Green Street’s $85M Chouteau’s Grove Gets Bigger, More Detailed

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Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO

Last week nextSTL reported on Green Street‘s proposed Chouteau’s Grove development in the City’s Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood. Today, more details revealed on the Park Central Development site show a larger project than previously known. Previously revealed to consist of 4.5 acres, $70M, 250 apartments, and 50K sf retail, the full development plan is 6 acres, $85.5M, 300 apartments, 78K sf of retail, and 675 parking spaces.

The project is seeking a total TIF of $12.12M. According to the project’s TIF application, the subsidy is required in order to provide hundreds of public parking spaces, a measure Green Street, and the neighborhood development corporation believe is necessary to serve existing and future development.

Green Street is actively seeking a grocery tenant for a stand alone retail building. That building would align with but according to the site plan, not offer access from Manchester Avenue. An entrance plaza would be oriented toward the parking garage, and the site would include 77 surface parking spaces.

Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO

Split into four buildings on three sites, Chouteau’s Grove includes the previously cited 4.5-acre Commerce Bank site and Land Reutilization Authority’s surface parking lot west of Sarah Street, but also extends across Manchester Avenue, and includes the northwest corner of Sarah and Chouteau Avenue. Site plans also includes the triangle of land east of Hemp Avenue, though any plans for that site have not been made public.

The largest building would reach eight stories and a height of 70ft. First floor retail with 18ft height would occupy the first level and a half, fronting both Sarah and Manchester Avenue. The short leg of Chouteau Avenue between Sarah and Manchester would be closed and redeveloped as a plaza, with four on-street parking spaces.

Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO

Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO

IMG_3389{the current view looking southeast from corner of Chouteau and Sarah}

This mixed use building would have 402 parking spaces on three levels, with first floor access to 33,350sf of retail space from the garage. Floors three through eight would be comprised of 192 one bedroom and 60 two bedroom apartments.

On the current 37-space parking lot bounded by Chouteau, Manchester, and Sarah, would rise a three story mixed use building. Retail space would occupy 11,305sf on the first level, with six two-bedroom and 22 one-bedroom apartments above. No on-site parking is planned for this constrained site. On the northwest corner of Sarah and Chouteau, an existing gas station and adjacent vacant lot would be developed as 2,706sf of retail space and three-level, 150-space parking garage.

Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO

LRA lot in The Grove{existing surface parking lot, gas station, and vacant lot would be replaced}

Chouteau's Grove by Green Street - St. Louis, MO{parcels within the development plan not previously shown, outlined in green}

The expansive development site is just a quarter mile from the entrance to a new MetroLink light rail station at Cortex. The station will be located between Boyle Avenue and Sarah, with pedestrian access from both. The $13M station is expected to be completed by 2017. Currently, the nearest station is the Central West End stop, approximately 1mi to the northwest.

Cortex MetroLink planning{the new MetroLink station will be 1/4mi north of Chouteau’s Grove}

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  • Nice project, at least in concept and form, but the prospective circulation to that parking garage from Manchester would be better by not closing the Chouteau cut-off. I’m sure that the project can survive without the “fountain” and the five trees, unless the development will be called “The Five Trees” in which case please pardon this obtuse comment.

  • John R

    I wonder how much this large development (assuming it progresses) impacts planning for the nearby Midtown Station and Silo Lofts projects…. the Boyle Metrolink planning document had mentioned approx. 100 units at the Green Street site so its not totally out of the blue but bumping this up to 300 units and 75,000 sq. ft. of retail makes this a much denser proposal than probably the other developers expected.
    My hope is that the increased density in the area attracts even further interest from retailers and encourages Cortex and Pace/Midtown Station to up their expectations. On the city’s end, it should give authorities more of a spine to shoot down poor design. Midtown Station in particular should be something more in the style of Pace’s Boulevard mixed-use development than the original site plan.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think that’s probably all correct.

      • John R

        I see you made a comment a while back on the Midtown Station post that the longer it takes for that project to move forward the more likely it is that it will be improved…. truly remarkable how many projects have begun construction and/or announced within 1 mile of Vandeventer and Forest Park Parkway since that post last year.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think that’s probably all correct.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think that’s probably all correct.

  • joe deko

    Can someone at NextStl run some numbers on whether this is a good deal for the city? I don’t have a frame of reference or the necessary sophistication to assess this type of project, but worry that the city is giving away money to developers who would do the work anyway. Also, I recall a nytimes article or series that checked out TIFs in general and found they rarely pay off – although I cannot say whether this is the type of project they looked at. As a regular NextStl reader and FPSE resident, that is news I could use if anyone has a meaningful analysis to apply. It is my default position that the BOA is too willing to push any and all development with too little care – see Aventura.

    Also, what about some low income and market rate 3 bedroom units being incorporated? Don’t we want to see the benefits of development acrue to everyone and not just young singles and childless couples? One challenge for the city is where young couples with kids can live. Too little of the development of FPSE over the last 12 years I’ve lived here has increased the number of families living here. We can do better, I believe, especially if 12 million in tax dollars are going to be spent on the project.
    Thanks for your continuing good work in getting the word out about development and the great diagrams.

    • stldoc

      Great questions and I don’t have the answer to any of them. Although as far as places for young families to live, there are thousands of single family homes in the Grove and surrounding neighborhoods. More and more are rehabbed every year and recently new construction has been added in nearby places like Botanical Heights and with infill in many neighborhoods. I just don’t think that a shortage or lack of variety in homes for families in the city is a problem. At least not anytime soon.

      • John R

        I think joe is meaning larger rental units suitable for families…. there are some rental homes in the neighborhood that can meet this need but ideally there will be some new apartment projects suitable for families as the neighborhood progresses. This might be a good point here as well to mention FPSE is very well-centered to some excellent school choices…. the charter immersion school within the neighborhood as well as nearby Stix ECC Magnet and Citygarden charter are all within easy reach; even more options exist when extending out just a bit further.
        I also agree with joe that all larger projects in the city should seek to have some LIHTC component if at all possible (think Metrolofts on FPP).

      • John R

        I think joe is meaning larger rental units suitable for families…. there are some rental homes in the neighborhood that can meet this need but ideally there will be some new apartment projects suitable for families as the neighborhood progresses. This might be a good point here as well to mention FPSE is very well-centered to some excellent school choices…. the charter immersion school within the neighborhood as well as nearby Stix ECC Magnet and Citygarden charter are all within easy reach; even more options exist when extending out just a bit further.
        I also agree with joe that all larger projects in the city should seek to have some LIHTC component if at all possible (think Metrolofts on FPP).

        • Presbyterian

          Most folks with children aren’t looking for high-rises. No outside access.

  • Presbyterian

    I can’t wait to see renderings. I haven’t really seen them do a project from scratch (just adaptive reuse), and so I’m curious about the aestheic.

  • John R

    It looks like walking distance to the Cortex metro stop will be more like a 1/2 mile than a 1/4 mile, but it will still be serviceable, Also, it is fantastic that demo of the gas station is in the plans…. I hope that many of the auto-oriented businesses along Vandeventer b/w Manchester & FPP will eventually give way to better uses as well. I guess we’ll see what the IKEA Effect brings.

    • Alex Ihnen

      It’s not exact, but Google Maps shows 1,350 feet from the corner of Chouteau/Sarah to the entrance to the new MetroLink Station. Effectively it’s a longer distance depending from where one starts, and including the length of the walk off Sarah to the station proper, but I think the perception will be shorter than reality. The current CWE station is almost exactly 1mi away.

      • Thomas R Shrout Jr

        CWE ML station is 1.1 miles from my home. I walk it regularly. Build it into my schedule.

      • John R

        I measured from Sarah & Donovan to Sarah & the track and then on down to the platform (along what will be the new GRG trail) and I got a tad over 2,600′. I’m pretty sure that this will be the quickest route… again, not bad but I’d hate for any marketing materials to use a walking time to Metro based on a 1/4 mile or straight-line measurement.

  • tbatts666

    As a loud mouth opinioned person who geeks out on CNU and has read “The High Cost of Free Parking” cover to cover I could complain.

    But there is so much awesome stuff going on in this development! Thumbs up to the people who made it happen.

    I guess I am worried about how resilient these spaces are. Looks like the developers tried their best to prevent a parking wasteland in the Grove.

  • Daron

    They seem to have somehow forgotten that trees go between cars and pedestrians, not between pedestrians and buildings. This is like the problem on the garden side of Tower Grove Avenue that they did not change after admitting the trees were too close to the wall.

  • Daron

    They seem to have somehow forgotten that trees go between cars and pedestrians, not between pedestrians and buildings. This is like the problem on the garden side of Tower Grove Avenue that they did not change after admitting the trees were too close to the wall.

    • tbatts666

      Are there any clear zone regulations that made them do this? Anyone know?

    • Alex Ihnen

      This is true, but the only place I see this in the site plan above is the back of the grocery story that (very unfortunately) faces Manchester. But, virtually no one is going to walk here – there’s no where to go except the Commerce Bank.

      • luckyduck

        Why would you say that no one would walk there? The portion right beside it is supposed to be retail and residential, so there would hopefully be more than the bank to go to. And there is a fair amount of residential with the potential for a lot more rehab just down Chouteau. Making walkable neighborhoods happens intentionally.

        I’m disappointed that there is no mention of affordable housing units in this redevelopment. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any at Aventura either.

        • John R

          Call me crazy, but I have high hopes for the property across Vandeventer, including the SLU-owned property east of the Viaduct just a ten minute walk or so away, so I can definitely see increased pedestrian activity at the Manchester/Vandeventer/Chouteau intersection in the coming years. Rumor had it that the large cleared parcel between Grand and Spring on the north side of Chouteau was being marketed for retail; I see that site as an amazing mixed-use, transit-friendly project with incredible views of the Central Corridor.
          I also agree with you on the affordable housing.

      • luckyduck

        Why would you say that no one would walk there? The portion right beside it is supposed to be retail and residential, so there would hopefully be more than the bank to go to. And there is a fair amount of residential with the potential for a lot more rehab just down Chouteau. Making walkable neighborhoods happens intentionally.

        I’m disappointed that there is no mention of affordable housing units in this redevelopment. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any at Aventura either.

      • luckyduck

        Why would you say that no one would walk there? The portion right beside it is supposed to be retail and residential, so there would hopefully be more than the bank to go to. And there is a fair amount of residential with the potential for a lot more rehab just down Chouteau. Making walkable neighborhoods happens intentionally.

        I’m disappointed that there is no mention of affordable housing units in this redevelopment. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any at Aventura either.

  • rgbose

    Will the buildings be made of concrete, steel, or wood?

    Where would the entrances to the apartments be?

    Maybe swap the retail and garage entrance so the retail on the corner of Chouteau and Sarah.

    4 entrances to the bigger garage seems too many.

    Is the plaza worth terminating Chouteau at Sarah?

    Would be nice if there were a couple floors of apts above the bigger retail. I suppose there’s no space for the “needed” parking they would “require.”

    Looks like the entrance to the bigger retail is meant to be close to the surface parking spots. Would rather it engaged the street.

  • rgbose

    Will the buildings be made of concrete, steel, or wood?

    Where would the entrances to the apartments be?

    Maybe swap the retail and garage entrance so the retail on the corner of Chouteau and Sarah.

    4 entrances to the bigger garage seems too many.

    Is the plaza worth terminating Chouteau at Sarah?

    Would be nice if there were a couple floors of apts above the bigger retail. I suppose there’s no space for the “needed” parking they would “require.”

    Looks like the entrance to the bigger retail is meant to be close to the surface parking spots. Would rather it engaged the street.