Aventura Apartments in Forest Park Southeast Set to Open in Central West End Summer 2013

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Construction Ventura at Forest Park 2012-10-15

Aventura at Forest Park has been under construction for just six months, but is set to welcome its first residents this summer. The apartment complex is accepting applications now and has gone live with a website promoting the development. The addition of residents to Forest Park Southeast (The Grove) is wonderful for the city. The project is market-rate and at the high end of that. One bedroom, 719 sq. ft. apartments start at $1,150, while two bedrooms and 1,103 sq. ft. will cost $1,450. Even though billed as luxury apartments, these rates should put upward pressure on rents in The Grove. nextSTL has covered the Aventura Phase I development and proposed Phase II development previously.

Aventura is being marketed to professionals employed or attending school on the adjacent medical campus and pitches itself as a Central West End property. Full-amenity, luxury apartments are likely to be very popular so close to the expanding medical center. And while hyperbole is simply the nature of marketing, there are several items here for those interested in how our city and neighborhoods are sold:

Located in the Central West End, Aventura at Forest Park provides elegantly designed one bedroom and two bedroom apartments ideal for all types of medical professionals including doctors, nurses, medical students, lab technicians associated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and St. Louis Medical School.

We understand your unique needs and take pride in providing you the necessary comforts and amenities needed to relax and recharge between classes and shifts at the hospital.


Aventura at Forest Park is located St. Louis’ vibrant Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, on Chouteau Avenue, near Barnes-Jewish Hospital and I-64. The Forest Park Southeast neighborhood shares an unidentifiable boundary with the Central West End; one of St. Louis’ most sought after and historically signifi cant neighborhoods.

Most likely, after a long day of working or studying you are not going to want to cook, although the kitchens at Aventura at Forest Park are top notch, our location is ideal for dining out. Meet friends for happy hour and a craft beer at Llywelyn’s Pub, enjoy Sunday brunch and the atmosphere at Duff’s, indulge yourself in chocolate at the famous Bissinger’s, or just grab a coffee and read daily news at the Coffee Cartel. No matter what you’re craving, odds are you’ll be able to find it within blocks of Aventura at Forest Park.

When you’re seeking Central West End St. Louis apartments near Barnes-Jewish Hospital, look no further than Aventura at Forest Park!

"Aventura at Forest Park", "Located in the Central West End", "Central West End St. Louis Apartments", and "Located in St. Louis’ vibrant Forest Park Southeast neighborhood", all appear on the front page of the website. Perhaps it's a distinction that few moving to St. Louis from elsewhere will notice or care about, but it's still rather glaring and odd for anyone familiar with this part of the city.

Phase I was to consist of 101 apartments and a planned Phase II would add another 101 units adjacent to the current development. The website states Aventura is a 150 luxury apartment community. The rents have also moved up from a stated $1,000 for the 750 sq. ft. unit to $1,150 and from $1,300 for the 1,103 sq. ft. unit to $1,450. The Aventura developer received a 10-year tax abatement for the luxury apartment project. While the project is pitched as close to everything, there are 431 parking spaces planned for the perhaps 202-unit development. The saving grace of the project is the rentention of the Station G building, once the pump house for now demolished gasometers, natural gas storage tanks. The building is reported to be set for conversion to eight apartments.

{Aventura at Forest Park Phase I}

{Aventura at Forest Park Phases I & II}

Aventura under contstruction January 2013: 

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  • John

    Alex, you said in another article that ” there seems to be very little support among neighborhood residents to introduce form-based code or create a local historic district that would regulate infill design to some extent.” It’s time we change this. Nobody wants to see this kind of garbage in this neighborhood. It’s time one of us tries to introduce a form-based code to prevent any more of this from happening in the future. Never again.

    • Alex Ihnen

      OK. We’re in agreement here, but someone would need to go door-to-door through the neighborhood to gauge support, education residents on the issue. I don’t think I’m being pessimistic when I say that one would find quite a few people who like Aventura and will like this project. How many, I don’t know. But combine those with people who just don’t want to be told what to do about anything and it’s a significant challenge. One would think with three literally world-class architecture firms within 1/2 mile of this site, perhaps some coordinate effort could be undertaken.

      • John

        If I were in St. Louis today, I would be out on the street tomorrow doing just that. Nevertheless, I think we could pull something together.

  • illini84

    As a long-time supporter of the Grove, I was initially excited about what this project would do for FPSE. Now, I feel like it’s unrealistic in terms of price, and frankly, it is slapping the Grove in the face. The project is CLEARLY within the neighborhood boundary of FPSE! This is NOT in the CWE, and it upsets me that not only are they deceiving out-of-towners who may not be familiar with the area, but they’re also completely abandoning their identity with the Grove. The Grove is a great place! Be proud of it!

    I used to live across the street from here. You’re not within walking distance of much at all, except for Barnes. Frankly, it is a desolate street with patches of run-down buildings. How in the heck do they think they’re going to charge those prices?! The “actual” CWE neighborhood and the downtown loft district barely asks for those rents and they’re arguably the highest rent areas in the city. C’mon, now…

    • John R

      kind of a weird lose/lose situation here…. if the project succeeds, the developer will say “well, this is the style that people want!” and will be duplicated; if it fails, it will be “oh well, new residential won’t work in the area” instead of realizing that maybe pricing and design was a factor. Sure I’ll take the former, but hopefully future projects will be better.

      • Alex Ihnen

        That nails it and is why it’s so important to push for better design. We learn the wrong lessons from development all the time, which leads to worse development. With the project, the rents are high enough that it simply can’t be said that good design wasn’t affordable. If we’re to believe it’s a cost issue, what would the rent have to be in order for the developer to do something better? It’s really unfortunate that St. Louis and The Grove missed this opportunity badly.

  • RyleyinSTL

    New middle class residents in FPSE is an undeniably good thing….but as others have said it is sad that the developer chose not to try and match this project to it’s surroundings. Given the rent you’d think they could have spent a few extra bucks on bricks. One saving grace (beyond saving the gas building) is that this project was at least built to the sidewalk with the parking in the back.

  • RooSTL

    As a Grove business owner, I love that they are telling people to go a mile north up to Euclid and McPherson instead of around the corner to the great restaurants on Manchester.

    • Alex Ihnen

      The site says FPSE is a vibrant community and that there are eclectic stores along Manchester. I’m sure Grove businesses will market to these new neighbors with $. If only the money going to tax abatement was going to streetlights, Chouteau Park or other amenities in the neighborhood.

  • CWE

    Why would somebody pay this kind of money to live in an apartment next to the highway in a building this ugly? I could just live in Fenton if I wanted to live like this and I would only have to pay half that much. They need to go back to the drawing board with this. How about saving space by simply making one building that’s about 10 or 15 stories tall and thinner?

    • John R

      For a nice view of the billboards right out the windows? They couldn’t even get those eyesores removed.

  • JPCosgrove

    An “unidentifiable boundary” with the CWE? Did they forget the giant freeway?

    • Chippewa

      That bothered me too. “Unidentifiable boundary”. Wat?

  • pat

    If I wanted to live in a place like this, I’d be back in Columbia going to school.

  • T-Leb

    I’m sorry but nothing about an un-secure surface parking lot and vinyl siding screams luxury for me. I live in The Temtor in SouthStL, the old Coca Cola/Temtor Fruit factory turned lofts and commercial space. My rent for the larger 1 bedroom is only $625 and $25 bucks to park securely underground. I have 15 ft ceilings and exposed building columns and exposed brick and large historic windows. For me, nothing I see justifies 1000-1400 for 1-2 bedroom apartments. It is just another low budget apartment complex near a highway and therefore trying to charge higher rent.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Location, location, location.

      • Guest

        True! I will be looking for a brick house in/around this part of town in a year or so.

  • CWE

    Talk about fugly.

    • ben

      + expensive = crap!

  • STLgasm

    The renderings in the post show a full brick facade, but from what I have seen, there’s a lot more vinyl than brick on the real thing. From the highway it looks tacky as f##k and would look more at home in O’Fallon than in the City of St. Louis.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think if you look closely, the rendering shows brown siding above brick on the first floor. It’s not easy to see.

      • STLgasm

        Thanks Alex. Looks like the rendering was just to butter us up, because it’s the standard (aka cheaper) beige vinyl.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Yep – updated photos are up now.

  • John

    Hopefully many residents will take advantage of the pedestrian bridge just east of Kingshighway. Too bad MoDOT didn’t see fit to replace the one by the Highlands.

    • Alex Ihnen

      As a five-year resident of FPSE (a block from where Aventura is being built), I would never recommend anyone use the pedestrian bridge. Even realigned and with better lighting, and security cameras, it’s off the beaten path and quite isolated. Why in the world wouldn’t someone just walk down the street? Walking down Taylor keeps you on a street with a little traffic, other people walking, etc. This is why the FPSE to med campus overpasses should have received more design thought than what MoDOT is building now. The couple million spent on a footbridge could have gone a long way to make the better, more natural, safer pedestrian access even better.

      • Kevin

        MODOT’s lack of foresight makes me wish the designers at UIC would include the north Grove neighborhood in their “Vandegrove” project. Their proposed connections between south Grove/McRee and at the Vandeventer intersection are great, especially if they apply the Thurman street scape. This type of design between north Grove and the other side of the highway would be great.

        Also, is there anything planned for the vacant lots between Newstead and Tower Grove?

      • joe deko

        As a current and 10 year resident of FPSE I think your concern about the foot bridge is personal to your own safety concerns / level of comfort. We all have our own comfort levels and have to live accordingly. Rebecca uses it every single morning before light to run and walk in the park as do dozens of our neighbors. We like using it rather than the street or sidewalks. It is direct, and quicker for everyone in the 4500 blocks than backing up to taylor or using kingshwy. Plus, it is novel and fun to stop in the middle suspended over the highway

        As for aventura – I agree with those who wrote that it is ugly exurban architecture. How it will function in the neighborhood remains to be seen, though. I doubt grad students will have to be pushed very hard in any direction to find the businesses on Manchester. They will be the type of people who seek stuff out or they’ll be cooking Ramen at home to afford those rents. In my experience with grad school, no one had to tell me how to find places to drink.

        Great forum Alex! Thanks for your hard work even if I don’t agree with some of your opinions.
        Joe D.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Thanks for the comment Joe. You make a good point and for 4500 residents, the footbridge is more direct, but it seems that the footbridge is the site of many more muggings than Taylor. Of course, those are still rare. To the larger point, de-emphasizing pedestrians in the most basic public realm – the street and sidewalks – doesn’t favor the pedestrian, but rather traffic. The city and FPSE would be much better served if the sidewalks on the overpasses received investment and were made more inviting and accommodating. A second footbridge more of less parallel to Tower Grove over I-64 has been suggested as well. The $5M or so it would take should be spent elsewhere.

  • What’s interesting to me is how the marketing only makes mention of CWE North business district businesses. I wonder why Aventura is in bed with CWE North but has no mention of what’s below the Lindell belt.

    (Speaking of which, an investigative article on the CWE North vs. South distinction would be really fascinating to read.)

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’m surprised there’s no mention of Whole Foods. That project will stitch together the north and south CWE along Eulcid and obviously be a popular place for people like those Aventura is seeking. They should hire someone on this site/forum to write this stuff! 🙂

      • matthb

        With how attuned they are to the surrounding urban environment it is quite possible they don’t even know about the Whole Foods. Kind of surprised there isn’t a quote about being minutes from the Richmond Heights Schnucks.