By. Chris Stritzel
With the construction of the Steelcote Lofts project fully underway, this sleepy industrial area is heating up in terms of new development. With SSM's SLU Hospital a block a way, the soon to be unveiled project at Chouteau and Grand and the Armory only a few blocks away, this industrial area is the place to be. The area is showing signs of movement away from industrial to residential with the first two projects ready to leave their mark. The Steelcote Lofts project is already leaving its mark by removing the old windows and vandalism that once adorned it's façade and now, the Columbia Oil Building (7 Steelcote Square) will receive some love by Pier Property Group.
PPG is a St. Louis based company who is redeveloping the Woodward and Steelcote Buildings in the Grove and Midtown. The Columbia Oil Building would be their third project. The name of the project is "Steelcote Crossing" and will include 15 Micro-Lofts spread out across the 17,000SF building. A new feature in this building, and not included in the Steelcote Lofts building, a retail space for a micro-brewery or distillery. The brewery or distillery will have a nice patio separating the Steelcote Lofts from the Crossing development. Parking for the lofts will be at the Steelcote parking lot to the North of the Steelcote building. In addition to this, Pier Property Group (PPG) names Steelcote Crossing's amenities such as, "oversized floor-to-ceiling window bays, polished concrete floors, stone countertops, unobstructed views of downtown St. Louis and immediate access to Saint Louis University". Sounds familiar to the Steelcote Lofts project but they are being developed by the same person, so it's expected.
The cost of the project is hovering around the $4 Million mark. The architecture firm is Trivers. Trivers has designed the restoration for the neighboring Steelcote Building and the Woodward Building at Tower Grove and Vandeventer so it makes sense that PPG would choose them for their third project. As far as a timeline goes, I haven't heard back from PPG but my guess would be that the Steelcote Crossing project wraps up sometime towards the end of 2019 or even early 2020.
As far as future development goes in this part of the city, which is dubbed "Mill Creek Valley", I see more things being built here over time. With all of the other projects going on nearby, the possibility of new residential and hotel construction in this manufacturing area is soaring with the Steelcote Project being the pioneer here. The numerous older brick warehouses make for good retail and restaurant space and the abundance of parking and vacant lots makes this area ripe for new development. SLU Development Corporation controls this area in their development plan so whatever happens here will most likely be decided by SLU. They even renamed this area as "Prospect Yards" to symbolize the changes to come.
To start, the Steelcote Lofts and Crossing projects are welcome (53 Loft Apartments combined) and I look forward to seeing what else comes later on in this specific area (bounded by Grand-Chouteau-Edwin-Railroad tracks).
This project was originally uncovered by St. Louis City Talk's Mark Groth. You can read Mark Groth's story HERE.