line the streets that give it a vibe unlike any other. No other neighborhood can even compare to the vibe that Soulard lets off. If the wind blows from the South, the Brewery (Anheuser Busch), can be smelled. Down on the streets, numerous shops and restaurants along with bars, provide the neighborhood with plenty of meeting places.
Unlike New Orleans's French Quarter and Bourbon Street, Soulard isn't one big Tourist Trap, it is a neighborhood. The only real big touristy thing within the neighborhood is the historic Farmers Market on 7th Boulevard. Even then, there are far more locals at the market than tourists. The Farmer's Market really allows Residents to get fresh produce and products directly from farmers rather than going to large chain grocery stores and spending more money. It is also a history trip because of how old the market is. It was originally built in 1841 but rebuilt in 1929. It remains an anchor to this historic neighborhood to this day.
The houses were mostly built in the late 1800s. Mostly from 1885 to 1895, but there are some houses here from as far back as the 1850s. They are kept up really well for their age and prospective residents can't get enough of them. If you want a house or apartment in this neighborhood, better look and choose fast because just as fast as the listings show up, they are gone. That then requires the construction of new buildings and historic restoration to solve the residential shortage ion the neighborhood.
At Gravois and Russell, a 5 floor apartment building is under construction to serve a large influx in residents to the neighborhood. Along 7th Boulevard, at Victor Street, another 5 floor apartment building is getting ready to rise to, once again, serve the large influx of residents into the neighborhood. Other smaller infill projects have been proposed such as historic restoration and ground-up new construction. At 1001 Russell, a proposed 21 unit apartment and retail building is ready to rise. All three of these developments will add 275 Apartments to the historic district and possibly up the neighborhood's population by about 600.
The dense population of Soulard, before the additional residents from the three above construction projects, is 3,440 people in 389 square acres. That is 6000+/- per square mile. Very dense for this neighborhood. However, the density coupled with street parking makes Mardi Gras VERY hectic. People have to get parking passes and park far away from their homes or apartments during this one day event. As over 100,000 people crowd into Soulard for the parade and music, the neighborhood descends into chaos. Trash lines the street and hopeless drunks wonder the streets while being flashed by boobs from drunk women and large men.
But that is the fun of Mardi Gras! You never now what you are going to see! After the fun ends, the City and Mardi Gras organization stages an overnight cleanup of trash and what not in the streets to where, by Sunday morning, it looks like nothing happened (besides the tents and ice piles). Mardi Gras in St. Louis is the second largest Mardi Gras in the country behind New Orleans and is the second largest event in St. Louis City in a year. The First is Fair St. Louis and Third is St. Patrick's Day and Fourth is Oktoberfest (which is celebrated in Soulard).
By living in Soulard, you immediately become part of the hottest real estate market in the City! How about that! But you also become part of the history of Soulard by living in some of the oldest houses in the City. In the end, you can be assured that everything you want is in Soulard. Even as it changes, it will not lose its charm that makes Soulard, Soulard.
By. Chris Stritzel
After a gaff where I had to retract the story on the hotel project in Downtown Clayton, it has now been officially revealed, with a different design. The 12 floor AC Hotel hotel will be built where the former Clayton Police HQ stands today. The design is quite interesting as it blends Brown and White with numerous glass pieces forming a unique design that we are starting to see more often in the region. But that is beside the point.
As we know, the AC Hotel will be situated on South Central in Clayton and will flow through to South Meramec on the opposite side. At 200 rooms, it will add a ton of space for visitors to come to Downtown Clayton. This means it will also add to the streetscape, there will be more people in Downtown Clayton to patronize the cafes and small shops that dot Clayton. If that is not enough, visitors can literally walk a block to the MetroLink station and board train that connects to numerous destinations such as Downtown, Central West End, Brentwood-Richmond Heights and the Airport. The system also connects to transit centers where people can take the bus thus getting to other destinations in the area.
Basically, the local economy will benefit some. Clayton itself will benefit a lot from the project. So it is a win-win situation!
The Developer of the project is Homebase, who is based in Montana. Homebase is also getting ready to build a 7 floor, 145 room AC Hotel by Marriott in Central West End. The contractor is Keeley Co. The hotel branding chosen for this project is a AC Hotel, as I stated earlier. Both are designed by Denver based Jonathan, Nathan Strohe (JNS). There is another AC Hotel in the works at the Jefferson Arms in Downtown. This goes to show that Marriott is expanding in St. Louis. Why is that important? Well, there are 13 Marriott Hotels that are either completed, proposed or currently under construction in the region at this time. This makes that number 14.
The local hotel market is also going strong with numerous other brands opening up in the region such as the regions first Aloft Hotel on Forest Park Avenue in Cortex and regions first Tru by Hilton out at the Streets of St. Charles. Furthermore, a Hotel Indigo is under construction in Downtown and an EVEN by Intercontinental is in the works for the Jefferson Connector Project at Locust and Jefferson. Local chain Drury has also opened a couple new locations. And of course, Loews is going to open up shop in 2019 at Ballpark Village. This proves there is strong demand for hotels in the area.
Back on track, when this AC Hotel is hopefully approved and gets underway late this year and wraps up sometime in 2020, it is safe to say that our market will have gone through one of the most significant building booms in a long time. Significant as in for better or for worse. Cost of this project? $45 Million. That is a solid investment for the region and adds to the growing Downtown Clayton area that is seeing multiple proposals and construction projects.
There will also be a rooftop bar in this project.
Additional Perspectives and Floor Plates
By. Chris Stritzel
Yesterday, news was broken on the announcement that Garcia Properties purchased the old Grandview Arcade (Melba Theater) Building at 3600 South Grand. They have recently completed the restoration of the Gratiot School in Dogtown and their headquarters on Kingshighway. The both look really good and now they are going to tackle this beauty. It has been abandoned since the early to mid 1990s and the 25+ years of abandonment have taken its toll. Vandalism, boarded up windows and merferds line the building's street level while upstairs, broken windows and dirty terra cotta and brick are prominent. It just looks depressing and looks like something the city would demolish if they could. Thank god they are not.
Now, several market rate apartments will fill the building as well as co-working space in the building's former shopping arcade on the first floor. The old Melba Theater was torn town at some point in time and has since been replaced with a Apartment building. There will also be some co-living/work space on the first floor as well. Above, on floors 2 and 3, 12 there will be apartments that are expected to go for top dollar rent. That is a given.
The plan and desire is to get underway on this project by late this year and open up in the Summer of 2019. An ambitious time frame considering the way the building looks, unless the interior of the building is not in bad shape (which the Post-Dispatch article says that the old railing and intricate work is still there). Furthermore, the building was saved by a newer roof several years ago. All in all, it is a gem that can bring South grand's success further Southward and hopefully bring back the Gravois corridor as well.
The project is expected to cost around $5 Million. Garcia is expected to go for a Tax Abatement and use Historic Tax Credits because of how it is a historic building and is in a historic district.
Below are two other views of the building: one further South on Grand from the Southside National Bank Building and one from Miami Street on the Northern end.