Central Corridor Residential Boom Passes 2,000 Units, Reaches Campus Housing

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Building boom collage

The apartment boom in St. Louis City continues. Over the past two years, 963 apartments have been built in the city’s central corridor near Forest Park and the Central West End, with many smaller projects adding more units. By our count, 557 more apartments are currently under construction, and at least 600 more have been proposed and approved. In all, the projects total nearly 4,000 beds.

The projects represent a mix of student-focused, non-student market rate, and luxury units. The majority of units are in new construction, with some rehabs and residential conversions adding to the total. The building boom now includes campus housing projects at Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy as well.

Washington University has finally demolished Rubelmann Hall after several delays, and will continue the planned streetscape of the South 40 residential complex. The new building will accommodate 180 beds. The university continues to explore options for student housing at the medical complex, and of course completed the $80M, 165-unit Loop Living project on Delmar this past year. The St. Louis College of Pharmacy is adding 200 beds within a mixed-use building designed by Forum Studio.

Saint Louis University recently approved the second of two new residential facilities. The campus building boom will add more than 1,000 beds to the Frost Campus. The first building, currently under construction at Laclede and Spring Avenues will feature 450 beds, conference room, and other common spaces, including a small outdoor amphitheater.

The second SLU residence hall, a seven-story, 237K sf, $71M project, will adjoin Griesedieck Hall and have 528 beds as well as a dining hall. It is scheduled to be completed in time for 2017-2018 occupancy. Both buildings were designed by Hastings+Chivetta.

Nearby, The Standard added 164 units (465 beds) in a student focused building contiguous with the SLU campus. West Pine Lofts opened this fall, adding 206 units. The influx of development, and specifically the university investment, stopped at least one project short, as a massive development on Olive Street has been cancelled.

Elsewhere in the area, the 278-unit Cortona opened at The Highlands near Hampton and Highway 40, Aventura brought 203 units to the northwest corner of Forest Park Southeast, a new 88-unit building was added to the West End City apartment complex, and 4242 Lindell was converted to 24 apartments.

Under construction currently are the Opus Development project at Euclid and Lindell (217 apartments), the Mills Properties development that will include a Whole Foods at Euclid and West Pine (177 apartments), 3933 West Pine (77), 4528 Olive Street (33), 4321 Manchester Avenue (20), Gerhart Block loft apartments (17), and 4100 Lindell (16).

Apartment projects proposed and approved in the area include the 271-unit Green Street project at the Commerce Bank site in The Grove, 5510 Pershing (165) and 5539 Pershing (117), both by Aspirent Properties, and the 60-unit Koman development at Euclid and West Pine.

And there’s more coming. The Cortex development continues to plan for as many as 550 apartments and several developers are zeroing in on projects that would bring more units to the Central West End, Forest Park Southeast and nearby areas.

Of course, there are other big non-residential projects in the area, including a new St. Louis Children’s Hospital complex, 500K sf Washing University/BJC Healthcare building, the Washington University McKinley Avenue research building, that first St. Louis College of Pharmacy building, the new Shriners Hospital , the $240M Washington University Danforth Campus remake, the TechShop mixed use building and more coming soon from Cortex, including a new MetroLink station at Boyle Avenue, and Saint Louis University. Oh, and that IKEA finally opened.

Campus Housing:

Rubelmann Hall - Washington University in St. Louis{Rubelmann Hall – Washington University in St. Louis

wustl{Loop Living – Washington University in St. Louis}

St. Louis College of Pharmacy - Phase II{St. Louis College of Pharmacy – Phase II}

Saint Louis University residence hall{Saint Louis University residence hall – Phase I}

Saint Louis University residence hall{Saint Louis University residence hall – Phase II}

Residential projects completed:

The Standard - St. Louis, MO{The Standard – northeast corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer Avenues}

West Pine Lofts - St. Louis, MO{West Pine Lofts – southeast corner of West Pine Avenue and Sarah Street}

Cortona at Forest Park - St. Louis, MO{Cortona at Forest Park – near Hampton and Highway 40}

image{Aventura in Forest Park Southeast (The Grove)}

245 Union - West End City apartments{West End City on Union near Forest Park Parkway}

4242 Lindell - St. Louis, MO{4242 Lindell in the Central West End}

Residential projects under construction:

4643 Lindell - The Opus Group{4643 Lindell by Opus Development}

CityWalk on Euclid - St. Louis, MO{The Orion, and Whole Foods – Euclid at West Pine}

3933 West Pine - St. Louis, MO{3933 West Pine – near Saint Louis University}

Olive Street development - St. Louis, MO{4528 Olive in the Central West End near Euclid}

UIC_Manchester{4321 Manchester in The Grove}

gerhart{Gerhart Block on Vandeventer near Forest Park Avenue}

4100 Lindell - St. Louis, MO{4100 Lindell – southwest corner of Lindell and Sarah Street}

Residential projects approved:

Green Street project in The Grove - St. Louis, MO{Green Street’s Chouteau’s Grove at Vandeventer and Chouteau}

5510 Pershing - St. Louis, MO{5510 Pershing by developer Asprient Properties}

5539 Pershing - St. Louis, MO{5539 Pershing by developer Asprient Properties}

34 N Euclid proposal - St. Louis, MO{Koman development at West Pine and Euclid}


Other projects:

Children's Hospital St. Louis{Children’s Hospital St. Louis renovation and expansion}

WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.{500K sf BJC Healthcare/Washington University in St. Louis building}

McKinley research building - Washington University in St. Louis
{Washington University in St. Louis McKinley Avenue research building}

St. Louis College of Pharmacy - St. Louis, MO{St. Louis College of Pharmacy Phase I}

Central West End construction - St. Louis, MO{Shriners Hospital in the Central West End}

Washington University in St. Louis transformation{$240M Washington University Danforth Campus project}

Washington University in St. Louis{Washington University in St. Louis student recreation center}

Hillman Hall at The Brown School - Washington University in St. Louis
WUSTL Brown School

TechShop @ Cortex - St. Louis, MO{TechShop in Cortex on Forest Park Avenue}

Cortex MetroLink planning{MetroLink station at Cortex near Boyle Avenue} IKEA St. Louis{IKEA St. Louis at Cortex}

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  • TIm E

    The other question on my end, has anyone heard anything out of the Koplar/Koman/Clayco deal to develop Koplar’s prime CWE location. Nextstl had a nice write up on the architect they hired. But also seems quiet at the moment

    • Alex Ihnen

      They’e working on it. We don’t have anything more to share at the moment.

  • TIm E

    Curious if any updates out of CORTEX or speculation to be had on residential or even hotel development?. Their was the SILO lofts RFP that seems to have gone quiet. My understanding is that two proposals were received but I don’t believe anyone has posted information on it. Also, understand that CORTEX was working on a residential project along Boyle but believe that might have been some more speculation (However, I can’t claim that one as my rumor). I think they could put in a nice mixed use mid rise at the northwest corner of Forest Parkway and Vande on the empty corner lot which I believe is Cordish
    With a market present it seems that CORTEX would be able to break ground sooner or later on any residential component. Heck, probably quicker on a hotel. Right now CORTEX seems a lot more like DeWitt/Cordish when it comes to breaking ground on residential.

    • Alex Ihnen

      We’ll definitely see more from Cortex soon.

    • John R

      Tim. I think Cortex and Wexford have had the right emphasis up till now now on focusing on the company recruitment and tech shop/venture cafe end of things…. making sure they are establishing that critical jobs mass that is central to ensuring a successful innovation community before moving on to nailing down the mixed-uses that will help round out and activate the district. It sounds like we’ll be hearing even more good news soon on the employment front, and I bet we’ll be hearing more on retail and residential as well.

      Cortex btw is on record saying that they’re looking at more retail (and maybe no residential?) on the “Silo Lofts” site… plans surely have been evolving. One thing that hopefully won’t set anything back but is of interest is that Wexford/BioMed was just sold, so that potentially might alter plans for the planned redevelopment of their US Metals site that was to have a residential component in addition to labs/office.

  • moorlander

    Why weren’t the downtown or Clayton developments included? Aren’t they both technically in the central corridor?

  • http://www.stl-style.com STLgasm

    The amount of development is quite impressive (for St. Louis standards, at least). It’s almost laughable how horrible the Aventura looks compared to every other development pictured. And despite this mini boom,

    • SnakePlissken

      Completely agree with everything you’ve said. I’d add that at some point in the 2020’s we’ll see a forced restructuring of County/City government. STL County will show a massive population loss at the 2020 census (Yes, Ferguson effect, corrupt municipal government AND NOW a disaster plan for the eventual radioactive death cloud from the Bridgeton landfill fire will most certainly be the nail in the coffin for North County), with that residents will vacate and head to St. Chuck, who will reach and exceed 400K population in 10 years. Leaving the county with massive infrastructure liabilities and no tax base.

      Long story short is that once the City reenters the County, only then will we have cohesive identity and land use planning that will attract some investors to take bigger risks.

      I understand it’s just part of the puzzle but that job creation -> population growth -> new development – is the main driver but we need to all hold hands and sing by the campfire and quick.

      Another note, clearly TOD doesn’t hold weight in STL, theres plenty of evidence that shows this. What’s more telling is that residential lots and new construction is booming (in a lighter sense of the word) in Jefferson County, Franklin County and continues in St. Chuck – while people are moving to urban cores all over the world, they aren’t in this region.

    • Chicagoan

      Are TOD’s (Transit Oriented Developments) a thing in StL?

      • John R

        We have some TAD’s (Transit Adjacent Development) but not really any full-blown TOD’s.

    • John R

      gasm, I like to imagine what Grand Center & CWE would be like if the Metrolink stations were realigned and underground with access from Lindell and Grand and FPP and Euclid, respectively. it would be amazing. As it stands, neither station provides easy convenience to the heart of the areas.

      • rgbose

        Bingo. Would be way better if it headed west from Union Station under Clark and FPA. That’s the appeal of the Lindell/Olive streetcar. It’s in the middle of things.

        • John R

          Yup… we need some kind of enhanced service down that corridor. I always think of that Hard Times bar on Olive in Downtown West.. perfect name for a pretty depressed area. It shouldn’t be that way.

          • rgbose

            Could run the 10 bus more often.

          • John R

            I’m not sure more bus frequency would spur the redevelopment that is needed to make Olive denser & increase ridership though. A streetcar or good brt project holds better promise to jumpstart the redevelopment of a challenging, but high-potential area.

        • STLEnginerd

          I’d say under Market and the FPParkway but I’d be ok with just a partial under Market only section right now and connect up with the current Grand station. New Union Station station (under the shed), a Jefferson/Market station(Wells Fargo and MSD), and a Compton/Market station (Chafitz and Harris Stowe) .

          If the next Metrolink extension is determined to be the Daniel Boone line I would argue strongly that a realignment of that section should be part of the proposal package.

      • tbatts666

        Great idea! The grand metro stop has a lot of problems.

        I would like to see the area underneath grand developed, and the walkability to SLU’s two campuses improved.

  • Guest

    It all looks great but what effect will this have on the area housing market? Will it promote more people to rent than buy? How will that affect area home sellers and property values? If a person pays, say, $1200 to $2000 per month on rent, then that is money that is not going towards a mortgage, hence equity. Does this mean that at most “4000 beds” (people who choose to rent) are not moving into home ownership any time soon? How will baby boomers sell their homes? To whom? I’m sure there are some willing buyers but maybe not enough after these new apartments are built.

    I know a lot of people who pay rent that for their income level is kind of high. High rent prevents them from saving more money towards home ownership. They will never own a home. I would encourage people to look beyond the new and pretty and to consider what is of value and necessity–what is reasonable. Have economic sense. Do you really need to live in a fancy shmancy expensive apartment? Why not own a modest rehabbed house that could be yours entirely when you have paid it off? Better to live within your means and have extra money. Just a gentle reminder to help you succeed financially. More money in your own pocket is the name of the game.

    • John R

      The cult of home ownership crashed our economy, Guest. It makes no sense for a good portion of this demographic (young. mobile professionals) that are moving into all these units to purchase a home. Back in the day the criminal Chairman Greenspan would urge such people to strongly consider buying a 1% down home even if they were thinking of moving in a few years.

      As long as their rental & transportation costs compose a satisfactory percentage of their income, living close to work (and holding off on a car if possible) in one of these units makes perfect financial and quality of life sense.

    • jhoff1257

      Here’s an idea. Let’s let people make their own decisions. If you can afford to rent and prefer to do that, then do it. If you want to own a home, then do it. There are many benefits to renting as opposed to home ownership. I rent and all of my coworkers own, all they do is bitch about the massive sums of money they have to spend to keep up their homes. As a renter I don’t have that issue. Yeah, owning may put more money in your pocket, but that money disappears into maintenance, renovations, etc.

      Let’s let those making the decisions decide what’s in their means. I bet they have a better handle on it then you.

    • Guest

      Do you really think developers aren’t in tune with their own business, that is, knowing what’s in demand and what isn’t? We live in a far more mobile society these days and buying houses really is too much a waste of effort (with hidden unmentioned expenses) for many such people. Plus you’ve ignored condos for those who want ownership of their domicile who prefer to stay put.
      I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re position on this seems biased and very outdated.
      jhoff1258 (thank you) has made some very reasonable points on this.

  • Presbyterian

    Great overview of a booming area. I wonder what is the total dollar value of all this construction. It has to be a large portion of the region’s construction investment in recent years.

    • Alex Ihnen

      My quick count is $1.78B for the projects listed above. There are others not listed – the BJC building at Euclid/FP Ave, Mercedes dealership, a bunch of renovations (including 4240 Duncan at $73M), BJC @TheCommons, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

  • Chicagoan

    Some good, some bad (the designs), about what you’d expect from a construction boom. Am I reading this right, that you’re getting a new train station? Exciting!

    • Alex Ihnen

      Right. It’s a new station on an existing line (~$11M). Currently the light rail stations are ~1.5mi? apart at this point and the new station will serve the east end of the growing medical campus/research district known as Cortex.

      • Chicagoan

        If they could cut that 1.50-mile distance down, that’d be tremendous. A distance of .50 or .75 would be really great. I’d imagine this station is being built because there was a demand for it?

        You don’t say. People in the city like using public transit if the city government and transit authority give it to them! They’ll even ride it to work!

        Exciting news, really.

        • John R

          Chicagoan, Square will be moving in 200 workers over the next few years to the Cortex district. Their office will be about 100′ from the new Metrolink station. And a large office/lab/residential development hopes to break ground soon next door and has stated it plans to be larger that originally intended b/c of the new station,

      • jhoff1257

        I’ve always thought we should add another station at Jefferson. It’s a bit close to Union Station but not near as close as Civic Center is to Union Station. A stop at Jefferson would put Wells Fargo, Lafayette Square, The Gate, and other areas within walking distance of the MetroLink. Upgrade the pedestrian and cycling infrastructure on Jefferson, similar to Grand, and I think it could work. Doubt the demand is there though.

        • rgbose

          Boy, the walk from a Jefferson station sounds miserable.

          • jhoff1257

            Oh it would be. Hence the needs for upgrades. Distance wise though I don’t think those areas would be that far. I’d sure as hell ride Metro to Jefferson and walk to Lafayette Square.

  • T-Leb

    Great for the heavily heavily subsidized Central Corridor