By. Chris Stritzel
Over the Past 16 Years, St. Louis City has seen more proposals than actual construction for towers and mixed use developments that never saw the light of day. Many of the proposals would have strengthened our City and helped change our Image. but now as new ideas are coming along and replacing other ones, I have decided to compile a post with my commentary on the ideas for the things that never rose in this city. ALL of the former projects featured were for the Central corridor only.
Lumiere Phase 2
For something that had so much potential, it is a shame to not see this on the Riverfront. When Pinnacle Entertainment owned the Lumiere Place Hotel and Casino just North of Downtown, they planned at $450 Million expansion of the project to include condos, shops and restaurants as well as some office space. It was supposed to draw people to Downtown to not only gamble but also shop and enjoy life. It would have also saved the now gone and scrapped President Casino. It would be nice to see this brought back to life but the new owner of Lumiere Place, Tropicana Entertainment, has no plans to move forward with the project thus shelving this idea for those in the Future to look back on.
Development Company OPUS has a large presence in Central West End but would have been made larger with this Tower. It looks a lot like the Park East Building in Central West End and would have brought more residents down to the Euclid area. After it was proposed, NIMBY's (Not in my Backyards) of the area North of Lindell criticized it for being to tall and claimed it would be a disaster for the region traffic wise. They got their wish, and the buildings plans were shelved. But back in 2011, OPUS returned to bring this lot at Euclid and Lindell back to life with a smaller building called Citizen Park. The 12 floor Building is now completed and the NIMBY's have cooled down for the most part with the exception of them still complaining about the building's design.
Any of the Many Ballpark Village Plans
Possibly one of the biggest blunders development wise is the Ballpark Village Project. With the Cardinals and Cordish Companies officially announcing the concept back in 2005, it received a warm welcome. In 2006, the Cardinals unveiled a new plan that brought along more high-rises and even Centene wanting to expand in Downtown. Form there, they promised to have it open in time for the 2009 All Star Game but they never did. When the economy tanked, the Cardinals and Cordish Companies lost the large vision and instead looked to building the project tin phases. They got the attention of Stifel and proposed a tower for the site until Stifel left and then again proposed a 3 Floor Entertainment Building t replace all of it just to get something underway. That failed to resulting in the Cardinals having to go back to the drawing boards and present the Current Phase 1 that has been built. Phase 2 Seems to bring back some of the original ideas for the site but we will not fully know whether or not this development nightmare will be built out to its fullest grandeur.
The McGowan-Walsh Tower and the Chouteaus Greenway Project
One of the biggest plans to never see the light of day is the Chouteaus Greenway Project. It would have replaced many surface lots and railroad tracks with a lake, park, greenway and buildings all in the area south of interstate 64 in Downtown. It would have also redeveloped the Southern Riverfront of St, Louis and would have turned the area around it into even more prime real-estate. One Tower that was proposed with the project was the MW Tower. A 1000 foot tall Office, Hotel, Residential and Retail Building Built just West of Busch Stadium. The Tower would have changed the way our Downtown looks and ultimately would have changed the City forever but with the Financial Collapse and not enough money, both projects died and do not appear to be making a comeback thus shelving them fir a while but hopefully not forever.
Both the Riverfront Stadium and the Innovation Complex
The $1 billion Rams Stadium that never was is a prime example what can happen when Billionaire owners are very shady with their business dealings. That sentence right there is enough to know why this Stadium failed and also goes to show why it will never be built. After this was a plan B for the North Riverfront to turn it into a Innovation Park like Cortex. The City backed plan also failed to do a slow design process, no interest and especially the crime statistics. These all pushed away potential leasers and thus leading to it being cancelled and the Riverfront still sitting desolate and waiting for a new life.
Once planned for Washington Avenue, SkyHouse would have brought more residents downtown but as we all know, it never saw the light of day. When the economy collapsed, it took this project with it. With SkyHouse went all of the information (cost, height) for no one to know. With the economy making a return, it would surprising if this project came back to life but I say no. Why? The Downtown market is being overwhelmed with Housing whether it is condos or apartments. Because of this, SkyHouse will not rise anytime soon unless a absolute demand for new housing is needed then maybe we will see it return but until then, this project is shelved.
The Bottle District
When it was proposed, it appeared to be the only thing on this list that could have really been built with little to no issues but when it was proposed was the killer. The mixed use project was proposed in 2006/2007 right before the economic collapse. The complex would have featured a Daniel Libeskind designed 630 foot tall Building making it attention grabber when ever you are downtown or entering the City. The vision however is one that made nationwide headlines when it was introduced and is still talked about on Forums nationwide about Large scaled projects like this that failed. I believe however that this project will see the light of day. It is a matter of tie until a developer proposes something similar to this on the site just North of the Edward Jones Dome and when that day comes, we can say hello to a renewed Downtown but until then, this project is at the bottom of someone's desk drawer waiting to be rediscovered.