$68M, 14-Story, 233K SF Office Building Proposed for Clayton

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Apogee Associates, LLC is proposing a $68M, 14-Story, 233K sf Class A office building at 8125 Forsyth in downtown Clayton. The authorized agent of Apogee is listed as Jared Novelly, the head of Crest Management which manages the adjacent Merrill Lynch Centre at 8235 Forsyth, Region’s Centre at 8182 Maryland Avenue, and the Lawyer’s Title Building at 8230 Forsyth.

The site at 8125 has long been speculated as a building site for an office tower. nextSTL reported in 2013 that plans were progressing on a then-~200K sf building. ACI Boland Architects remains the designer for the project. The building will be connected to the existing parking garage situated behind adjacent buildings occupying the block of towers.

The existing two-story building has sat vacant for more than two years after tenants left ahead of previous development plans. The two-story building across Forsyth remains on the market. Current plans do not include retail space in the building. Information regarding tenants for the proposed building has not been made public.

Jared is the son of Tony Novelly, chairman and CEO of Apex Oil Co. Apex distributes, stores, and trades petroleum and petroleum products. They operate oil terminals and are also involved in the tugboat and barge business. According to Forbes Apex Oil is the #90 largest private company in the United States. The company employs 700 and posted revenue of $4.5 billion in 2015.

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8125 Forsyth aerial{two-story 8125 Forsyth will be replaced by a 14-story office tower}

Two previous proposals for 8125 Foryth:

8125 Forsyth proposal_old

8125 Forsyth proposal_old

Further detail of current proposed building:

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*update 11/30/2015

westin2

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.56.11 PM

According to a nice follow-up item in today’s Post-Dispatch, Apogee Associates, LLC has plans for more development in Clayton. Just a half block east of the proposal feature above, Apogee imagines a 230-room Westin hotel, 62 residential units, 200K sf of office, and “high-end luxury brand shopping”. An ice arena and amphitheater is proposed in nearby Shaw Park.

The ideas represent just one proposal submitted to the City of Clayton in response to a Request for Qualifications for the city-owned lot at the northeast corner of Brentwood and Forsyth Boulevards (embed below). It is the only plan, according to the Post-Dispatch, for which details were available. In August of this year nextSTL submitted a FOIA request for all proposals received by the City of Clayton for the RFQ. The request was denied citing RSMo, Section 610.021, which states in part that requests can be denied when “Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefor.”

The ice arena idea would accommodate 5,000 people under an inflated fabric roof dome. In summer months, the plan envisions the area to be used as an outdoor amphitheater. In its RFQ submission Apogee states it would partner with Anchutz Entertainment Group to schedule events. The proposal envisions reuse of an existing two-story mid-century building. It is unclear from available images exactly how the project would be sited.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.55.27 PM{Clayton master plan has envisioned a tower at Brentwood/Forsyth – top left}

Brentwood at Forsyth RFQ Final Draft – Clayton, MO by nextSTL.com

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*updated images added 04/20/2016

Apogee 5

Apogee 4

Apogee 1

Apogee 2

Apogee 3

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  • Tim E

    Alex, do you think you could update your post or do a separate post with broader picture of Clayton CBD with location of this new tower along with some of other residential developments currently underway and planned like Montgomery tower and second Centene tower. Can’t help to think that someone must be looking a new hotel in downtown Clayton. Maybe that is why Montgomery Bank has been so quiet.

  • dsaverin

    i welcome all of you to get out your checkbooks to do your own projects.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I can’t stand this response. The premise that people aren’t allowed to weigh in, or even talk about an issue online, without building their own building is just so stupid. Yet we hear this again and again. Don’t think a building should be torn down? Buy it! Well, perhaps next time someone complains about traffic, we should invite them to build their own roads. Don’t like the price of gas? Go strike oil and build a refinery somewhere.

      If this is all you have to contribute the discussion, please don’t.

      • dsaverin

        all opinions matter. novelly has developed a higj quality development at that corner.

        • Chris

          Not sure there was an opinion in your first statement. It was just a childish statement I think, at least that’s imo.

          I don’t think a building has to be more expensive to be appealing. It would just be nice if that whole block didn’t look like the same building updated every 10 years. That said, it’s just awesome to see new development regardless of the architecture.

        • Chicagoan

          Do you work for Novelly?

          • dsaverin

            No. i no affiliation. They developed the complex around it, its high quality and i dont beleive they have asked foe any public funds for their project.

      • Chicagoan

        Great comment, Alex. Public opinion is vital to urban design and planning. Once the building is complete and the developers walk away, it’s the people who have to live with it.

        So, why is it to wrong to demand a solid design?

        I know that public opinion breeds NIMBY behavior, but it can also push the developers to bring their ‘A’ game, so to speak.

    • matimal

      Will we be able to do our projects with public tax breaks and credits as this project is being done, no doubt?

      • dsaverin

        What’s wrong with tax credits and property tax abatement if a new or redevelopment creates other tangible benefits?

        • matimal

          It’s PUBLIC MONEY and therefore entitles the public to influence the project in question.

          • dsaverin

            if a project doesnt happen than there is no “public” money.

          • matimal

            Then local government and residents will, and should, have enormous power over that project.

          • dsaverin

            Enormous. Really??

          • matimal

            Enormous.

  • Alexander Richard Wilson

    the city of st louis has the contemporary energy of a hamster.

    • DCWind

      I love this comment! So true, unfortunately.

  • Alexander Richard Wilson

    Im really tired of copy-paste facade treatments.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Completely with you, but I’m also tired of the wait-forever-to-fill-big-gaps in our supposed most in-demand markets. I’m still in the build first, aim for signature buildings next mode, mostly.

  • Chris

    Is that a new building or are they just moving one of the city place buildings to Clayton? I liked the second of the two previous designs better and all kidding aside progress is better than empty buildings. This will have an awesome view of the new gardens I’m shaw park set to be installed in a few years.

    • Andy

      I don’t think we should have the expectations of seeing “groundbreaking” high-rise design as seen in major markets. The cost of such design is a very prohibitive factor here. St. Louis MSA’s highest market rate of $23.44/SF does not compare to AVERAGES of Boston $33.07/SF, Chicago, $28.622, Miami $33.66, Midtown NYC $77.04 or SanFran $66.71. (St. Louis overall is $19.23)

      If there was a precedent set of certain quality/types of buildings nearby, I’d say push for better design, but the subject property does not stray too far from the design of the two adjacent buildings.

      http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/~/media/marketbeat/2015/10/US_Americas_MarketBeat_Office_Q32015.pdf

      • John R

        ^ Plenty of space is going for more than $23 but yes, unless a company wants to build their own statement building the relatively low lease rates will continue to be a factor in what we get with design.

        • Andy

          Yes, clearly space is going for higher and lower than $23/SF. It is an average but it sounds like you got my point.

      • Guest

        Well, why do you think office prices are what they are and St. Louis should not expect to see high rise design? Corporations aren’t going to build in cities no one wants to live in. The city of St. Louis is barely alive, at best. We have a skyline in DT St. Louis that hasn’t had a corporate tower built since the 80’s. That’s what the nation sees and not suburban development, and there are dozens of web sites devoted to urban lifestyle that keep track of cities’ development to illustrate this and it’s the very type of young, educated people a successful city needs that follow them.. Meanwhile in St. Louis, a suburb with half-*ss urban livability is the only place any notable projects are taking place and none in the last 30 years is anything but bland and typical and have become downright predictable.
        Corporations follow people. TPTB in St. Louis need to wake up and give up the outdated idea that the city of St. Louis is of minor value. Too bad they’re too lazy or stubborn to find out how the cities that have left us in the dust have done just that.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wai4ub90stQ

        • Chicagoan

          I love that TED talk. Unfortunately, those kinds of design and policy decisions need to be the will of the people and they’re just not in St. Louis right now.

          Even here in Chicago, where we have a very successful bicycle sharing program, automobile-centric thinking is rampant.

          In my neighborhood, a dense residential street had an apartment building proposed for the one parking lot on the block. The rest of the street is a mix of single family home and apartment buildings.

          The neighbors association approved the design but some people who live on the block showed up to a subsequent public meeting to attack the proposal.

          It looked fine, their one concern was that of parking. This, on a street that’s three blocks from an L stop.

          Thankfully, it sounds like the alderman will side with the neighbors association and dismiss the “concerns” of those on the block. But, the fact that they put up this much of a fuss is ridiculous.

          It’s getting a lot better, but go to New York and even there developers there are making concessions so that cars can be accommodated.

          The trouble is, St. Louis city officials don’t have much cause to expand public transit (in their eyes, anyway) because ridership numbers likely aren’t great. But, people in St. Louis don’t have much of a reason to take it right now, unless they’re going to the airport or a Cardinals game. I think the interest is there, it’s just not a realistic commuting option for St. Louis residents because of the way that the metropolitan area is designed (placement of job centers being one).

  • jhoff1257

    I like it. Added density, not a terrible design either and it fits its location well. But for christ’s sake…can we please fill the open fields next to the Forysth Metro stop!? All this talk about TOD around Clayton Central (which is good too) but how does this corner have nothing in the works?

    Outside of that I’m really just here to see the inevitable comments about how this is a poor design and ugly and how St. Louis is never capable of anything cool lol.

    • Framer

      It’s not so much that this design is ugly, but that the whole freaking block is turning into one giant, bloated, blob of blandness.

      • Alex Ihnen

        The second old proposal above would have given the block a signature building, and the rest would have just blended in.

    • STLEnginerd

      Haha, I’ll say it.

      I think the architect is going for contemporary contexualism (I’m not an architect so feel free to correct me). The curvature and footprint is contextual because of the sites restrictive profile and the brick is there because it reflects the brick of the neighboring building. Because its contextual, I think it fails to stand out by design.

      That said I actually think its kind of too much going on. The tanish brick, glass and metal kind of clash IMHO. If they got rid of the brick and just had glass an metal i think it’d be pretty decent. Just an opinion though.

      Site plan is nice enough though, and height/density is very good even if its not pushing boundaries. This location wouldn’t be my first choice for a signature tower in Clayton anyway. Even though it’d be nice to see retail space here I’ll admit it’d probably be tough to fill it right now. In five years though they may regret it so I’d suggest designing it with some flexibility to allow a build to suite retrofit in the future if the market supports it. Pay for it by savings on masonry panels.

  • Tim E

    Is this part of Centene planned expansion or separate?

    • Alex Ihnen

      No. This is several blocks to the west. Centene is located at Forsyth and Clayton.

      • dsaverin

        Centene is located at Forsyth & Hanley.

  • Adam

    huh… i like the scale, brick and stone of the existing building even if it is a little plain. a shame they aren’t willing to retain it and build behind as happens commonly in other cities—particularly considering that the new building is ugly as hell. oh, well. at least the added density will be good for the central corridor.