University Place to Be Reviewed, Four Cranes in Downtown, AT&T Center Redevelopment and City Foundry 2: Friday BriefingRead Now
By. Chris Stritzel
Happy Friday and welcome to this Briefing! This will be a new line of stories where I will dive into this week’s big news stories or things that may have flew under your radar. 90% of the time, these types of stories will have things I never even wrote about on here and will be completely new, just in a summarized manner. Let’s get started.
University Place to be Reviewed
News broke a while ago on the request for proposals (RFPs) that the city of University City our out. They want a development to renew their back door and make it more welcoming. Well the only developer to express interest in this RFP is Novus development based on Webster Groves. Their plan calls for a $200 Million+ retail, office, residential and hotel development known as “University Place”. But it is anything but urban and spectacular based on the overall site plan presented above.
The development removes houses and businesses for a parking lot dominated development that will require eminent domain to take over existing properties within the development area. Then, Novus wants University City to subsidize this development through TIFs. This plan goes before the University City TIF Commission on April 16th and I expect this to be a fairly raucous meeting with residents and current business owners along this stretch of Olive.
In my opinion, this development should not be built unless it is made substantially more Urban and worthwhile than what is currently proposed. We don’t need more retail developments with seas of parking around them, we need pedestrian level friendliness, this isn’t one of those developments.
Four Cranes in Downtown?
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a chance, even though it is a small one, that Downtown St. Louis will have Four Cranes up at once. The breakdown is as follows…
2 at the Live by Loews/Pennant Building Block
1 at One Cardinal Way
1 at 300 South Broadway
But, as stated, it will be a slight chance of all four being up as 300 South Broadway is scheduled to begin sometime in the fall and demolition will most likely take until February with site prep until March 2019. The office/Hotel portion of BPV have to be opened by June 2019 so there is a small window of opportunity in here for four cranes to be up at once and that would most likely happen between the second week of March and 1st week of April 2019 if all moves forward on schedule. If 300 South Broadway starts a month earlier (August for example) the possibility of having four cranes in Downtown at once within a 3 Block are greatly increases. And if rumors carry through and construction begins this July, we will have four cranes in the sky.
But for now, only be expecting two on neighboring corners.
AT&T Center Redevelopment on the Horizon?
STLToday broke the story yesterday that CRG Properties (a division of Clayco) has made an offer to buy the hulking 1.4 Million Square Foot, 44 Floor Building at 909 Chestnut in Downtown. While no specifics have been given, Otis Williams of the St. Louis Development Corporation says that currently it is looking to be a mixed use development. Clayco’s Forum Studio was one of the partners on the Amazon to STL project which involved adding 6 floors to the building for Amazon, whether or not that extension is part of this potential is up for grabs but most likely, it will not happen.
The redevelopment of the building will be quite difficult as the existing structure has no connected parking for potential office/residential/hotel workers and guests, which greatly reduces building value for potential tenants. In some cases, the Mark Twain hotel to the north may be demolished for a Parking Garage but I also don’t see this happening. What I do see happening is a complete re-cladding of the existing structure to make it more “trendy” to tenants while the 80s interior is stripped to be made as modern as possible.
If the tower were to be redeveloped into a mixed use building, almost everything would have to be changed in order to make everything fit. The building was designed for one tenant, not many and especially not many uses. I guess we will find out soon what will happen to this or the plans surrounding it but if CRG does buy the building, we could see something happening sooner rather than later as Bob Clark, owner of Clayco and CRG doesn’t screw around when it comes down to developments. Clayco did make $2 Billion in revenue last year so they have some money to spend.
City Foundry Office Tower’s New Renderings
The title of this section says it all. The 13 floor office building at the Southwest corner of the City Foundry Site has received new Renderings. That building should be completed by 2021 at the earliest if earlier timelines hold true. The building will sit on top of a rather hideous parking garage but the view from this building will have one of the better views for office space in the region. It will also be a beacon tower to symbolize that this is the Cortex area of the city, something that is needed considering Cortex’s place in the city’s revitalization.
NextSTL Contributor, Greg Johnson shared these images yesterday on Twitter (@PresbyterianSTL).