By. Chris Stritzel
Today, at 10A.M., SSM and St. Louis University officially broke ground on their brand new, $550 Million hospital facility to be built near Grand and Chouteau. It has been no secret that ground preparations have been on going (Pevely Building Demolished, sidewalks closed) but this groundbreaking event made it official that cranes will soon be ready to rise so that the new medical center is open by 2020. We have known about the groundbreaking date since Early August, but it is different to see it in reality. The new state of the art facility will replace the added on portion of the hospital behind the historic Desloge Building along Grand.
By the way, the Desloge Building will be saved from being demolished.
Because of the significance of this project beginning, the event was attended by dignitaries from the City, State and St. Louis University. They spoke at the event. In particular, this project has much controversy and anger surrounding it as the historic Pevely Building had to come down in preparation of this as well as the set back from Grand. The decision to also not include any kind of retail space on Grand has also drawn criticism. This part of Grand is particularly desolate with no more than a Gas Station from Russell Boulevard to the South to Chouteau on the North. It is not a big deal though since the Barnes Jewish complex in Central West End doesn't include retail space along any street in any of their buildings.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Nurses and Doctors chimed in on the designed process to make rooms more inviting and to allow more natural light into the facility. Therefore, every hallway will end with a window to give it a more welcoming feeling.
The new hospital is part of a handful of projects worth more that $150 million in the city. The other three include One Hundred on Kingshighway (2020), Ballpark Village Phase 2 (2019) and the New NGA Facility (2020). SSM's development along with these could hold the key to a successful City future if all go as planned. The SLU Hospital will have room to grow on when construction is completed in 3 years time.
Images below are from SLU Hospital’s Twitter Page
New Renderings have been found on St. Louis Magazine's Website. They are featured in the gallery below. They show the interior of the building as well as new exterior perspectives.
By. Chris Stritzel
Today is the second anniversary of the website. As it started with humble beginnings, it prepares for more years that will prove how humble it really is. It has had its ups and downs but it is starting to stabilize. On this second anniversary, ask anything in the comments section and I will surely get back to you on your questions!
You must be logged into Facebook or Twitter to participate in the Disqus section.
By. Chris Stritzel
On a day that seems to never end as far as development news is concerned, another project has surfaced and this time for the quiet City of Webster Groves in the County. Plans for this project call for a 5 floor apartment building with ground floor retail to be built on the site of the now closed YMCA. According to official City of Webster Groves documents, the plan was originally proposed on July 7th but the news has began to grow as neighborhood opposition (NIMBYs) are beginning to attack the project for many reasons.
Here are some of the concerns being voiced by the potential neighbors of this development...
1. Will it bring college students to the neighborhood?
2. how much traffic will there be?
3. OH MY! 5 Floors?!
4. 89 Parking Spaces?!
5. What will be the retailer on the first floor?
While all are viable reasons to be alarmed, it could do more good for the neighborhood that this would be in rather than not. Who wants an abandoned structure in their area? No one. So this will be a good replacement considering that it stays Residential and its size. However, no resident should be worried about the project as it would be set back from existing structures and the street so that it doesn't feel "to urban". The design will fit well with the neighborhood and will age overtime as trees block the building out.
In total, the building will have less than 60,000 square feet of space (including the 3,000 square foot retail portion), 89 parking spaces and 50 housing units. The plan also calls for the reworking of the sidewalks so that they can become "friendlier" with the project. The name of the project is very simple, "226 Lofts".
At the time of this story's writing, the Webster Groves Commission has postponed a vote on the project,. the next public meeting regarding this will take place on October 2nd
Below is a link button to the official Webster Groves City Document. it includes more drawings and schematics and what not.
By. Chris Stritzel
The prominent building at 4th and Pine will receive new life in the best possible form. That form will be a Kaldis Coffee Shop, Creative/Co-Working Office Space and a Rooftop Bar. The renovations of the building will involve cleaning it up and making space for the new things that will go into it. My guess is that Floor 1 will be Kaldis Coffee/Office-Rooftop Entrances. Second Floor will be offices and the third floor (or the roof) will be the bar.
When it is completed, the building will add character to 4th Street and add to the growing number of businesses going into Downtown. one block west, at the Metropolitan Building, The Eatery is going in which will add more restaurants to Downtown. Just North of the Metropolitan Building, a Hotel indigo is going into the former LaSalle Building and across the street from the Mississippi Valley Trust Building is the recently renamed City Place Hotel (replaced Crowne Plaza). Furthermore, plans are in the works to restore the Mercantile Library Building into Condos (next door to the LaSalle Building) although no new news has been said about this project.
In all, the changing Broadway and 4th Street corridors are being received with open arms as building owners add room for businesses in the hope of bringing Washington Avenue's success to some of Downtown's other important streets. This small restoration project will only further add to the growing number of Downtown Businesses announced in late last year and this year alone.
- The Eatery (3 announced restaurants)
- Hotel Indigo
- Kaldis Coffee at City Garden (Open)
- Mississippi Valley Trust Rooftop Bar
- Kaldis Coffee on 4th
The name of the project will be "Covo". Covo is the name of the developer based in San Francisco, California. I hope they do a very good job on this project, I have a feeling they will.
In a snippet to wrap up this article from the Post-Dispatch, "Covo plans to open this fall. The Beaux Arts Mississippi Valley Trust Building, constructed in 1896, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The company was one of St. Louis’s best known financial institutions until it merged with the Mercantile Bank & Trust Company in 1951. It was a key part of financing the 1904 World’s Fair, Union Electric (now Ameren Corp.) and Kinloch Telephone, one of the region’s first telephone operators."
So this is yet another Downtown Building saved. Covo will open in the fall with the other tenants opening in the future.
By. Chris Stritzel
After many delays, a construction fence is up symbolizing the official beginning of the construction of the new Ackerman Toyota. Construction began on the $18 Million project that will involve the demolition of the old MSD Offices located directly off the off ramp at Hampton and Interstate 44. The new dealership will replace the aging facility on Kingshighway near Chippewa. It will add character to the industrial part of Hampton and hopefully spruce up the corner.
The project should wrap update next year (2018.)
This will be updated as time goes on. Address: 2020 Hampton.
By. Chris Stritzel
News broke recently that the last historic building at the corner of Big Bend and Clayton in St. Louis County is on the chopping block. In its place will be a ugly Total Access Urgent Care (which has been expanding like a weed in recent years). The old Brick Building, that features unique architecture, will end up coming down as the Urgent Care Company gets its way with almost every proposal they present.
There are many cons to the project, biggest one is the loss of a historic building. But a pro could be that the older building, that is falling into disrepair, will come down thus reducing a potential hazard. But this is the part where that pro can be disregarded. Several buildings have been saved with the right amount of money, so why not invest in preserving the building rather than demolishing it? These Answer is simple. Money.
It would cost more to renovate the building to make it modern and up to code than to demolish and start over. For a Company like Total Access Urgent Care, they really care about the money, so for them to push out the money to fund a renovation of the building is out of the question. Solution: because the building is old enough, they can request historic tax credits to fix it up. Problem: they don’t want to go through a longer process because this would waste valuable patient cash.
What becomes of this project is in the hands of the Richmond Heights City Council. Chances are that they will favor new construction over making thenold building stay. As for how it will look in real life, please see the Total Access Urgent Care at Hampton and Interstate 44 in the City. A design failure not meant for a urban area. Shame.
- Design has changed but still looks like a lame replacement.
- Demolition of existing structure is going to take place.
- Plan approved.
By. Chris Stritzel
It is not everyday that a Full solar Eclipse takes place. it isn't even common in St. Louis. The last one to past through here was in the late 1400s. How do historians know? SCIENCE. The spectacle that was the "Great American Eclipse" is now over. Yet everyone who was in the path of totality now has a story and memory to tell for many years to come. For most of the St. Louis region, as totality fell, the region stood still. In my personal experience, I know it did.
Where I go to school, a highway sits adjacent to it. As the totality fell, cars began to low down and even came to a stop on the highway. Everyone was stopped, and I am assuming, gazing at the rare spectacle that Millions of Americans got to enjoy today. Besides cars on a highway, businesses were closed for the moment so everyone could go and see the Eclipse. Even fast food restaurants closed momentarily so everyone could see. It really was like everything was standing still. It was a very interesting feeling and one that I am happy that I was here to see.
Across the city, parties and celebrations took place in parks and squares where everyone could get together and enjoy the event as one. Politics, Race and religion were set aside for a short time as everyone enjoyed the event. Everyone really only cared about what was going on above. Wouldn't be nice if it stayed that way? sadly, it did not. Yet we all took part in a piece of history. Another Coast to Coast Eclipse will not happen for over a century (and by then, most of will be long gone). But that does not mean that we can ignore or forget it!
Social media does wonders and so chances of you seeing an eclipse video, or a photo like the one above, or other things is pretty high. The media on TV will even show it for a while. But to those who did not see it and will have to stick to Recordings to see it, it was more spectacular in real life. Yet, as the City stood still, we will all have memories of this day and we will never forget it!
Next Solar Eclipse: April 8, 2024.
Totality nearest to us: Cape Girardeau or Carbondale.
Meanwhile, the President seemed to enjoy what he could see from Washington.
And for those who are really interested in viewing all of the great photos taken by myself today, click through the gallery below. Each one was taken using an iPhone 7 Plus and a Olloclip lens costing roughly $125 from Best Buy. These Photos are truly “Shot on iPhone”.
By. Chris Stritzel
Today, the Post-Dispatch reports that the City Foundry Development in Midtown has lost a component that many of us were looking forward to, the 24 Floor Apartment Building. The tower would have been built at Vandeventer and Forest Park. It was expected to have roughly 300 housing units for those who would want to live in Midtown and shop at the Foundry. The 15 Floor Office Tower that would have rose near Interstate 64 was also scrapped today. But, not all hope is lost.
With the scrapping of these two buildings, Lawrence Group, The developer, laid out plans to build two 5 Floor Office Buildings on the Property as well as a 400 Car parking garage. The new plans also call for the construction of Midtown’s first movie theater since the closure of the Movie Palaces on Grand (which have been turned into the region’s most prestigious theaters for Broadway and Orchestra shows). Furthermore; the development will also gain additional retail space in the second phase.
The orimary reason behind why the two towers were scrapped is simple, the state would not provide the developer with historic tax credits to build them because of how they were not “historic”. Because of the changes, the state may still not offer any tax credits but Lawrence Group is asking the city to give them $17 Million in TIF funding to build the now $97 Million Phase 2.
In a quote in the Post-Dispatch article, the author outlines the plans stating, “The second phase would include a 45,000-square-foot space for a movie theater and restaurant, two five-story office buildings with about 130,000 square feet of space and a 400-car parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and conclude in the fall of 2019.”
It is a change but could end up being a good one depending on who the tenants of the office building would be and who the operator of the Movie Theater may be. In my opinion, I think the owner of MX movies Downtown should be the operator of the movie theater here. It could help add a flare to to the rapidly changing Midtown-The Grove Corridor. Until construction starts in the Spring, it is likely we will see more adjustments and changes to the development that some will like while some will hate them. But if it benefits the Central Corridor, who cares.
When all said and done, Lawrence Group will have invested over $200 Million in this corner of the City.
Click the button below to be taken to the City Foundry Website.