Forest Park Southeast has seen its ups and downs over the course of a decade-long resurgance. There's the modern UIC-designed private residence, but there's also Aventura. There are unlikely buildings being saved, but there is also demolition for a gas station. With several very significant development opportunities remaining, the neighborhood's identity is uncertain. Now a proposal for a unique shipping container mixed-use project looks to push the needle back towards cool.
Patrick Barnidge returned to St. Louis from Italy less than two months ago, where he served as project manager on the full rehabilitation of some of the more incredible villas one can imagine (see below). Now at the helm of his own company, Delsa Development, this high-profile proposal would place Patrick and container architecture at the forefront in St. Louis for the first time.
The shipping container project, however, won’t be his first work in St. Louis. Patrick previously worked on the Maryland Place condominium project in the Central West End and developed the home at 1730 S. 10th Street in Soulard.
The Grove project has received support from the FPSE Development Committee and would be set on a city-owned (LRA) lot at 4312-14 Manchester Avenue. A four-family brick home stood on the site until being demolished in 2000. That building had been vacant since at least 1993, according to city records.
The mixed-use container structure is planned for first level retail, in addition to a second level if sought by a tenant. Otherwise, the second level could house offices. The third level is planned for residential occupancy. The project now awaits an expected endorsement from 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy for the purchase of the LRA lot.
Interest in shipping container architecture has exploded over the past decade. In the US, thousands of shipping containers arrive from around the globe each year. Often, the containers sit empty for a lack of export products to fill them. Used containers can be purchased for as little as $900, while new containers can be had for around $6,000. A simple Google search of “shipping container architecture” shows the enormous variety of structures being envisioned and built.
Anthony Duncan Architect produced the renderings above and has explored other uses for shipping containers in St. Louis: