Washington University Exploring Options to Add Up-To 7-Story Student Housing to The Delmar Loop

{rendering of possible infill project in The Loop}

The Loop may be the most vibrant strip in St. Louis, but it does have its holes. Developer Joe Edwards continues to fill some of these with Pin-Up Bowl, the Pageant and the Moonrise Hotel all adding density and activity to the East Loop. But there are holes in The Loop west of Skinker Boulevard as well.

Many ideas are being kicked around for these sites, a two-story CVS Pharmacy, mixed retail and added parking, and more, but one idea at least has been put on the drawing board: Washington University student housing. Student Life, Washington University's independent newspaper ran a story this past week stating that the school sent students a questionnaire gauging student interest in living in The Loop.

WUSTL_Loop project_streetview
{streetview of project site}

Student housing as well as rehabbed apartments and converted condos have become increasingly popular north of Delmar. There doesn't seem to be any reason why students would not like to live directly on Delmar, closer to school and all that The Loop has to offer. The only impediment may be cost.

From the Student Life story: “We’ve purchased a significant number of buildings off campus,” McLeod (Dean James McLeod, the vice chancellor for students) said. “This is part of a larger effort to have excellent housing for students on or near campus. It’s not just north of Delmar; it’s also south of Delmar. We are looking at all areas where we have property already.”

WUSTL_Loop project
{site plan for project: mixed use/housing in red, new residential in yellow, planned green space in green (site plan added 2-27-12)}

This means that the school is looking at more locations than just the site on Delmar shown in the rendering above. Other locations include "North Campus," a large triangle-shaped area bounded by Skinker Boulevard to the west, MetroLink tracks to the east and the Pageant and other businesses fronting Delmar to the south.

More from Student Life: But community members should not be worried, McLeod said, as the University values the character of the communities surrounding the University, and has no current plans to buy up large amounts of property. The community is “a real asset” for the University, he said, making good neighbor status a top priority… There is no aggressive buying plan right now. That doesn’t rule out lots of different ways we could…trade buildings, we could purchase buildings.”

Evaluating student housing needs is a constant and ongoing endeavor for Washington University and this story contains no surprises, other than that the school may be closer to formally considering development options for its vacant lots in The Loop.