Category: Building & Real Estate

Feb 03

$70M, 24-Story, 264-Unit Mixed-Use Project Proposed for Downtown Clayton

The City of Clayton appears ready to move forward with the development of one of its parking lots. Flaherty & Collins Properties has been chosen as the preferred developer after an extended process to consider the future of the property at 8049 Forsyth Boulevard (Google Map).

Proposed is a 24-story tower at the northeast corner of Brentwood and Forsyth Boulevards across from the city’s Shaw Park. The project is estimated at $70M and would include 264 luxury market rate one and two bedroom apartments and 373 structured parking spaces. Approximately 8K sf of “tenant retail space and associated service spaces” would occupy the building’s street level.

In all, the building would total 475K sf. Some parking would be available to the public, though it is unclear the number of spaces.

The project would add significant residential density to downtown Clayton, a stated goal of the city’s master plan. The developer is asking the city to allow a five-foot setback along both Brentwood and Forsyth instead of the required 15ft in order to accommodate added space in the alley, and the planned parking deck.

Feb 03

Big Names Have Big Ideas for Vacant St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar

The “Grand Missourian International”? The “Delmar Divine”? These are the aspirational names for a series of buildings that are anything but inspirational. The hodgepodge of buildings that constitute the abandoned St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard in the City of St. Louis has attracted some big names and big ideas.

The Post-Dispatch is reporting that two developers have presented redevelopment plans to the city that would preserve the existing complex. Located at 5555 Delmar Boulevard, the approximately 7.5-acres site is owned by the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Agency (LCRA).

Submitting presentations to the city, according to the Post-Dispatch, were the team of Maxine Clark, founder and retired chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop (now CEO of the Clark Fox Family Foundation), and Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive of Clayco Corp (nope, they’re not related). Titled “Delmar Divine”, the project could include 160 apartments serving Teach for America – an idea once explored for the Jefferson Arms building in downtown. The redeveloped complex could also house various non-profits, providing shared services and low rent.

Bob Clark and Clayco are near completion of the fast-tracked The Everly, a 14-story mixed use building to the west on Delmar Boulevard. The company’s largest project is the multi-phased expansion of the Centene corporate campus in downtown Clayton.

The second proposal, “Grand Missourian International” was presented by Prad Sabharway, managing director of Ananta Advisors. Sabharway’s presentation reportedly included plans for apartments, a movie theater, and production space for clothing and other small item manufacturers.

Ananta’s website shows projects in the UAE, Greece, Uruguay, India, and two in St. Louis: “a 400 room hotel situated on 19 acres of land one mile from St Louis Airport” and T3T Esco, a company focused on retrofitting warehouses with LED lighting for energy savings. According to the Ananta website, Sabharway “spent 20 years with Citibank in various US and International assignments in Greece, UK, USA, Colombia and Japan.”

Immediately north of the vacant hospital, Rise has completed the Village at Delmar Place development, which includes 40 single-family apartments and townhomes, 16 2BD apartments, two 3BD apartments, 18 3BD townhomes, four 4BD townhomes, and a community building.

Village at Delmar Place by Rise:

Read the Post-Dispatch story for more information and history on St. Luke’s Hospital: Two plans to redo the former St. Luke’s hospital on Delmar

Feb 02

78,000 SF Multi-Sport Complex Proposed for Chesterfield Valley

The Chesterfield Hockey Association (CHA) has announced its intention to build a 78,000 sf multi-sport facility on 12 acres in the Chesterfield Valley (full press release below). The idea was first floated in early 2016 immediately after the announcement that the Hardee’s Iceplex would close to make way for a Topgolf entertainment complex.

It is unclear how this project may impact recently unveiled plans to be a four-ice rink complex in Maryland Heights, which would double as the St. Louis Blues’ training facility. That project is being promoted by a group called the St. Louis Ice Legacy Foundation.

For Immediate Release

NEW SPORTS COMPLEX PROPOSED FOR CHESTERFIELD VALLEY

Chesterfield, MO — (February 2, 2017) — Chesterfield Hockey Association (“CHA”), a non-profit organization, announced today a plan to develop a new state-of-the-art ice and multi-sport facility on 12 acres of land between Chesterfield Airport Road and US 64/40 in Chesterfield, MO. The Chesterfield SportsComplex will be 78,000 square feet and is anticipated to include two (2) NHL-sized sheets of ice, locker rooms, team meeting rooms and offices as well as a restaurant/bar and pro shop. In an effort to grow and expand youth hockey within the St. Louis metropolitan market, the Chesterfield SportsComplex will replace the Hardees lceplex and become the new home of the Chesterfield Falcons hockey club. The Chesterfield SportsComplex will be the premier youth hockey and ice skating destination in the area serving 1,000 youth hockey players and ice skaters in addition to figure skating, indoor soccer, box lacrosse and ball hockey programs.

“The loss of the Hardees IcePlex will have a significant impact on the growth of our sport. The current facility supports not only local use, but also USA Hockey Regional and Notional events. Chesterfield and the region will greatly benefit from having a facility in Chesterfield Volley.” -Larry Boyd, President, Missouri Hockey Inc.

“The board of directors of the Chesterfield Hockey Association is extremely proud to lead this effort to develop the new Chesterfield SportsComplex which will keep the Chesterfield Falcons playing hockey in Chesterfield, MO.” -Mark Kraus, President, Chesterfield Hockey Association

“I am proud to be an original member of the Chesterfield Hockey Association and tam in full support of the need to continue having kids play hockey in our city.” -Bernie Federko, St. Louis Blues Alumni

CHA has partnered with The Staenberg Group (TSG), and Mia Rose Holdings (MRH), to lead this effort.

About CHA
Chesterfield Hockey Association was established in 1995 to develop, promote and organize amateur hockey in Chesterfield, MO. CHA provides year-round developmental opportunities and a full spectrum of hockey programs for players ranging in age from 4 to 18 years old. CHA continually strives to be the best Tier II and Tier III hockey club in the area and prides itself on its ability to develop and advance deserving players to Tier I, junior and collegiate programs.

About The Steenberg Group
TSG is a full service commercial real estate development company that owns, manages and leases shopping centers throughout the heartland including Chesterfield Commons in Chesterfield, MO.

About Mia Rose Holdings
MRH is a Chesterfield, MO based real estate and land development company whose focus is to align the various resources necessary to fully develop real estate opportunities to support the needs of the local communities.

Feb 02

$150,000 Permit Issued for Dark Room at Grandel Theatre

A $150,000 permit has been issued for The Dark Room’s new space in the Grandel Theatre in the Grand Center Arts District (Grand Center neighborhood).

Feb 02

$290,000 Permit Issued for “Gift Shop” at Bowood Farms in CWE

It appears Bowood Farms is set to expand it’s growing footprint across Olive Street. The popular plant nursery, restaurant, and retail shop has been issued a $290,000 permit for a “gift shop” in the vacant building at 4600 Olive Street in the city’s Central West End neighborhood.

Feb 01

Saint Louis City 2016 General Election Results by Ward

As we gear up for the city’s next primary for mayor and aldermen, here’s a look at how city voters performed in the November 2016 general election. While local offices are unfortunately largely determined by the result of the Democratic primary, thus resulting is abysmally low turnout, a broader look at the city’s electorate can be informative.

Maps were produced by Paul Fehler, 8th Ward Democratic Committeeman. Below the general election maps are the nextSTL maps detailing results from the previous Democratic mayoral primary with results for Mayor Francis Slay and President of the Board of Aldermen, Lewis Reed.

 

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Understanding St. Louis: Democratic Mayoral Primary Results – 2013

Jan 23

100 Apartments, Retail, Planned for 6300 Clayton Avenue in Dogtown

A proposal for the long-vacant lumber yard would bring 100 market-rate apartments and 15,000 sf of retail space to the center of the city’s Dogtown neighborhood. The $20M proposal by Pearl Companies of Indianapolis appears similar to its Trail Side project along the Cultural Trail in that city.

The Pearl project attempts to address parking concerns with 123 underground spaces to serve the 89 1BD and 11 2BD units. Proposed commercial is shown as an 11K sf and 4,500sf spaces fronting Clayton Avenue. At five stories, the project will require a variance to proceed. A half-block on either side of the site (Google Maps) sits a four-story mixed-use infill project and a five-story parking garage now owned by the St. Louis Zoo.

In St. Louis, this means the developer will seek the endorsement of the neighborhood association and alderman. Although a 2013 proposal for 63 apartments on the site was approved by the neighborhood, conditions placed on the project regarding parking and building materials led the developer to choose not to proceed.

The new proposal will be presented to the Clayton-Tamm Community Association January 26. Pearl Companies has the site under contract and will be seeking support for tax abatement as well.

  {Trail Side in Indianapolis by Pearl Companies – 69 apartments over parking, with 20K sf of retail space fronting the Indianapolis Cultural Trail}

The 2013 proposal for 6300 Clayton Avenue:

Jan 17

A Reading List for St. Louis City Candidates for Mayor by Left Bank Books and nextSTL

At nextSTL, we’re always looking for new, different, and informative ways to explore a particular issue or topic. This spring, perhaps no single issue is more important to the future of St. Louis than the election of a new mayor for the first time in 16 years.

With support from Left Bank Books and Patrick McEvoy (Twitter: @pat_mcevoy), we’re doing more than simply listing books to read, we’re presenting leading candidates for mayor with copies of four books we believe are essential to understanding our city and making St. Louis a greater place to live, work, and visit. In the coming days and weeks we’ll reach out to candidates, invite them to join us on the Future Great City podcast and deliver this reading list to them.

We believe that our elected leaders lead best when best informed about urban issues from transportation to livability to small business economics. Our hope is that candidates see their role as community builders beyond the politics of scarcity that continues to confound the city. While we will continue to seek context, track development, and share ideas, each of the books below contains more wisdom and knowledge that we can possibly hope to impart on nextSTL.

The Left Bank Books / nextSTL St. Louis City mayoral candidate reading list:

Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured.

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core. But in the typical American city, the car is still king, and downtown is a place that’s easy to drive to but often not worth arriving at.

Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses by Stacy Mitchell
In less than two decades, large retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America. Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising pollution and diminished civic engagement and she shows how a growing number of communities and independent businesses are effectively fighting back.

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can and do make us happier people. After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness?

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At the heart of a vibrant sustainable community are local businesses. While our challenges are many, it’s difficult to find one that isn’t directly and significantly impacted by the health of small and locally owned businesses. From employment to procurement, taxes, and philanthropy, locally owned busineses touch every part of our lives and community. Therefore we wanted to offer additional economic impact studies regarding local businesses:

Since 2002, a number of studies have repeatedly documented the positive economic impact of locally owned businesses, and their significantly greater economic return to the local economy than that of retail chains, big box stores, and, especially regarding sales tax, remote online retailers. Independent booksellers have often been the driving force behind these efforts, which have resulted in favorable public policy for locally owned businesses and heightened consumer awareness of the issues.

Amazon & Empty Storefronts: The Fiscal and Land Use Impacts of Online Retail (2016)
A study from Civic Economics which details the overall negative impact that Amazon has had on Main Street retailers and jobs, and the communities in which they are located, across the country. ABA has prepared the New Localism Toolkit with resources for member bookstores based on data from the Amazon study.

Independent Business Owners Report Growing Public Support (2014)
A national survey of independent business owners conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Business coalition has found that Local First initiatives are boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street, but policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete.

Survey Confirms Benefits of “Buy Local First” Campaigns, Finds Challenges Ahead (2013)
The 2013 post-holiday Independent Business Survey, conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) in partnership with the American Booksellers Association and other indie business organizations, has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives and growing public interest in supporting locally owned businesses.

Indie Impact National Summary: Indies Give Back Over Three Times as Much as Chains (2013)
Communities as different as Las Vegas, New Mexico, and Louisville, Kentucky, have at least one thing in common: Their independent businesses recirculate a substantially greater proportion of their revenues back into the local economy than do their chain competitors. This, according to a national study, The Indie Impact Study Series: National Summary Report, a summary of 10 localized studies conducted by Civic Economics.

Independent Businesses in Salt Lake City Deliver Greater Economic Benefit (2012)
Choosing a locally owned store generates almost four times as much economic benefit for the surrounding region as shopping at a chain, a new study has concluded. The study by research firm Civic Economics found that the local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for the chain retailers.

Grand Rapids Study Shows Shift to Indies Has Big Impact (2008)
A new study from Local First of Grand Rapids, Michigan, reveals that a modest change in consumer behavior — a 10 percent shift in market share to independent businesses from chain stores — would result in 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in wages, and a $137 million economic impact to the area.

Procurement Matters: The Economic Impact of Local Suppliers (2007)
A Civic Economics study commissioned by Local First Arizona reveals that public procurement from a local supplier generates “dramatically greater local economic activity” than procurement from a chain business.

The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics (2004)
A 2004 report by Civic Economics, which compares 10 local businesses in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago versus their chain competitors, demonstrates the greater economic impact of locally owned businesses.

Jan 11

Notes from a Conflicted Soccer Fan

Truth is, I can check off most of the boxes: I grew up watching Soccer Made in Germany on Channel 9. I played ball in the CYC. I “enjoyed” a brief, unsuccessful college career in the sport, played locally. I spent dozens of nights competing in rec leagues at the Soccer Dome, through smothering heat and teeth-rattling cold. I broke bones, many of them. I coached the game for seven years, coming all the way back ‘round to the CYC. I’ve watched soccer matches on every broadcast medium in St. Louis venues, from closed-circuit TV in theaters in the ‘70s to HD splendor in packed soccer bars today.

In theory, all of this make me “a soccer guy.”

In reality, I’m also a guy that frets about public funding mechanisms for stadia.

So I wasn’t sure how I’d vote, if an MLS proposal were put before the voters this spring. As it stands today, that vote won’t happen, squashed in Aldermanic committee. Because I didn’t know how I’d vote — but, in my secret heart-of-hearts, wanted to vote for Major League Soccer’s years-overdue arrival here — I sent a note to a super-connected soccer supporter in town, suggesting that I could put together some well-attended meetings in South City. He, in turn, passed that info to an information rainmaker with the preferred MLS expansion group, SC STL.

In my note, sent not quite a month ago, I spoke of: my wanting to find out answers for my own questions; of my ability to bring together both supporters and (yes) opponents of public funding; and of the fact that I wasn’t looking for any money in this, that it was purely my attempt to pull people together in a few suitable spaces, to talk about the stadium in an organized, public fashion.

I’ll give one guess as to how many calls I got back. (And it’s a number less than that one guess.)

In a piece by Mike Faulk and Koran Addo, published on stltoday.com, Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia (D-6) notes this:

Ingrassia also said the ownership group didn’t spend enough time reaching out to the community as their plan developed.

“It’s not just that they didn’t include me in the process early enough, but the public in general,” Ingrassia said. “There should’ve been community hearings and an ability formed at the Board of Aldermen to digest the details, but for the public to as well.”

As a quick moment of honesty, I’m slightly irritated by this on a personal level, that my experience in local journalism, civic, political and even soccer circles didn’t merit so much as a call back, or a “no thanks, we have other approaches for public engagement that we want to pursue.” I honestly feel that the informational meetings could’ve been a small, but well-intentioned asset in the stadium effort; it would’ve at least hinted at smaller, cheaper, organic ways of spreading information as a part of the overall plan.

My real annoyance, then, lies in the idea that yet another project has fallen into the classic St. Louis pattern of top-down construction. The folks with the plan presented the plan. The plan didn’t go as expected. (Hello, Governor Greitens!) And now the plan will be pulled back and worked on in some handsome, wood-paneled meeting room at the MAC, well away from public input. Again. As always.

Not being in the prediction business, I’m unsure if the vote will be renewed this year, or going forward. Until then, I’ll read whatever stories I find and I’ll try to keep an open mind. When-and-if a vote comes, I’m not even sure how I’ll cast a ballot; my brain and heart might have some consensus building of their own to do.

What I’m pretty sure about is that I won’t spend too much time caring one way of the other. Like a referee at kickoff, my vote may just come down to a coin flip.