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.