Patagonia, Urban Outfitters’ Free People Eyeing Retail Space at Maryland Plaza

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Chase-Park Plaza retail

The Chase Park Plaza is in advanced discussions with two high-end national retailers to open their first St. Louis locations at the western end of Maryland Plaza. Although nothing has been finalized, Urban Outfitters’ boho women’s fashion division Free People, and outdoor clothing and apparel retailer Patagonia are reportedly considering space.

Should the Chase and retailers move forward and gain neighborhood support, Free People would be the St. Louis area’s first. The retailer has stores at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City and in Chicago. The Patagonia store would be the first in Missouri. The popular Salon and Spa at the Chase, a favorite among the region’s trendy and well-dressed crowd, currently occupies the ground level space. If retail is added, the spa would move to a second floor space.

For street level retail to succeed, the historic Chase may have to convince the city’s Cultural Resources Office and Preservation Board to allow direct pedestrian access onto Maryland Plaza. Large floor-to-ceiling windows currently face Maryland, and the Chase may seek approval to convert some of these openings into retail entrances. The Preservation Board has been hesitant to allow more significant alterations to Maryland Plaza storefronts, though has approved changes deemed aesthetic and reversible. The Board may be more lenient with the Chase, given that Maryland Plaza is the building’s third side and includes service and garage entrances.

If successful, retail added to the Chase would do a lot to enliven a sleepy end of Maryland Plaza. National retailers as significant as Patagonia and Free People could also help reverse the Central West End’s retail decline after the recent loss of Moris Fashions and Rothschild Antiques. Maryland Plaza, once home to Saks Fifth Avenue, may be returning as a high-end retail anchor in the city.

Example of Free People store:

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Example of Patagonia store:

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  • T-Leb

    Patagonia store would be nice, there isn’t much in the way of an outfitter in the city. Alpine Shop is awesome, Kirkwood location. Patagonia is cool b/c they give back 1% for the Earth, recycle socks and stuff. Be nice to do that in store instead of via UPS/FedEx. However, I really don’t care for the North Face store, not b/c it’s at West Co Center, but b/c it has few offerings other than the current season and footprint is small.

    • John R

      Just curious, but I see you didn’t mention REI. No like?

      • T-Leb

        I didn’t mention Dicks (south co mall parking lot location and west co mall) or the new out of town chain going in at Gravois Bluff. REI is in Brentwood? I’ve been there… I like that Alpine Shop is local and the people working there are great.

  • Presbyterian

    Exciting news. I hope it moves forward. This could really transform that end of Maryland Plaza. Now, if only we could convince Straubs to reopen its original corner entrance across Maryland from the Chase…

  • http://www.lovethyneighborhood.tumblr.com Joe_Huber

    The Patagonia store in St. Paul, MN is literally right out of my window. This place does a ton of business and is always full of people buying goods – granted we do live in Minnesota. On top of this, Patagonia often hosts book discussions and hosts evening events. This would be a great addition to the CWE.

  • imran

    I wonder if these spots had retail entrances in the past. Anyone have old pics? Those ground floor windows may not be all that historic.

  • Jess

    I used to work at the Patagonia store in DC and can attest that it, more than any retail store I’ve ever seen, is incredibly invested and engaged in the community. Many Patagonia locations host shop runs, hiking trips, guest speakers, film screenings, and even bands. I’d be thrilled to have a store in the CWE.

  • Presbyterian

    The storefronts are on the current Preservation Board preliminary agenda. I’m also told that a third retailer now is interested in this location.