By. Chris Stritzel
As 2018 is creeping up on us, literally only 11 days away, the Tower Grove neighborhoods (South and East) are preparing to see two significant developments rise from the ground. Both will replace eyesore structures and buildings. With a combined investment of over $25 Million into the two neighborhoods, it is likely that this is the beginning of a development boom for the two neighborhoods (and that is a good thing). The Tower Grove neighborhoods are my favorite with historic homes renovated to be new again, they really are unique and these two projects will add to that.
Let us recap what is going to be completed by Early 2019 (and truly benefit the neighborhoods).
Pelican Place (2200 South Grand Boulevard)
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". We criticized the design back when it was first unveiled last November, but the newer design looks better. Larger windows and brick make the building better to look at.
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. While that seems like a good deal, it seems a bit much for the building. But I guess being on South Grand and near two parks ups the price a bit. Also, a swimming pool, fitness center, balconies and on site parking will be accessible for residents which also ups the price. We are most likely to see this project begin in Early 2018 and wrap up in the second quarter of 2019.
The developer is ALTUS properties based in Clayton. The city recently approved of a 10 year tax abatement for the property. Next door, at the corner of Shenandoah and Grand, the Pelican Building is undergoing a renovation to become a Dominos pizza. That should be done by mid 2018. This will also lead to closure of the Dominos near Grand and Arsenal. Furthermore, the new structure will include no retail spaces along Grand, that is a shame in my opinion.
MOFO Apartments (3172 Morgan Ford Road)
Announced earlier this year, the MOFO apartment project will replace an eyesore of a Carwash with a modern apartment building designed by JEMA architects. With 24 units, the building will clearly add to the population of Tower Grove South and add density to the neighborhood. Included in the project is 6000 square feet of retail space. No tenants have been announced for this project as of yet. The neighborhood of Tower Grove South, especially around Morgan Ford is highly walkable. Down the street, you have Tower Grove Park, a grocery store and a bike shop. The rest of the way down to Utah, there are restaurants and bars.
The car wash was demolished on Monday, December 18th and site cleanup is on going. A building permit was issued for the site. Included in the project is covered parking on the Connecticut street side as well as private balconies which will allow residents to take in the new sights and sounds of the trendy neighborhood around them. There is no word yet on the rents that the apartments will go for, but we are expecting somewhere in the $600-$800 range per month. There was a tax abatement approved for the property (and it was one that brought much controversy within the Board of Aldermen).
Construction on this 3 story project should wrap up in very late 2018 or very early 2019. So basically, December 2018 or no alter than February 2019. The cost is estimated by us at around $9 Million, which is a hefty price considering the building's small and compact design. One downside of this project is the neighboring 7-11. I expect a development be announced for that lot as well. Hopefully one is announced soon so perspective residents do not have to look at a crap convenience store.