This week was strong on the development proposal side of things. To wrap up this exciting week is a proposal by a group who worked to keep the Rams in Saint Louis. Led by Dave Peacock is the MLS2STL Organization who has proposed a 28,000 seat stadium built on the current 22nd street interchange and right next door to Union Station. At a projected price tag of $200 Million, this could push energy to help Downtown West build up. The area around the proposed stadium could be built up because of the over excessive parking lots.
The stadium fits the want list by the MLS Organization. They wanted a stadium close to entertainment zones, in Downtown and a new stadium. This project fits the list. And Saint Louis FC would be the team they announced. The official announcement by the MLS whehter or not Saint Louis is scheduled to get a franchise could be announced around February.
This stadium project is challenging the Foundry STL proposal to have a stadium at the corner of Chouteau and Grand. The design of that stadium looks like an egg.
More information on the project and proposals will be reported here. The architecture firm for the project is HOK.
From the Demolition of a Old Downtown Restaurant to the Restorations of 3 Historic Landmarks in Saint Louis and new Construction proposals City wide, Saint Louis is ready to explode. Over the past 2 days (Monday the 14th and Tuesday the 15th) 7 projects have been announced or information has gotten out about those projects. 2 will tackle 2 of Downtowns most known abandoned buildings, 2 Will be restoration and New construction, and 3 will be entirely new Construction. Below are 7 summaries. 1 for each project.
Historic Row (913-924 Locust Street)
These 3 prominent buildings along Locust Street in Downtown Saint louis are the last 3 buildings on the 900 Block of Locust to be restored or repurposed. In this particular case, the 4 Floor Building and 12 Floor Building would become Residential lofts and the building on the corner of 10th and Locust will be demolished to Make way for a new Retail Building. The rendering above is a half-effort idea of what the new construction will look like. This project will take off soon with a TIF application applied to the City of Saint Louis. This project takes off where the Roberts companies stopped in 2011 when they put the property up for sale.
The Jefferson Arms Building
What has been stalled and cancelled for a long time is now finally going to get a second chance. This time, from Alterra International based in Dallas Texas. The Jefferson Arms is one of five prominent abandoned buildings in Downtown that is getting a new life sooner than the other ones. The new project as envisioned by Alterra is a completed overhaul of the building and to make it into an hotel. The hotel brand that they were contacting at first was Trump international but now is Marriott. The project is expected to get underway soon, and according to the website for the project, some parts of the project will open in Late 2018. You can view the website here http://jeffersonarmsbuilding.com/
Pelican Building on Grand
Small but mighty is a way to describe this new idea. Currently on South Grand, there is a abandoned YMCA. ell that will go as part of this project and the abandoned home on the corner will be restored and reopened. In place of the YMCA will become a Office Building and retail project named Pelican Building. More news on this will be coming soon for sure but until then, this will extend South Grand shopping further North on Grand.
The Chemical Building
The Chemical Building is the Second of five prominent Downtown Buildings. Although the other 3 have no plan laid out yet for them, this one is sure to come next,. Finally, the beautiful Red Brick Building will have a new life. The old building has been waiting to be repurposed for a while. Its last chance at life was the chance to become Alexa, a loft community in the building. it never came underway due to bankruptcies and the recession and has been rotting ever since. Now, the developer who is looking to restore Historic Row on Locust will also deal with this. The objective for the project is to make it into Apartments, Office and retail space. Upon the deal being closed by the development company, the project could begin soon. This project will complete the Old Post Office District and will complete the Olive and 8th Street blocks by being an occupied building again. The 705 Olive directly adjacent to this building is becoming a Marriott Hotel.
The Armory Entertainment District
GreenStreet development has released their vision for the restoration and new construction that will become a hopeful powerhouse for the Midtown region. The project is the Armory District. The old Armory will be restored in Phase 1 and connected to the Foundry via a bridge that will be built between he double deck highway. Construction will begin soon on it. The first phase will bring in parking, office, retail and entertainment into the mix and Phase 2 will bring a hotel and more retail and parking. This project will go along the soon to be booming Grand Corridor in Saint Louis City.
New Office and Retail Development at Skinker/Delmar
This New Office Building will be a welcome addition to the loop. This project will replace the abandoned Churches Chicken. The ground floor will be retail while the upper floors will be Office Space. Based on he design, it will look odd in the Loop but also a welcoming change as the East Loop builds itself up. The final height for this building will be about 40 feet. Construction should begin soon.
The Groves Spencer Development Proposal
The City issued a development request for this abandoned corner lot in the Grove. This 7 floor all glass building would bring Retail on the first floor, Office space on the 2nd and 3rd floors and Residential on floors 4-7. Parking will be inside of the building. Permits should be handed out soon and the development will add to the ever changing Manchester corridor in the Grove. Across the street will be a new Residential development proposed by GreenStreet.
So this wraps up the 7 major developments announced over the past 2 days.
Let me start out by saying the the Trump International Hotel Saint Louis was a good idea until the Mayor of Saint Louis (Francis G Slay) came along with his dirty and democratic administration and kicked it out the door.
Yes you read that right. Make Slay and his gang kicked that idea out the window for Obvious reasons. Democrats hate Trump. But what the administration doesn't know is that The Trump Organization wouldn't have owned th Building rather Alterra International based in Dallas would have. Trump would have been a 3rd party operator of the Hotel. This isn't the first time a Trump Hotel idea was kicked out of Saint Louis. In the late 1990's and early 2000's, the Trump Organization proposed Trumps Riverside North Casino and Hotel. And because the Democrats didn't like the ideas they shot it down.
This just proves that Mayor Slay and his Administration doesn't know how to run a city or knows what's good for the city. In my opinion all new development ideas, proposals and construction projects should stop development as protest against Slay until he approves every project ever to be proposed in the City whether or not it is good or bad. Either way, he needs to be put back in his place and let the developers run their show the way they want to.
There have been several organizations for a while that have been trying to push for the City and County to merge together. The organizations claim
it would make Saint Louis stronger if they were together. But the organizations are split on to ideas of what a merged Saint Louis would look like and how they want it to look. These are the ideas...
- The 91st County Municipality- This plan is the simplest and it involves merging the Independent City of Saint Louis with the county and making it the 91st Incorporated Municipality in the County. This means that the city still govern itself but is no longer independent and large decisions would have to be made in Clayton. This would be the easiest since it doesn't involve a complete government change but rather making room in the county council for sometime from Saint Louis City.
- UniGov City and County- This would be much like Nashville and Davidson County in Tennessee. This is where the City (Saint Louis) gains all of the county into the City making the whole county a independent city. This would mean that all of the Municipalities of the County are unincorporated in a way to where their Mayors can come together as delegates and have a government where everyone works together. This would be the hardest option to accomplish since it involves a vote from all of the municipalities of the county and the city of Saint Louis.
But I think if the city and county were to choose option one, they should make the county seat Downtown Saint Louis rather than Clayton. This would mean a simple move from one building to another. This merge could also benefit the City in a way to remove the City from the Top 10 most dangerous Cities in the US. And if the people of the County and City were to choose option 2, The New City of Saint Louis would have 1.6 Million people on it moving the newly formed City to the Number 5 spot on the charts of largest cities in the country.
But it the question is, will Saint Louis be Stronger Together like they say. The answer is yes. A Merged or UniGov City and County could help out the Economy in a way to where more revenue is being made and more Police Officers can help with improving the city and county into more of a welcoming environment for families and businesses and then this in turn could push development in the city and county and then finally connect the Downtown and Clayton into 1 large Downtown as if the split never happened.
We shall see what happens but a merger of 1 of these 2 ways could be on the horizon. That horizon will possibly be about 10 years. So I support the movement and I hope to see it come true.
As I Look back on past proposals that would have changed the skyline and streetscape by now, I am going to bring up a lesser known project. That project is called SkyHouse. And just as the name implies, it would have been a Condo HighRise built on Washington Avenue down a few blocks west from Tucker. The design is eye catching with its hollow squares and glass lined lines. It would have been a gem for the Downtown region especially Downtown West.
This project would have brought more retail to the Washington Avenue area and would have upped the Condo Market in Downtown. However, the Proposal was dropped due to the Recession in 2008. Now the SkyHouse lives as a reminder of what could have been added to Downtown but never was. It would have joined the Tower at OPOP (Roberts Tower) as the newest Luxury condo building in Downtown. This project goes to show the importance of a strong economy and how fast things can come to an end when they are good.
However, Still have hope. Since the Downtown Market is returning, and stronger than before the Recession, this project could make a Return but with a different design. So far Downtown, is playing catch up on projects being announced that would have been completed and this could be coming soon to that new list. If it is announced and built, this could build up Washington Avenue West of Tucker and Downtown West with new construction.
All in all, this would be a transformational project if it ever does get underway.
Its been 12 years since the Eye-Catching plan to expand the skyline North of the Edward Jones Dome was unveiled. The development, at the time, would have cost about $300 Million (Now would probably be closer to $900 Million). The dream was to have a mixed use development district with shops, restaurants, offices and residential as well as a hotel. Sounds familiar to Ballpark Village which has been brought back to life. The tallest building on the site would've been 630 feet. A dramatic shift for the skyline.
The complex came out of the growing economy from the early to mid 2000's and the idea that Saint Louis would grow upward again, (We are approaching another one of those times). This area would have expanded the skyline North and be the anchor for the North End of the Skyline. The other major project, Ballpark Village on the Southern End would have been the infill that Downtown South needed and will soon get. But the big question that I want to return to the mainstream Saint Louis talk is "Will the Bottle District ever rise"?
The answer can be answered in 2 very simple ways. A optimistic way and pessimistic way. So here are the two different sides tot eh story...
The Optimistic Side- As Downtown begins to pick up where it left off in 2007 and 2008 with plans and development being revisited and re-released, this one could be one of the next ones on the list to be released yet again. The economy is strong and Downtown Residential and Office Space is becoming increasingly demanding. Ballpark Village will lay a foundation of developments to come in Downtown and this Bottle District could seal the deal. Downtown needs a new anchor on the Northern End. Currently the anchor of the Northern End of the skyline is the Lumiere Place Casino and Hotel. This is as far as the skyline goes Building wise.
Becuase the NGA West is being built on the North Side, this could also fuel development in the region to the North and push development on the Northern End of Downtown closer to the river. The Bottle District could be the project that comes out of this. Though it may be downsized, the project would still be transformational to the Northern end of Downtown. The ideal building height for this area is around 450ft or 35 floors depending on how you look at it. So in short, this development will come back when the time is right and that seems to be within the next few years.
This project could expand Downtown North and make the existing Downtown a older Downtown with the Northern Downtown being a very modern and ever changing expansion of the City.
The Pessimistic Side- This project can't be built because demand is not high enough for anything that this project would offer. The site itself is not very valuable since it sits on the edge of Interstate 70 and past the now Abandoned Edward Jones Dome. The property just isn't that good.
No developer or business would ever develop the site because of how crazy it really is. Not under any circumstance would the city either allow a project as ambitious of a project be built. Ballpark Village is the only large scale development that should be built.
As you can see, the Optimistic side is the one side that I side with more than the Pessimistic side of the argument. I believe that Interstate 70 could be capped in this area and the City would be connect to the North Downtown Riverfront and then this would fill in with new High rises and a new Downtown that is here for the future. That is where the idea of the past comes into play, City To River would surely work well here in the situation. So I do believe that the Bottle District will rise but not on the level as originally envisioned and in doing so will push Saint Louis further on the limits of having a successful Downtown. One where competition for businesses is strong and in turn keeps them all open which means more jobs for everyone.
The area that would see exceptional growth from this project would be Tucker to the West, The I70-Tucker Interchange to the North, Wharf Street to the East and the MLK Bridge/Cole Street to the South. A large area that would be rebuilt and made into a new Downtown expansion.