By. Chris Stritzel
Today, news was broken on the City Foundry Project, but in a good way. The announcements made begin to make the City Foundry development ;look more significant and exciting than before. That is a good thing. Today, tenants such as the Alamo Draft House Cinema and Punch Bowl Social among others were announced for the major development marking a milestone in the Midtown region's fast paced renaissance. The announcements come at a time when the City of St. Louis is beginning to pick up on retail and entertainment as well as new dining options. This city Foundry development adds to all of these categories and to another that we haven't seen much of, Office Space.
Lets overview some of these announcements today and then we will go over some of these numbers.
It has been rumored for sometime that Alamo would be having a location in the development ever since a Rendering was posted a few months ago showing what appeared to be a watered down version of their logos on a building. Today, that rumor was confirmed and Alamo will have a 10 theater Drafthouse cinema in St. Louis. The first in the City and second in Missouri. The theater specializes in a dining concept that other theaters in the region are introducing and has a full scale bar within their cinema.
The cinema will join just a handful of Movie Theaters in the City. There are only four others. Those are...
1. Chase Park Plaza Cinema
2. The Moohlah Theater
3. MX Movies
4. The Hi-Pointe Theater
Punch Bowl Social
With just 10 locations nationwide, and 16 by next year, this concept is a rare one and we should be happy to be getting a Punch Bowl Social here. This will be located at the Eastern end of the development near Spring Avenue and will hopefully act as a link to the planned Armory Project just South across Interstate 64. That and the Foundry project are to be connected by a bridge even though they are being developed by separate entities. This place will be one where you can Eat, Drink and listen to Live Entertainment. Basically, it is the Fox Sports Midwest Live of Midtown. The design of the Punch Bowl is also supposed to mimic the city that it is in. In this case, the design should include Baseball, Architecture and Anheuser Busch elements in the development.
This 26,000 square foot anchor to the development will hopefully become the money maker and entertainment destination that Midtown needs. We will see in 2019 when it opens if it becomes a hotspot.
A concept from Tulsa, Oklahoma, this German themed beer hall and restaurant will greet visitors to the Food Hall in a 3 level, 13,000 square foot space. On the first floor, a typical beer hall atmosphere. on floor tom a restaurant over looking the Food Hall and on the 3rd Floor, a rooftop patio that offers views of the development and the midtown skyline. It will have German themed food and will be a great anchor to the Food Hall portion of the project (which we get to next).
The Food Hall @ City Foundry St. Louis
So far, 8 tenants (out of 15) have been announced to occupy the Food Hall in the current factory building. Windows will let natural light in and existing beams and cranes will be painted and incorporated into the design to keep the industrial feel alive. For those of you who don't know what a Food Hall is, it is similar to a Food Court at a mall but has higher quality food and is a great meeting place. Below, we have the name of the tenant and a short summary of what they are, each one is unique and local.
1. Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery- With a location in Webster Groves, this local creamery is making its mark with high quality ice cream that is sure to please anyone who tastes it. This is a great tenant to have in the project
2. The Whitebox- Basically, it will be a smaller version of the Whitebox Restaurant in Clayton and will offer soups, salads and more that are all fresh. The official name has yet to be chosen or announced.
3. Natalie's Cakes and More- Just as the name sounds, this is a Cake/Desert place. There are two other locations in St. Louis and it's first one is in Ferguson.
4. Sumax- This is a Middle Eastern themed stand that will have falafels, lamb and hummus among other things. This will add an international flavor to the lineup.
5. Essentially Tacos- If you live near Hampton Avenue on St. Louis' Southside, and drive on it, you may have seen the Essentially Fries Food Truck and Edibles and Essentials near Salt+Smoke BBQ, this is another one of those businesses but this one is for one thing, Mexican Food. This includes Tacos and "Fun" Drinks.
6. Hari Manok- This is Filipino joint that will include Filipino themed food and will be the 3rd International Flavor joint at the Food Hall. Also, it will be the only location anywhere, for now, and is owned by individuals who own a business in the Grove along the Manchester Strip.
7. Juice Box Central- You can get freshly made juices and smoothies made here to quench your thirst and, if you want to, have some alcohol added to them to make your drinks strong, but enjoyable.
8. Lost and Found- A Burger and Pizza joint will be opening here and will be owned by the same guy who owns the Juice Box place. There will be fresh cut fries and appetizers as well as local beers and wine to add to experience.
9-15. Vacant (for now)
One Tag can describe these places... #DineLocal
The remainder of the development will include Retail and the numbers coming out of the retail portion re promising. 85% of available retail space has been leased (and that does not include the tenants announced above)! While rumors have been swirling that retailers such as Apple, Patagonia and Nike will move in, others have been squashed. Most notably, Zara said that they will not have a location at the City Foundry. Personably, I also believe that Apple and Nike can find better luck at Ballpark Village (and may). The 85% number though comes at a surprise when we look at how shopping centers have done in the City. The St. Louis Centre and St. Louis Union Station have showed us what can happen to shopping in the city, but this could be different.
The City Foundry is located near St. Louis University and is near the growing Cortex Innovation District that has fueled numerous developments (most notably is IKEA). The Project is also located just up Vandeventer from the Grove. All of the areas around the Project have received a large boom in Residential and so the demand for retail is very high which leads to the 85% number that has been revealed. I have no doubt that this project will reach 100% occupancy by time it opens in a year.
This is the oddity of this development, Office Space. St. Louis City is currently over built in Office Space (if you put Downtown into the image). In the Central West End-Midtown Region, Office Space is very rare to come by especially since this area becomes our new "Downtown". So the Lawrence Group, who is developing this project, has stated they will build over 100,000 square feet of Office Space at the Foundry project. Most notably, the Foundry development has a 13 floor Office Building situated at the Western end of the site (it can be seen in the rendering above and in the first rendering). The tower will join a smaller 5 Floor Office Building (which at this time will be Creative Office Space). The tower will presumably be Class A office space.
The office tower will sit on top of a Parking Garage so that views from the Offices are good and so no one has to look out their window to see a dirty interstate. The Office Tower will also become the defining characteristic of the development and mark the location of where City Shopping returned. Basically a very large marquee that is needed. The Lawrence Group is currently lining up financing for Phase 2 (which will build these two structures) and will add more retail to the development, but not much. This portion on the project should be completed by 2020 or 2021.
Who knows, maybe one day Residential will return to the site, but it is unlikely.
The Area Around the City Foundry
Cortex is to the West of the development. Cortex will hold Microsoft and currently holds Du Pont/. It is our innovation district. A Aloft Hotel is supposed to begin construction there soon along with a Parking Garage for the district. Furthermore, plans are supposed to be announced later this year that have more office space and a Residential component thus making the Cortex District a true neighborhood. To the North of the City Foundry is the Grand Center neighborhood. Most notably, a new Westin (Element Hotel) will rise directly across Forest Park Parkway from the City Foundry. To the west of the Hotel is the recently opened "Standard Apartments".
To the South down Vandeventer, lies the Grove and the Manchester Strip which is growing at a very fast pace. Currently, a Apartment project known as "Chroma" is rising and nearing completion and will include Retail Space, which is expected to be a grocery store. Furthermore, a 7 Floor mixed sue building will rise just next door to Chroma and will bring more Office Space, Parking and Apartments as well as Retail to the Grove. Adams Grove is also under construction which involves the demolition of dilapidated houses for new, modern houses. By time The City Foundry is competed in 2021, the Grove and Midtown areas will be among the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city.
But success is not determined by words online, it is defined by how everything works out and if this renaissance holds out, greatness will come.
Click on one of the images to see them better.
Click any of the buttons below to see City Foundry's, Alamo Drafthouse's, Punch Bowl's and Fassler Hall's websites.