By. Chris Stritzel
Where “Modern Kitchens and Baths” stands right now will soon be home to a new retail building. The design appears to similar to the one currently under construction on Chippewa near the AT&T store and Qdoba. In this case, the new building will require the demolition of existing structures and potentially cause a headache for the well known bar next door, the Royale. The headache will come in the form of construction and demolition. While the noise won’t be for long, it may cause problems down the road by potentially allowing a competing business to move next door. On top of that, it also poses the risk of the Royale losing its brick wall on the business' patio.
At 4000 Square Feet of space, and 28 parking spaces, it opens the door for new businesses near Tower Grove Park. L3 Corporation is aiming to get a drive through restaurant in here as the plans include a drive through along the Royale façade of the building. This could probably be a smoothie shop or something along those lines as that type of business is what’s going into other developments of similar size. The two retail spaces both are 2000 Square Feet but could be combined under one space of 4000 Square Feet. Of course this allows for a business to have more room. A major issue with the design is the lack of access via the Kingshighway façade. All entrances will be from the parking lot leaving Kingshighway pedestrians out of luck.
L3 Corporation plans to start construction this winter and to have the building available for lease next winter. Most likely we will know of the tenants before the building opens next winter.
I know Kingshighway is a busy street but we need to get more urban designs going for something like this. The fact that numerous retail buildings, like this, will be built with the same design in the city and along major thoroughfares is quite shocking. These aren’t chain buildings and should fit into their neighborhoods better. For this particular building, its a shame to lose the existing structure as it adds character rather than just a cookie cutter development. For me to support this, I would like to see the design changed to reflect the neighborhood directly behind it or go the extra mile and make a modern building that isn't cookie cutter. I guess that L3 is in it to make money and not fit into the neighborhood aesthetic. I guess we'll see what happens.
L3 is not the developer but rather the broker for the actual leasing process. This is still on tract for an opening next year. According to sources, Modern Kitchens and Baths had their roof redone recently and the property is still for sale.