By. Chris Stritzel
Despite previous news reports of Dallas Texas based Alterra International (the ones who are going to restore the Jefferson Hotel), an Indianapolis based developer wants to demolish the historic Butler Brothers building at 18th and Olive. The Company, AF Development, requested a demolition permit from the City without going to the Preservation Board to prevent "troubles of getting this junker taken down". When I asked why they have been so quiet about their ambitions and why they would want to take this down, they had one answer for me. That answer was "Paul McKee wants to continue his successful development of the Northside Regeneration development and pull it into the Downtown core by tackling this block sized building".
According to the company, the plan is to build the world's first Walmart/Sam's Club building on this lot with surface/under ground parking. The building would stand four floors tall with the Sam's Club store being on the lower two floors while Walmart rests on top. On the roof, a green roof garden will lie and will be for employees only. They also wish to put a gas station at 17th and Olive for Sam's members only. Walmart declined to comment on this development.
"We think this development will truly bring retail back to downtown St. Louis in a very unique way that has never been done before." says April of AF development, "We will be going to the City's Board of Aldermen to request a TIF worth $18 Million to pay for the underground garage and parking as well as sidewalk repairs. The entire development, we hope, should cost $125 Million". Ms. April went on to say, "If all goes well, Paul McKee will acquire the property this week and we can begin demolition by the first week of May!" Even though Ms. April Fools, the founder of A.F. development sounded optimistic, she did stress, "Even though St. Louis will lose a landmark building, we hope the new development is one to get excited about. It is a worthy replacement and with a trust worthy developer like Paul McKee, anything is possible. Just look at Northside!"
What April doesn't understand is that Paul McKee is a joke himself with absolutely nothing done to Northside since acquiring the land with the exception of demolishing the historic Clemens Mansion.
We hope everyone has a great Easter and April Fools Day! THANK THE RISEN CHRIST THIS WONT HAPPEN!
By. Chris Stritzel
St. Louis City has seen a ton of investment over the past few years. Stick around and be ready to see some numbers that may surprise you! No joke!
There was approximately $3.6 Billion in developments announced, proposed or got under construction in 2015. Many did not move forward thus lowering the overall value of the year to $669 Million
There was approximately $3.86 Billion in developments announced, proposed or got under construction in 2016. Many did not move forward thus lowering the overall value of they year to $464 Million
There was approximately $3.3 Billion in developments announced, proposed or got under construction in 2017. A majority of the projects announced or got revised did not move forward in 2017 but they only lowered the total amount of investment by $1.3 Billion thus making the overall value for the year $2 Billion.
Present (2018) January-March 31st
So far this year, $809 Million in developments have been announced, proposed or got under construction. Of those, only $336 Million have been unveiled recently and are expected to start before the end of the year. Thus, only $473 Million in developments are underway. Overall, projections for this year soar to between $950 Million and $1.5 Billion in overall value. The drastic difference in projections is due to some projects potentially not happening this year to more being announced and happening.
TOTAL INVESTMENTS SINCE 2015
Based on information from January 1st, 2015 to present day, The city has seen $3.7 Billion in under construction development with close to $10.7 Billion since January 1st, 2015** in other categories. With the projections involved, we could very well see the investment mark creep into the $11 Billion category (which would be historic). If you want to get really technical, for the 1186 days between January 1st, 2015 and now, $3,119,730.19 has been invested daily into the City of St. Louis and (with the canceled, proposed or other category), the total comes up to a potential $9,021,922.43 investment per day into the city of St. Louis (if all developments were carried out).
That's a lot of money (and a good sign too)!
*- Based on research and available statistics, numbers may not be fully accurate.
**- Number includes cancelled and pushed back projects.
By. Chris Stritzel
Before the Northside-Southside MetroLink line is even ready to begin to be built, a massive proposal for Lafayette Square is taking shape. That proposal just so happens to be a Transit Oriented Development (TOD), something that St. Louis doesn't have a lot of. Situated directly East of the new Quick-Trip at Jefferson and Chouteau, the estimated $250 Million, multi phase development will drastically alter the street scape in an area of approximately 7 square blocks. Most of the lots are vacant or overgrown. Only one parcel (Jefferson and Chouteau) is home to a business. It is practically the "less desirable" portion of Soulard due to its location along Chouteau (Industrial) and location along busy Jefferson Avenue. A portion of the development was once home to Praxair which famously blew up some time ago and failed to see THIS redevelopment plan from last year.
At 1111 Missouri, the Becker-Anthes house stands as a reminder to our past as a colonial city and our potential future if we don't change our course. Planned is a museum for that old ruin but on that same block, what appears to be townhouses will rise to fill in the area to South of the development and offer a unique transition from modern to old houses. And while not much is known about that portion, it looks good and will add to the planned density of this project.
Here is a rundown of what to expect out of this major project...
1. A 10 floor hotel right up against Chouteau offering views of Downtown and the city.
2. Multiple residential buildings that will add to the density of the district.
3. Street level retail for the residents and visitors to the district.
4. Parking that is hidden.
5. Some co-working office space
6. A new public park
7. Redesign of the street grid.
8. Rooftop Gardens and greenspace
Overall, if built, the project will drastically alter Chouteau and give some of the urban look back to the street that lost much over the years, and more recently, the Pevely Building further West and the strip of houses directly West where Quick-Trip stands today. We could see construction begin by the middle of this year based on the timeline below, but lack of news reporting and neighborhood hearings isn't a good sign, but you never know!
You have to stay hopeful in a situation like this.
Personally, I think it is a great thing that developers are starting to realize the potential of TOD before the line is even built. Maybe even more developments will come about like this. On another note, tis development is bring Chouteau back by making it a street that developers will want to build on. There are several vacant lots, especially down by SLU, why not reutilize them?
Your Opinion: What do you think about this project? Will it happen or not? Let me know in the comments below.
By. Chris Stritzel
As new buildings rise up across the area that are either designed by local (HOK, Tao and Lee, Arcturis, Trivers or KAI) or National (Hord Coplan Macht, Studio Gang and HKS), one thing is for sure that more buildings that can change the skylines of Clayton or Downtown St. Louis are popping up. For better or worse, a architecture firm that has kept quiet is starting to wake up and reinvent itself. That firm is Chesterfield Based HDA Architects. Some of their projects include 212 Clayton and the Magna Place building in Clayton. Magna is recognizable but it’s unique setbacks and all glass design while 212 has been criticized for being concrete and glass. Many people have hit HDA hard for their ultra economic designs that give you the most bang for your buck.
Since 212’s completion early last year, HDA has started to bring more attention to high rise design. This attention brought us 300 South Broadway in December. Even though it has a similar design to 212, it is also different as it is more square and will change downtown's skyline. It will also add to the area surrounding the ballpark, which is currently a residential desert. The 268 unit tower will push regulations to the limit as the tower is right at the 337 foot tall limit east of Broadway. Besides the point of it being a new residential building, it also symbolizes the direction HDA is going. As younger leadership takes over the company, forward thinking designs and new uses are coming about and a key piece will be height and density in urban environments.
HDA is still very much involved in the brewery business, and they design some badass brewery concepts, but they appear to be focusing more and more on residential and hotel designs, which are popular in today’s economy. At Clayton and Hanley, a conceptual design was published on their website showing their ideas for the lot formerly occupied by a Schnucks store. The 24 Floor Tower would stand at roughly the same height of 212 but would be unique. It has a curved design and is mostly glass. However, there are two problems with this concept…
In the future, I see HDA being a major player in new development design in St. Louis. Overall, HDA could be designing more high rises and things for developers who are interested in St. Louis. They may be in Clayton, Central West End or Downtown, but I don’t know for sure. Maybe we will find out soon. But even as they reach toward the sky, HDA recently designed a 3 floor office building for the former Shriner's Hospital Site In Frontenac and while it isn’t tall, it shows more creativity as brick is used to make the building look attractive. We’ve seen this unique use of brick on the 300 South Broadway alternative design.
HDA is thinking right, and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves. Who knows, maybe they will design the future tallest building in Missouri.
Keep reaching for the sky HDA! You are on the right track.
By. Chris Stritzel
Over the past couple of days, I have been in contact with Debbie Monterrey of KMOX Radio about the state of Developments in St. Louis City. As I have previously stated, 2018 is the year the New St. Louis Story Began and that story is beginning to emerge on a much larger base than previously thought. News organizations can see it happening whether it be new development news or other things that improve our image as a City. In Debbie's case, she lives near Tower Grove Park where the recently named best street in America, South Grand, cuts through several neighborhoods that have or are experience change that hasn't happened in decades.
Tower Grove South is seeing MOFO, a 26 unit apartment project designed by JEMA at Morgan Ford and Connecticut Street in Tower Grove South, that replaces a eyesore car wash. On South Grand, the old YMCA is being torn down for a 100 unit apartment building which brings South Grand's development closer to Midtown. Overall, her neck of the woods is doing well. One of the things I mentioned in the back and forth with Debbie is how The Grove is rebuilding themselves. I specifically said, "They are literally rebuilding themselves. The Grove of a decade ago looks nothing like the one of today. Abandoned houses, vacant lots and eyesores are being built on which gives the Grove its own skyline and new-urban feel. Projects like Chroma, 4101 Manchester, Arbor on Arco, 4400 Manchester, The Grove South, Adams Grove and Core at Newstead have and will drastically alter the Grove and make it new again."
Over all, I predicted the future of development in the city and made a bold prediction that new development would move away from the Grove and Central West End to Downtown within the next decade. But the Grove and Central West End are running out of space for new development and you do not want to demolish people's homes for a new high rise because that is not what the new St. Louis Story is about. What it is about is bring the community back to St. Louis. Downtown has tons of vacant lots and parking lots that can and will be built on in the future. We will see new development downtown because of how the number of abandoned buildings is diminishing as well. There is demand downtown, but that demand will truly skyrocket once abandoned buildings are taken care of.
The New St. Louis story is being recognized nationwide was Vogue Magazine and the New York Times raved about St. Louis' affordability and culture. It is that kind of coverage that St. Louis needs to truly be rediscovered by developers and investors across the nation. We will be rediscovered but that will only happen once a bite of our crime is taken out and I have faith that Chief John Hayden will work hard with the community and politicians to make St. Louis safer in all categories. Once that is done, the new story will be in full force. But back on track.
Besides being featured in KMOX, I have been in contact with other news stations and radio stations in St. Louis who want to know more about the "New St. Louis Story" in particular. No word yet on a day when that may be released but quite frankly, it is great to see the media report on the good in St. Louis, which will lead to a domino effect. I thank KMOX and Debbie Monterrey for the story mention and I look forward to the future of St. Louis.
Read the story by clicking the button below.
By. Chris Stritzel
As St. Louis moves forward, some neighborhoods are getting more than they bargained for. Whether it be restorations, new construction or road/sidewalk improvements, a lot is happening. Several neighborhoods are even in their own building boom which was unprecedented while some are taking it slow and steady while others have nothing happening at all. 99% of the time, out of scale and large buildings are not needed to make a city or even St. Louis a better place. You don't build a 25 floor tower in Dogtown because you think it would look cool, you build based on demand. In Central West End, Downtown and Clayton, taller towers are being built because the demand for them is very high and there isn't a ton of space to build on. In places like Tower Grove South, Dogtown and Brentwood, smart developments are rising that are based on demand and not what may be needed in the future. These developments truly make a difference.
In Tower Grove South's case, MOFO on Morgan Ford is an example of a development based on demand. At three floors, it won't tower over neighboring structures while the darker exterior panels fit in better with the neighboring brown brick buildings. The first floor is designed to be welcoming to pedestrians by providing roughly 6000 square feet of retail space while the back half of the first floor will be parking for the residents. Up stairs on floors 2 and 3, 26 apartments ranging in size from one bedroom to two bedroom units. It is one of those projects that is needed in a neighborhood like Tower Grove South. It will also contribute to the walkability of Morgan Ford with numerous restaurants, bars and a grocery store among other things. That with its proximity to Tower Grove Park will give residents an urban lifestyle that has become so popular in St. Louis recently.
MOFO should be complete by October/November of this year. At last check, the building's elevator shaft is up to floor two of three. It should be complete by this Friday, the 16th. But elsewhere besides Tower Grove South, developments like HIBERNIA will make an even bigger impact on the neighborhood and it's surroundings.
While MOFO offered space for shops, restaurants and whatever else, HIBERNIA will bring a much needed resource to the Dogtown neighborhood, a Grocery Store. The brand of the Grocery Store is Fields Foods which is comparable to a Schnucks/Whole Foods mix. There is only one other one in the City of St. louis and that one is in Lafayette Square. The store will take Dogtown from being somewhat walkable to very walkable upon its completion in March 2019. Besides the grocery store, HIBERNIA will add 100 apartments to Dogtown ranging from one bedrooms to two bedrooms. Indianapolis based Pearl Companies, who is developing HIBERNIA, has said to Building St. Louis that they want to make a quality product that everyone will love. They are also working on a project for the old City Hospital at Lafayette and 14th.
For the future residents of HIBERNIA, a short walk to Turtle Park or Forest Park is a hit as it promotes a healthy, family friendly atmosphere! Elsewhere in the city, projects that demolish abandoned buildings and replace them with new apartment buildings are going up or are ready to being, one of the more significant projects like this is the Pelican Place project at 2200 South Grand.
At the site of the former YMCA building on Grand will rise a five story, $19 Million apartment building designed by St. Louis based architecture firm HOK. To be built on the Western edge of Tower Grove East near Tower Grove Park and Compton Hill Reservoir Park, the 124 unit apartment building will add to the growing demand for apartments along South Grand, which was recently named one of Americas "Great Streets". This project will consist of middle tier luxury apartment units that range in price from $700-$800 for a studio apartment to over $1800 for two bedroom units. Just South of this, the old Pelican Building is being converted into a Dominos Pizza, which will move form its location near Grand and Arsenal to this location. While it isn't the best use for this building, it is better than it crumbling and eventually being demolished.
The residents of this building have everything in a short walk or bike ride a way whether it be on South Grand or Tower Grove South. Those with the amazing Tower Grove Park just 3.5 blocks South or Compton Hill Park just two blocks North will really be a hit for future residents of Pelican Place.
Even though three projects were spotlighted here in this story, many others are rising or are planned to rise soon. Some include Arbor on Arco, 1001 Russell, and a new Apartment Building on Pershing in Central West End. All of these help contribute to the revitalization of St. Louis City and will have their own page in the New St. Louis Story. And quite frankly, that revitalization is happening faster than many of us think but it will be fun to watch unfold before our very eyes, and in some cases, our own neighborhoods.
By. Chris Stritzel
As we all know, Restoration St. Louis built a 5 floor, one hundred unit apartment building in the Grove at 4400 Manchester Avenue. It was their first ground up construction project. They have been known for renovation and restoring structures in Davenport Iowa and in St. Louis. Currently, they are working on restoring the 705 Olive Street building in Downtown into Hotel St. Louis and some apartments. That project is moving along nicely with new window installation nearly complete on the structure. Now, there is this, 4215 Arco Avenue in the Grove (Forest Park Southeast).
This 4 floor, 95 unit apartment project will demolish some less desirable buildings for a new building that looks old. This has several good aspects that will make the development worth while. Those are…
- Sunken parking garage accessible only from the alley. No new curb cut!
- Only a few feet away from the Manchester strip in the Grove.
- Adds to the continued revitalization in the Grove and the formation of a “skyline” for the Grove.
- 95 new apartments ranging in size from studios to 3 bedroom units will add more residents to the already fast growing neighborhood.
The name of the project is Arbor on Arco. This project is about 3 blocks away from Restoration St. Louis’ 4400 Manchester Project. We should see more on this soon. Rent will be within the same range as 4400 Manchester (Market Rate Apartments) so $725-$1850 a month for studios - 2 bedrooms. Three bedrooms could hover around $2000. Construction should begin promptly this May after 4400 Manchester begins to fill up and Park Central Development gives the green light of the project and building permits are issued.
Other Things Going into or Planned for the Grove Right Now
- 4400 Manchester is wrapping up nicely.
- 4101 Manchester has applied for a building permit but no word on a ground breaking
- Chroma (Formerly Chouteau Grove) looks really nice and is wrapping up nicely
- Core at Newstead has two homes complete out of 50 and two apartment buildings. No word on those project’s expected completion
- Adam’s Grove affordable housing should be complete by this Summer
- Woodward Lofts
- Greater Goods HQ
- Missouri Health Association HQ
- Vista Place (Lofts and Townhomes in a Courtyard concept)
- And now Arbor on Arco
All of these are rebuilding the neighborhood for the future! Which is a great thing!
By. Chris Stritzel
Today, the City of Kirkwood released a 180 page Master Plan document for their Downtown which addresses everything from parking to housing to stores and the pedestrian experience. First off, the study concluded that parking in Kirkwood is already scarce and packed once the weekend rolls around and during normal business hours. The amount of parking lots and structures should solve this issue, but they are always filled. One thing that can be blamed for this is how a majority of Kirkwood's residents do not work ion Kirkwood they work elsewhere in the region which means more people need cars to go places which makes the parking lots and garages full.
This parking issue will not be fixed easily as a new Performing Arts Center at 240 East Monroe Avenue has been proposed (which will further add to the stress of the lack of parking). It will also remove some City owned space from the Southeastern End of Downtown which will help draw people to this end of Downtown. The theater is proposed to be 500 seats in size and will move the existing theater from Geyer Avenue to Downtown.
Elsewhere in Kirkwood, the plan to make the area more walkable and welcoming to Millennials is quite ambitious. Tons of parking lots will be displaced for new structures ranging from Boutique Hotels to missing middle housing to shops and more parking. This plan especially comes to life around the train station and the soon to be built Performing Arts Center. All of this space will basically be displaced for the new uses specified above and to make Downtown Kirkwood more walkable and enjoyable.
One unique aspect of this proposal is a think called "Kirk-Walk" which will be a pedestrian oriented street (even though there is a small alley running through it) which connects a new Jefferson Street parking garage to Argonne and the train station which will include shops, restaurants and more. Furthermore, the parking lot to the West of the train station currently would be replaced with a boutique hotel and retail building to fully connect the "Kirk-Walk" to the train station and beyond. To the East of the train station, the old farmers market will be redeveloped and made larger while the parking lot over there sets up nicely to be a mixed use development with ground level shops being top priority.
The only curb cuts here are for the train station drop off zone and pick up zone along with a small alley street in the "Kirk-Walk"
Down by the Performing Arts Center, the desolate area will become lively with housing and shops in what will be known as the "Midtown-Theater District". This area will be home to a boutique hotel, apartments and some missing middle housing developments which will provide Kirkwood with the much needed housing for that category. All of this infill development will have their own parking (one spot per housing unit). It is going to be crammed but it is worth it in the long run.
One last aspect of the Master Plan is the Road Diets which will come out of it. Kirkwood Road will be completely redone so that the sidewalks are wider by 3 feet, they are landscaped with trees and that parallel parking buffers pedestrians from the street. On Argonne, the median will grow and sidewalks will grow while angled parking is removed for parallel parking. Once again, this is to make the walk across the street easier and quicker, it will also provide a pivotal link for the "Kirk-Walk".
Along with this, the UMB Bank building in Kirkwood is being eyed for a Grocery Store which would take some stress off of Global Foods and provide more options for residents in Kirkwood. This store would be connected via the cross block passage as seen in the first image which would be a pivotal link between Taylor and Clay avenues.
Overall, this plan lays the groundwork through 2035, about 17 years and based on how Kirkwood is going currently, I see this getting done before 2035. The demand for the new housing and boutique hotels is there, but it is just a matter of getting it done in an orderly fashion while retaining Kirkwood's character and charm. The first piece of the puzzle to make everything work out correctly, is solving the parking issue then building the Performing Arts Center to get the ball rolling on this truly great Downtown Master Plan.
DPZ Company Design of Miami, Washington DC, Portland and Berlin is the planner.
By. Chris Stritzel - 7 Minute Reading Time
On December 18th, 2017, Ballpark Village Phase 2 broke ground. That project includes a 29 story, 300 unit apartment tower known as One Cardinal Way, a Loews Hotel and Office Building. The Residential Tower will top out at 320 feet in height and the other portion around 130 feet. Just across the street, and announced the Friday before the groundbreaking on the 14th of December, 300 South Broadway was unveiled and proposed. It was passed by the Preservation Board on February 26th, 2018. That tower will top out at 33 floors and 337 feet tall according to documents obtained by Building St. Louis and will have 246 Units, 10 of which are badly needed 3 bedroom units. That project should begin in September of this year.
In Central West End, after a Year and 2 months, on February 27th, 2018, One Hundred broke ground. That building will be 36 floors and 385 feet tall. It should be open by Summer 2020. What am I getting at here? Well, it is fairly simple, we are pushing buildings that will make a difference in the City’s skylines, and we aren’t finished yet. In the case of Central West End, the hottest neighborhood in the City, more high rises could be unveiled this year if all goes well, and it appears it will be. MAC Properties hinted at their Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday, that they have other projects planned in St. Louis and that one could be unveiled this year.
St. Louis City is entering a building boom not yet seen in decades. This one is so far outpacing the Pre-Recession boom that brought us the Park East Tower, The Tower at OPOP, Lumiere Place and 4545 Lindell. But several buildings were proposed at the time that would have dramatically changed the City in many ways. Some of those projects are the Bottle District, the original Ballpark Village Plan and Skyhouse among other things but the fact the City had far more abandoned buildings at the time didn’t help get these built. Many were ready to go, but the recession took its toll. Fast forward 10 years and St. Louis is booming. Downtown has rebounded big time with restorations of buildings going on all over the place and more are planned. Big buildings like the Railway Exchange Building and Jefferson Arms Project are ready to go but financing is still being lined up.
Other buildings like Butler Brothers, the old Downtown YMCA, AT&T Center and the Millennium Hotel are still massive eyesores that are abandoned. All but the AT&T Center have been thought about by developers. The Butler Brothers Building and YMCA Building have been thought about by Alterra International (they are working on the Jefferson Arms Project) and while nothing much else has been said, I expect to see something announced soon for those sites. As for the Millennium Hotel, it was on the radar of a developer from Chicago up until last month. The company wanted to demolish both buildings and build a mixed use building similar in height to the Mansion House buildings according to a reader who works for the company. The AT&T Center is what is holding us back, and if that were to get a plan, the demand for new construction would soar.
For now, several structures are rising or are ready to rise. As mentioned before, the largest ones are Ballpark Village Phase 2, 300 South Broadway and One Hundred. Others, that won’t make an impact on the skyline but will at the street level, are HIBERNIA in Dogtown (which just began and will add 100 Residential Units and a grocery store), the EVEN Hotel at Jefferson and Locust, 4101 Manchester in the Grove and Sansone Group's massive "The Hill" Complex where the old Magic Chef factory stood. This building boom though sure has brought creativity among design and master planning.
When 300 South Broadway was proposed in December, the Preservation Board did their job and put a stipulation on the design of the structures to incorporate at least the 1890s portion of the existing structure and to make the exterior of the building 75% glass. Doing this would’ve derailed the project but HDA did not give up and presented a great plan at the most recent Preservation Board Meeting (pictured). The brick base is not the existing structure but rather something new made to look like the existing structure. Needless to say, it wasn’t approved by the Preservation Board who wanted the 1890s façade saved, but it shows the creativity that can be produced when architects and developers put their minds to it.
In other projects in the city, buildings are being designed to match their neighborhoods. In Central West End, One Hundred has a Art-Deco vibe for the numerous Art-Deco buildings nearby and it has a ton of glass and steel to represent the modern buildings nearby and the Arch. New homes in the Grove represent the neighborhood’s change from rundown and industrial to a hip and modern neighborhood. In many cases, historic buildings are being saved in the Grove, while others go to make way for new homes and apartment buildings that are beginning go give the neighborhood its own “skyline”.
Elsewhere, infill is being designed to fit into the neighborhood context. Tower Grove South’s MOFO development on Morgan Ford has odes to the neighborhood’s dark colors with a modern twist while going no higher than 3 floors so that it doesn’t tower over the neighborhood. In Lafayette Square and Soulard, buildings are being planned and built to resemble neighboring structures in materials and looks. All of these things help push St. Louis forward and make it new again in an innovative way.
Worst Neighborhoods Begin to Change
On the Northside, large swaths of land are disappearing to become new housing. It is a start. Many of these developments are happening in some of the worst neighborhoods (in crime and dilapidation). Three of those are Hyde Park, Jeff-Vander-Lou and The Ville. On top of the those, Old North St. Louis is one of the examples of what revitalization can look like. Several buildings were renovated and the surrounding streets are going to get new homes and apartments in the coming years to create the most densely populated area on the Northside (for now). Other areas like Hyde Park and The Ville are getting housing developments that displace vacant buildings (that can House crime) for bright new houses that move crime away from them.
Also on the Northside, the NGA is taking a stand by redeveloping 24 City blocks for their new HQ. The area around this could take off if the land was taken from Paul McKee and sold to other, trustworthy developers. This area could hold some retail and housing so that NGA employees have something good to see than tons of vacant lots and decay. Just South of the NGA site, the old Pruitt Igoe Site has been cleared for Paul McKee’s Healthworks Village and whether anything gets built there is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure, it looks better than having an urban forest.
Elsewhere on the Northside, vacant hospitals and schools are being given a new life as Apartments and new mixed use developments which will eventually be catalysts for more development, and badly needed development. But what about Population Growth?
Well, with everything I mentioned in this article, the last piece is Population Growth and the answer is not in the upcoming Census. The crime has been insanely high these last two years and it should bottom out in 2020. At that time, our population should bottom out around 309,000 people (We haven't been below 310,000 since 1870) before rebounding to roughly 325,000 by 2030. The reasoning behind this is that several young people who cannot live on their own now will most likely move into the City’s “hot” neighborhoods and have a family. Most of these will be ones that are…
Once that happens, the population will rise and crime will decrease. By the end of the century, our population may push 600,000. It all depends on if we can continue restoring and improving our city and we are well on our way to doing so. It’s not the old guard that is saving the city and seeing its potential, it is the young people and urbanites who see the city’s potential and are bringing it back with the help of risk taking developers.
If you think Detroit’s revitalization is amazing and big… you clearly have been blind to St. Louis (which is doing far better than Detroit). In the end, 2018 will go down into St. Louis’ history at the year our new city was born and St. Louis was rediscovered by everyone.
By. Christopher Eichhorn
It is no secret now that St. Louis’ central corridor has seen increasing construction and interest over the last several years: a large number of towers over have been built (such as the Orion apartment building in the Central West End) or rehabbed from a dilapidated state (such as the Arcade lofts downtown). These are important developments, and it’s good that there is significant variety amongst these projects: everything from comparatively low end, income assisted lofts to 3 bedroom, family-centric condominiums.
But while there is diversity, one thing that has been missing from the city’s burgeoning apartment complexes are prestige living apartments – apartments more expensive than the “luxury” lofts typically aimed at middle or upper middle class residents. Are you a Doctor, a lawyer, or someone else making a solidly six figure income in St. Louis? Until recently, it was highly likely that you lived in a house in the suburbs, rather than in an apartment complex in the city. There were very few apartment buildings focusing on the upper class residents, and these are important for an area even if those apartments aren’t for you. They bring – as the name implies – prestige to an area, and help convince affluent people that an area might be right for them. This doesn’t come at the expense of more affordable living; it supplements it.
But recent developments are finally remedying this omission. The Ballpark Village Tower (And adjacent, recently announced tower) may fit this description downtown; the Orion apartments in the Central West End have reportedly gone under contract to sell at the highest price in the city’s history; and most immediately, we see the groundbreaking for The 100 along Kingshighway, designed by award winning Studio Gang architects right along Forest Park in an area that is highly likely to demand considerable prices. These projects bring a welcome addition to the city’s growing apartment dwelling population, and we’re glad these projects are moving forward even if we aren’t the ones who are going to be living there.
As the city continues to add apartments, condos and lofts along its rapidly developing central corridor, we hope that we continue to see increasing diversity of options – for families and singles, for low cost renters and high earners. The start of 100 Kingshighway helps flesh out a niche in apartment offerings that had been lacking from the city’s portfolio.