By. Chris Stritzel
As St. Louis moves forward, some neighborhoods are getting more than they bargained for. Whether it be restorations, new construction or road/sidewalk improvements, a lot is happening. Several neighborhoods are even in their own building boom which was unprecedented while some are taking it slow and steady while others have nothing happening at all. 99% of the time, out of scale and large buildings are not needed to make a city or even St. Louis a better place. You don't build a 25 floor tower in Dogtown because you think it would look cool, you build based on demand. In Central West End, Downtown and Clayton, taller towers are being built because the demand for them is very high and there isn't a ton of space to build on. In places like Tower Grove South, Dogtown and Brentwood, smart developments are rising that are based on demand and not what may be needed in the future. These developments truly make a difference.
In Tower Grove South's case, MOFO on Morgan Ford is an example of a development based on demand. At three floors, it won't tower over neighboring structures while the darker exterior panels fit in better with the neighboring brown brick buildings. The first floor is designed to be welcoming to pedestrians by providing roughly 6000 square feet of retail space while the back half of the first floor will be parking for the residents. Up stairs on floors 2 and 3, 26 apartments ranging in size from one bedroom to two bedroom units. It is one of those projects that is needed in a neighborhood like Tower Grove South. It will also contribute to the walkability of Morgan Ford with numerous restaurants, bars and a grocery store among other things. That with its proximity to Tower Grove Park will give residents an urban lifestyle that has become so popular in St. Louis recently.
MOFO should be complete by October/November of this year. At last check, the building's elevator shaft is up to floor two of three. It should be complete by this Friday, the 16th. But elsewhere besides Tower Grove South, developments like HIBERNIA will make an even bigger impact on the neighborhood and it's surroundings.
While MOFO offered space for shops, restaurants and whatever else, HIBERNIA will bring a much needed resource to the Dogtown neighborhood, a Grocery Store. The brand of the Grocery Store is Fields Foods which is comparable to a Schnucks/Whole Foods mix. There is only one other one in the City of St. louis and that one is in Lafayette Square. The store will take Dogtown from being somewhat walkable to very walkable upon its completion in March 2019. Besides the grocery store, HIBERNIA will add 100 apartments to Dogtown ranging from one bedrooms to two bedrooms. Indianapolis based Pearl Companies, who is developing HIBERNIA, has said to Building St. Louis that they want to make a quality product that everyone will love. They are also working on a project for the old City Hospital at Lafayette and 14th.
For the future residents of HIBERNIA, a short walk to Turtle Park or Forest Park is a hit as it promotes a healthy, family friendly atmosphere! Elsewhere in the city, projects that demolish abandoned buildings and replace them with new apartment buildings are going up or are ready to being, one of the more significant projects like this is the Pelican Place project at 2200 South Grand.
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". 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. Just South of this, the old Pelican Building is being converted into a Dominos Pizza, which will move form its location near Grand and Arsenal to this location. While it isn't the best use for this building, it is better than it crumbling and eventually being demolished.
The residents of this building have everything in a short walk or bike ride a way whether it be on South Grand or Tower Grove South. Those with the amazing Tower Grove Park just 3.5 blocks South or Compton Hill Park just two blocks North will really be a hit for future residents of Pelican Place.
Even though three projects were spotlighted here in this story, many others are rising or are planned to rise soon. Some include Arbor on Arco, 1001 Russell, and a new Apartment Building on Pershing in Central West End. All of these help contribute to the revitalization of St. Louis City and will have their own page in the New St. Louis Story. And quite frankly, that revitalization is happening faster than many of us think but it will be fun to watch unfold before our very eyes, and in some cases, our own neighborhoods.