Plans Updated for 500,000 SqFt WU/BJC at CWE MetroLink Station

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WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.

Renderings for a new 500K sf administration building on the Washington University School of Medicine and BJC Healthcare campus in the city’s Central West End have been released. While a relatively straightforward structure, the investment immediately next to the district’s MetroLink light rail station is big step forward.

Back in 2012 we reported that the medical center would see more than $1B in investment over the coming decade (latest renderings here). Already complete is the new BJC headquarters and Center for Outpatient Health at Forest Park and Euclid Avenues. Nearly complete is the McKinley Research building, a new health and safety facility, and the massive 3,000 space parking garage and elevated walkway. The St. Louis College of Pharmacy has completed its new building on the prominent Taylor Avenue site.

With thousands of jobs likely to be added to the medical campus in the next few years, placing a half million square feet virtually on top of the light rail station is a good planning. The building will also be connected to the new parking garage via a 1/3-mile long sky bridge, which will connect to the larger campus walkway network.

A big expansion and renovation of St. Louis Children’s Hospital is well underway (renderings). The university is contemplating converting the old Shriner’s Hospital and Central Institute for the Deaf into student housing as a replacement for Olin dormitory.

WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.

WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.

WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.

WUSM/BJC Mid-Campus Center by Christner Inc.

Via Clayco: Project Description

Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare just announced plans to build a new 12-story office building at their growing medical campus in the Central West End. The 510,000-square-foot building includes a full basement and will be located next to the Central West End MetroLink station and will consolidate medical offices currently housed at the Barnes-Jewish Center for Outpatient Health and across the Washington University medical campus community. The project will start in June 2015 and will be completed in November 2016. Designed by Christner Inc., the building will be constructed by Clayco.

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  • Alex Devlin

    Any ideas on how many jobs will be moved to this building? Obvious benefit to metro between Boyle and this, but any estimations on amount of increase in ridership?

  • John R

    I believe there are plans to have some kind of cafe/coffee shop in the building…. hopefully it will have a street entrance and be accessible to Metrolink patrons. The Boyle station will have Tim Horton’s and Park Central Coffee as convenient options when it opens.

    • Daron

      Metro says they will arrest you if you eat or drink on the platform because the 1980s rage on.

  • Luftmentsch

    Is the Central institute for the Deaf’s main building going to be converted to some other use? CID isn’t moving, is it?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Haven’t heard anything about any impact to the CID’s main building.

      • Luftmentsch

        So, I gather this is referring to some other building: “The university is contemplating converting the old Shriner’s Hospital and Central Institute for the Deafinto student housing as a replacement for Olin dormitory.”

        • Alex Ihnen

          The oldest portion of the CID, that part furthest west, is being considered for housing.

  • you-topia

    Can anyone tell if this building will create a covered MetroLink station, or will it remain open to the elements?

    • John R

      Not sure about that, but iirc the platform is getting some kind of enhancements as part of the TIGER grant that helped secure sufficient funding for the new Boyle Metrolink station,

    • Alex Ihnen

      No details have been released, but some planning has taken place for a covered station, and perhaps a wider platform.

  • Framer

    Does anyone know if this building is engineered for future vertical expansion?

  • tbatts666

    Why do they need such. A humongous parking garage? Zoning or on their own choice?

    +++ for the proximity of transit.

    Imo Building is modernist unoriginal uninspiring boxy meh. I am sure the windows are nice though.

    The architects could Probably do a lot more to improve the street life.

    • Brian

      With 23,000 employees, a million outpatient visits, and nearly 100,000 hospital patients, the 3,000 parking spaces in the medical center will probably not go underutilized. Large surface lots are being replaced by buildings (at least seven lots have disappeared in the past 10 years), which is a good thing. While I generally take Metro or walk to work, most of my fellow employees do not, so the need for parking is acute.

      I agree that the building is not much to look at, but medical centers are no longer the cash cows they once were.

      Euclid south of the Parkway has little street life, if you do not count the Thursday farmer’s market and the street preacher that harangues employees on their way to the Metro. This is nothing new: aside from a tiny flower shop that was torn down some years ago, there have not been any commercial establishments along this stretch in over 4 decades. While I would like to see this change, BJC and WUSOM planners seem to want to keep out anything that does not relate to healthcare or research.

      • tbatts666

        Barnes Jewish and WashU Are both non-profits. So it’s easy to make the claim that they have a duty to build in accordance with their setting (Urban). We subsidize non-profits because they are supposed to be a worthy cause.

        They are also indirectly subsidized by a bunch of other public investments (transit stop, a freeway, forest park).

        That we don’t demand more of them is demonstrative of our collectively low self esteem as a city.

        IMO that bjc and washu don’t do more to give back to the city is also reflective of the arrogance of medicine. We think we are so critical to society that we only play on our own terms.

        The lack of street life is due to lack of appropriate building style for a city in favor of infrastructure that sterilizes the street and kills the soul. (The shitty building style killed the street life, not the other way around).

        It’s probably more complicated than bjc and washu being arrogant institutions. There are probably zoning laws that prevent one from selling a cupcake within 50 feet of a hospital. To demand more mixed use from the space might be tragically illegal.

        • Alex Ihnen

          When the BioMed21 building was proposed, I pitched the idea of a CVS in the corner nearest the MetroLink Station – would have been great, but alas…

      • Constance Cafazza

        That street preacher and his sign-bearing minions-of-doom drives me up a fruity freaking WALL!!!! I like the saxophone player though.

      • Alex Ihnen

        It would be nice is all the institutions within the medical center would provide free transit passes to employees and validate transit passes for visitors. This would make financial sense too. Structured parking is ~$25K/space to build.

        • Michael Anderegg

          Pretty sure that you get a free metro pass if you are an employee of Wash U

          • Alex Ihnen

            Yes, you do.

        • tbatts666

          Don’t forget maintenance costs. It’s a huge liability

  • Presbyterian

    I do like how this design has developed. I wish they’d lose the sky bridge, but I understand that they’re a hospital and all that. Euclid through the complex is becoming a very interesting walk.

    • tbatts666

      We got sort of the same thing at SLU hospital.

      There is this nasty dank tunnel between the med school and the hospital underneath grand avenue.

      It’s like the doctors are just too important to walk on the streets. (Not to mention most of the buildings have been reorganized so the entrances face the parking lot… So it’s hard to walk between buildings by going outside)

      These tunnels and skywalks are a total rejection of the street.

      • jhoff1257

        I’d argue it’s less about “doctors being too important for the street” then it is about the very likely possibility that a patient or expensive piece of medical equipment needs to be transported between buildings. Hospitals deserve a pass on bridges and tunnels. It’s not like we have massive skywalk or tunnel networks around the city. KC has two separate skywalk systems just Downtown.

        • STLEnginerd

          Also I would say the rejection of the street came when they closed Euclid to through traffic. I’d like to see It reopened but I realize the chances are slim at best.

        • STLEnginerd

          Also I would say the rejection of the street came when they closed Euclid to through traffic. I’d like to see It reopened but I realize the chances are slim at best.

          • jhoff1257

            Well I believe we were talking about SLU in this particular instance. But personally I don’t have much of an issue with Euclid the way it is today. My best friend lives in the CWE so I probably use the CWE MetroLink stop more then any of the other stops and I actually kind of like the walk. I’m sure plenty will have opposite opinions and that’s fine. But considering the hospital campus I live next to in KC (St. Luke’s in Midtown)…I’d take BJC all day long. FAR more urban that what people give credit for. Could they be better? Absolutely. But considering other cities (and even SLU), BJC does a pretty good job.

            I can remember a time when people on this site and elsewhere in St. Louis constantly bitched about nothing ever changing and how we couldn’t get with the times. Now we have major institutions making investments in what is not only (in my opinion) pretty attractive modern architecture but for the most part urban in form and people are still pissed off.

            Makes no sense to me.

        • tbatts666

          Ok. That makes sense….

          You are saying these street bypasses need to be around so medical devices, and patients can circumvent the street and it’s unpredictable nature.

          But get this. Slu had reoriented all their ground level entrances to face away from the street….

          They also take dismal care of a lot of their buildings (just hang out at the intersection of grand and chouteau). And don’t maintain their property around a lot of the bus stops. (Sidewalks littered with trash).

          In addition Slu pursues a policy of land banking around their campuses, thus decreasing walkability and safety. (demolishing housing, sitting on parcels subsidized via their non-profit status).

          Sure there is some medical equipment that needs to go places, but they have totally modified their health campus and the hospital to reject street life, decreasing walkability, and making public transport harder to take.

          • jhoff1257

            I don’t at all disagree with your comments regarding SLU’s outrageous land banking or it’s utterly shitty development patterns (comments I’ve even expressed myself on several SLU related posts here on nextSTL). But that’s not what we were talking about based on your previous comment. I was replying to your comment about tunnels and bridges “being a total rejection of the street” and about “doctors being too important for the street.”

            I thought that was clear.

          • tbatts666

            I can agree with you that both those statements could be called exaggerations.

        • tbatts666

          Don’t get me wrong Slu is awesome, and I am proud to be part of their community…. But their strategic planning And total lack of awareness of good urbanism is revolting.

  • Daron

    but but what will happen to the hillside of hypericum??? 🙂

    • Constance Cafazza

      I didn’t know we HAD a hillside of those. I don’t even know what those ARE…but now that I’ve googled it, I’ll go look for the hillside on my break. There’s LOTS of flowery plots around here and I’ve been wanting to find out what in the world the flowers are.

      • Constance Cafazza

        didn’t find ’em.

        • Daron

          Easier to see from the MetroLink tracks. In flower now I believe. If you are curious about something, just take a picture and post it to a plant id facebook group and someone will immediately answer.

          • Constance Cafazza

            Ok thanks!

          • Constance Cafazza

            I FOUND ‘EM! They are right on the side of my building that’s scheduled to be torn down. I didn’t see them until yesterday when I was in a co-workers office and just by chance, looked out of her window and there were right THERE. I yelled… OMG THERE’s THE HYPERICUM!!! and they thought I was nuts. hmmmph. Indeed. They are doomed to go I’m sure. 🙁

        • rosabetz

          This might help with IDing some of the other plants on campus: http://hopeplaza.wustl.edu/plantguide/

          • Constance Cafazza

            OMG this is freaking awesome! thanks!