Cortex, Lawrence Group Team Up for $232M Midtown Project

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East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 3

The Lawrence Group and Cortex are teaming up to greatly increase development plans for the long vacant Federal Mogul site in Midtown St. Louis. We reported in January that Lawrence Group had purchased the site previously planned as a strip retail development. The project could now top $232M according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The site spans from Vandeventer Avenue across from IKEA, extending along Forest park Avenue to Spring Avenue. The plan unveiled today is more than double that announced earlier this year, which only included the central foundry, while hinting at additional development.

East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 1Fed Mogul

In December 2015, Cortex purchased a 3.5-acre parcel for $3M along Vandeventer from Pace Properties, which had planned the retail development. The larger parcel had been under contract to Pace before the option lapsed and it was bought by the Lawrence Group. The working title for the project is “East of Cortex” and the main renovated foundry building would be titled the “Idea Market”.

Residents and others will have a chance to learn more at a public meeting scheduled for 5PM Tuesday, March 8 at the Library Annex (3693 Forest Park). A portion of the project could begin in the next few months, with the complete vision taking several years to achieve. If successful, developers believe the site could add 2,500 jobs.

LG_mapEast of Cortex_Lawrence Group 7

The developer shared with the Post-Dispatch that other parts of the project could include:

• A mixed-use, 90,000-square-foot building on Spring. Smith said he was confident a grocery would occupy part of the building.
• Two office buildings, both with retail space, along Vandeventer. Renderings show the taller building would rise to about 13 floors.
• Along Forest Park Avenue, a midrise building with at least 200 apartments.
• Reconstruction of the unused railroad trestle on the site as part of a recreational trail for hikers and bicyclists. The Great Rivers Greenway District has proposed incorporating the rail line into the district’s regional network of bikeways.
• Parking for more than 2,600 vehicles.

The “Idea Market”, the $100M anchor idea in the center of the property. Developers have previously stated the project is inspired by Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, and Chelsea Market in New York. The project expects to tap both historic and brown field tax credits and other incentives, though it sits outside the Cortex TIF boundary.

East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 6 East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 5 East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 4

From our previous story:

The Lawrence Group is planning a $100M+ mixed-used development at the long vacant Federal Mogul site in Midtown St. Louis. A first phase including office and retail in renovated space could begin late this year, with completion in 2018. Future phases would introduce residential and more office and retail space.

In 2013, before IKEA had been confirmed, this site broke the news that Pace Properties planned a big box retail strip on the 13.5-acre site combined. The Pace retail plan died in late 2015 when it let an option on the larger parcel lapse, and focused on a smaller 3.5-acre development adjacent to Vandeventer Avenue. That plan, for three small standalone buildings surrounded by parking never got off the ground either. Then in December, Cortex, the non-profit entity developing the 200-acre innovation district to the west, bought the smaller parcel for $3M.

Planned by Lawrence Group is as many as 240 apartments, a food court, office and retail space. The early plan would preserve several of the existing buildings on the site and work on historic tax credits is underway. Residential development is expected to be new construction. The Lawrence Group purchased the 10-acre site for more than $6M.

The plan represents another big urban investment by Lawrence Group. In October we reported on the developer’s big vision for Grand Center, beginning with the Missouri Theatre building and new offices of Bull Moose. Other rumors have the company exploring options for some of the city’s most challenging redevelopment sites.

The Pace retail plan was met with support from 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy, who stated at the time regarding the big box proposal, “We have been working for several years in the neighborhood to try to do something down there that is really special.” Others decried the big box strip mall development pattern of the proposed development. The Park Central Development Corporation had long stated its hope for something more urban at the site.

LG6{the current view of the site from Interstate 64}

LG4{the Trestle planned as a bicycle-pedestrian greenway}LG5{the larger greenway plan}

LG3{the previous retail plan}LG2{the view of the site from Forest Park Avenue at Spring Avenue}

*added 7/11/2016
East of Cortex_aerial_lawrence group 2

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  • Guest

    Some of us are getting off topic here, but since the discussion has gone this way for some of us, I’d like to say that I get the feeling from some of the responses here that the residential high rise issue is about filling in places where density is…needed, wanted (?), as if it’s a civic effort. What residential high rises are is a response to a type of housing (usually found in larger cities, of course). People move into high rises because they enjoy living high up, and for some (many, obviously as New York and Chicago will clearly show), the higher the better. They’re not about, “oh, let’s get more density here…so let’s build some high rises…the higher, the more people”. Pardon me, but that’s a rather ignorant view of the issue. They are merely a response to a type of housing desired by a certain faction of a city’s residents.
    I really am amazed, and disappointed, that people have made statements with the sentiment that residential high rises are a civic issue to increase density. Yes, they do indeed do that, but it’s not their raison d’etre.

    • matimal

      How do you know any of this?

      • Guest

        Actually, my love of architecture is how I “know” any of this (not that I know any more than any one else serious enough about architecture to research it…it’s probably pretty common knowledge amongst like folks…or at least WAS when I’d had the opportunity for conversation with the learned of the field). I wanted to be an architect, but I got bum advice…from my own dad…lol…! (May his soul rest in peace…I loved the man, but…oh, well).
        That didn’t keep me from keeping up with architecture…new styles and trends (back then the “black boxes” were rising in almost every American city). Did lots of research when the first break happened with the first departures from that…AT&T Tower in New York, Helmut Jan with “less is a bore”, countering Meis van der Roh’s “less is more” black box, etc. I wondered why the heights were needed to be attained. Guess what? No need. For the corporate tower, it was a vanity thing for the builders and thus became a reason for cities to brag.
        Apartment buildings rarely rose higher than around 25 stories in New York and other big American cities. Chicago had 1000 Lake Shore Drive at 55 stories and Marina City at 60 stories. I can’t think of any high rise apartments in New York that attained those heights back then. Yet, need I tell you that New York is/was definitely more dense than Chicago?
        So, we’re where we are today with residential high rises. There is no need to go 80, 70, 60, or even 40 stories. It’s a matter of appealing to those who WANT to live at such heights. If no one or even not enough wanted to live at those heights, they wouldn’t build them that high.

        (Alex, I just saw your post. I disagree with the first part of your statement. However, scarceness and availability of land may now be a factor, seeing as how the urban lifestyle has gained such popularity, but then again…if not enough people wanted to live higher than 20 stories it would be a disastrous for the builder to go higher. Yet, they do (I’m not talking St. Louis, here). And actually, keeping the heights of buildings down would greatly increase the value to desirable neighborhoods. Like, maybe in San Francisco…?)

        As a side note, I’m not really an intense urban person. I live in an inner ring suburb and am quite content. I do understand the urban, and intense urban lifestyle, and I think I have a pretty reasonable grasp on what makes a city desirable…doesn’t mean I want to live so.. In fact, depending on how things go with my personal life, I’d be happy to one day move to a quiet rural area. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate urban living. Or do you think it does?

        • matimal

          My goodness…I’ll just leave you to it, then. Good luck.

        • Adam

          um, corporate towers aren’t residential high rises, and have nothing to do with “a type of housing desired by a certain faction of a city’s residents”.

          moreover, citing a handful of residential super-talls amid HUNDREDS of more modest high-rises in both Chicago and NYC kind-of disproves your thesis that high rise construction is driven by “a certain faction of a city’s residents”. a few high rises cater to those people, and the innumerable remainder are efficient/economic uses of valuable land/limited space.

    • Adam

      Disappointed? How brash of you. For once I have to concur with matimal’s sentiment: how are you, alone, privy to the high rise’s raison d’etre? Are you really suggesting that the high rise exists merely because some people prefer to live high up in the air? If I were making such an incredible claim I might be a little more humble in my delivery.

      • Alex Ihnen

        I’d offer that highrises aren’t built because people like to live 20 stories up (though some do), but because land is scarce/valuable.

        • Adam

          Totally agree. The first high rise didn’t appear in the middle of a corn field because some people decided they wanted to live 20 floors above the corn. It was a matter of necessity.

  • Tim E

    I believe Tim @ Post Dispatch just posted an update on another Lawrence project. Thirteen townhome development infill for CWE that they hope to break ground in the fall if they have enough prefill. Wonder if Lawrence got some investors behind them ready to help get some projects off the ground
    .
    Nice pickup for CWE/city especially when you consider that Clayton couldn’t get enough support for similar development at the old Maryland school lot

  • NarFel

    Any truth to the rumour that they’re planning a road diet along Forest Park?

    • John R

      I haven’t heard any rumors of a diet (just of bringing the crossings at Kingshighway and S. Grand to grade) but I’d love to see a smart traffic calming/bike-ped plan for Forest Park Ave.

  • Tim E

    The one thing that I’m surprised that was not announced or included in the development plan is a hotel considering its location and very little in terms of rooms have been announced. Understand CORTEX working on a boutique hotel proposal on Forest Parkway next to the new @ 4260. Anyone with same thoughts? other info out there?
    .
    Pleasant surprise that Lawrence/Cortex thinks they can sell a 13 story office building on Vande along the trestle. The more I look at it, they more I where they placed or envision this office building. I wonder if Lawrence Group has a tenant up its sleeve actively looking for a new home?

    • Alex Ihnen

      My guess is we’ll see something happen with the corner lots not included in this plan so far. The office building, and even the fire station, could go.

      • John R

        I’m guessing the Crescent Electric owners are dreaming what to do with all the money that could be coming their way.

        • Tim E

          I think it a lot has to be built first before Crescent Electric can dream of riches. Lets not forget the empty space within Cortex, the Wexford/US Metals site and now the Federal Mogual proposal. You are talking 1-2 million square feet of lab and office space, several hundred units of residential and hotels rooms that can be built even before someone even looks at touching Crescent Electric. What I mention doesn’t include the possibility of what Koplay/Koman proposal and or the prime SW lot at intersection of Lindell and Euclid. Which will offer more rooms, units and maybe even competing office space

      • rgbose

        But i like the fire station!

  • Nick Johnson

    I used to think I wanted retail here, but what we really need are jobs, jobs, jobs. This is great!

    • Daron

      It’s packed with retail. Look at the part between the buildings in the rendering and google the open air markets referenced in the article. Between spring and the trestle it’ll be a mad house of student spending.

  • Presbyterian

    This looks great!

  • Andy

    This plan beats the pants off Midtown Station. Thank you once again to Lawrence Group!

    • Alex Ihnen

      We’re very lucky that support for that project didn’t push it to reality. I’m still surprised it never took off and leases weren’t secured quickly.

    • rgbose

      Amen!

  • rgbose

    Where is all that parking in the rendering?

    • Presbyterian

      I was wondering the same. That central plaza appears to be the roof of a parking structure. The site slopes down toward the highway. I notice pedestrian bridges crossing over to the foundry.

      • Rosario626

        This is correct, the parking is underground on that plaza as well as to the East of the site. There will be parking on the plaza though it will be limited.

        • John R

          Is the base of the tower mostly parking?

  • I Bike STL

    I really do prefer the sound of this proposal over the prior proposal of retail only. One thing I wish they would be able to do is rebuild a bike/ped bridge over 40 and the railroad switching yard along the path of the old Spring St. viaduct. The current routes around that area, Vandeventer, Grand, and Sarah, either require bike and ped users go out of their way, on a busy street (which can make a lot of bike and ped users uncomfortable), or both. Too bad the old bridge was removed instead of being preserved as a bike/ped connector.

  • Michael B

    Hurray for Grocery! Hurray for trestle bikeway! Hurray for tallish buildings!

    • RJ

      Interesting you mentioned tallish buildings because I travel quite a bit and St. Louis is woefully behind many other cities in tall building construction. You expect the mega tall buildings over 1,000 feet in NY and Chicago, but they are also happening in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle while many 40-50 story buildings are going up In Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Denver even Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Baltimore but NONE in St. Louis.

      This development is vastly superior to Midtown Station but is lacking at least a couple of 25 and 30-story buildings, which apparently in conservative boorish St. Louis we can’t even build. I really like the concept of a mixed-use development with residential, office and retail space which is what they have at the Reading Terminal Market which is in downtown Philadelphia and the Chelsea Market in NYC both are located in much denser urban environments than East CORTEX. The Foundry in its current state is an ugly mess and I hope they will spend enough money to make it a landmark and appealing to the public eye.

      I want these projects to succeed but my concern is developing a denser urban environment which means more high-rise buildings to have enough people to support these developments. This “Idea Market” will compete with Soulard Market as they have a similar concepts and then there is Straub’s in Maryland Plaza, the new Whole Foods Market in the CWE and the Schnuck’s on Lindell and in order for them all to succeed we will need more people living in these areas.
      My other concern which I have previously addressed with Larry Smith and others is that eventually, when MODOT has the money, they will want to redesign and rebuild I-64/40 freeway from Boyle to Compton to eliminate the double deck stretch of freeway which is dangerous in earthquakes and rebuild the freeway below grade east of Vandeventer up to Compton to allow an overpass on Spring Street to make a road connection with the Armory which needs redevelopment and pedestrian access to the metrolink station. It would be best to plan for that event now rather than later.
      Hopefully some of these issues will be addressed in later stages as this project moves forward. For now get to work on the remediation of the Foundry. Best of luck

      • Tim E

        Can understand your point as some one travels frequently for business. Got to see a great view of Manhattan skyline when taking off from JKF this afternoon. But the reality is St. Louis is land rich, still has a lot of empty building stock, has areas of very little density and simply exists in a slow growth region that multiple 20-30 or even 40 stories is not in the cards in the near future. .
        .
        I think the fact that you are seeing legitimate growth in the central corridor, buildings being filled and lots built on is huge. Heck, getting a developer who is willing to take a serious run at Jeff Arms building is huge and is just one more step in getting Railway exchange, ATT Center filled again and a BPV phase II going. CORTEX/Lawrence group to keep the momentum going will be huge. They are talking 2500 jobs on this development alone and this doesn’t even include the Wexford US Metals site

      • Chicagoan

        Creating a dense environment doesn’t necessitate the construction of skyscrapers. You can create a dense environment by building on empty plots of land and surface parking to create more continuity. I think there are better places to build really tall than here.

        • Guest

          I don’t think the idea of building tall buildings is really a matter of a desire to create density. It’s a matter of answering a desire to live in such structures..
          I think a good amount of people move into tall buildings because they enjoy living high up where views can be spectacular…not so much because they enjoy density…not to say they DON’T enjoy the density as well.

          • Chicagoan

            Yes, but building skyscrapers takes extra to complete. We want them to be a nice design, one that’s attractive and made of great materials. The developers build skyscrapers when there’s some money in it, so it likely has to be condos. The market for condos in St. Louis just isn’t strong enough right now to lure developers into a project like that. You also want to have a somewhat graceful skyline, not some jagged mess. There needs to be some kind of urban planning to where the height goes.

            To me, the ideal place for some nice high-rise condos is on Kingshighway, between Lindell and Pine. The surface parking there could have some really nice condos with great views of Forest Park.

          • Guest

            I 100 per cent agree with you on high rise condos on Kingshighway. It’s incredibly odd to me that several high rise condos have been built in Clayton, yet this stretch on one of the finest urban parks in the world, in St. Louis’ most eclectic and urban neighborhood goes unchanging. (The height restrictions are embarrassingly silly that are…were (?) in place, and should be thrown in the trash. The stupidity of height restrictions in the neighborhood where one would expect to find the highest of the highrises in St. Louis is just too damned silly to even try to begin to contemplate)

            Being from Chicago, I find your statement about “wanting a skyline that’;s somewhat graceful…not some jagged mess” confusingly odd. Do you mean that the heights of new buildings should be determined by it’s neighbors’ heights? Even in Chicago, anyone familiar with it’s progress knows it didn;t happen that way…nor in any other city. I remember when the John Hancock was built. It towered over it’s neighbors. Same for the Sears Tower.
            Did I get it wrong, or are you saying you picture a “perfect” skyline one where it’s pinnacle is at the center, and the heights of buildings as they radiate out should be lower and lower. That’s sounds like the makings of an aesthetically utterly boring skyline, contrived as hell, I’ll take the “Jagged” skyline over that any day.

          • RJ

            I agree with your comments about height restrictions as it discourages developers and the ones in the CWE cover too much of the area capped at 250 feet which is too low, but there are no height restrictions along Kingshighway. I’m surprised the entire periphery of Forest Park doesn’t have several more high-rise buildings as this is one of the premier locations to live in St. Louis..

          • Guest

            I think St. Louis is the only place you’ll find such a silly concept as height restrictions. Cities like D.C. have height restrictions for at least a half way reasonable reason (although I think they’re silly). But in St. Louis…???? Reasons and “rulings” for height restrictions are beyond stupid, and in reality detrimental to growth. It’s so incredibly stupid it really makes me wonder who/what is REALLY behind such nonsense.

          • gmichaud

            Helsinki has strict height restrictions. It is a Northern city, so the gathering of light is essential. The density is fine and supports an excellent transit system. It is a high quality city that leaves St. Louis in the dust.
            I don’t think urban design should be a free for all. In my view that is the exact problem St. Louis has right now.
            St. Louis already has too many high rises for the sake of having high rises. Take the series of mid high rises between 15th and 17th on Pine, they don’t generate density. This is in large part due the site design, there isn’t much to walk to in the surrounding area.
            Building a high rise doesn’t guarantee anything except a big building. Leave it to St. Louis to settle on a phallic symbol as the best solution.

          • Guest

            So, tell me, why are highrises built in other cities? I don’t even know what you mean by “st. Louis already has too many high rises”. You’ve been to Finland, so there’s a good chance that you’ve been through other other cities. Yet of all places, you pick St. Louis as an “overbuilt” city. Amusingly odd.
            Obviously, by your statement, you’re anti-urban. Perhaps you’d be more content in a rural area far from cities where you needn’t be bothered by these “phallic symbols”.

          • riggle

            The city has multiple empty and abandoned high rises, maybe that will tell you something

          • Guest

            Sure it tells me something. It tells me those structures aren’t being utilized. Pretty simple. Do you mean to tell us you aren’t even aware of the many, many empty and abandoned buildings that have been revitalized?
            What I’m getting from you is a negativity of the type that serves no constructive purpose whatsoever and offers nothing but to criticize. It seems you obviously have a very, very poor understanding of the functions of what a working, desirable city consists of, have no appreciation of architecture and are completely out of touch with the urban movement.

            May I ask, if St. Louis is so miserable, what are you doing here? If I felt that way about the city I lived in or near, I’d get out.

          • Riggle

            I love st louis, (city) don’t have a car and commute by bus and on foot. I live in the densest part of st louis (I can only assume you don’t, and that you dont even live in st louis at all), and guess what? Most buildings are two stories.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Thanks for the contribution to a discussion here, but let’s make sure it stays on issues and not a personal back-and-forth.

            To the topic at hand, there’s a lively debate in the architecture/planning world about tall buildings. A vibrant, economically sustainable city, the argument goes, is better created by 3-5 story buildings w/o surface parking lots and swaths of empty spaces. One alternative has been to build towers in plazas. The thought is that this doesn’t serve the city well and ultimately doesn’t increase density.

            As far as St. Louis. If we could take some residential high-rises such as Mansion House, Park East Tower, etc. and spread them out as six story developments, the city would be a better (more vibrant and economically healthy) place.

            Where we’re seeing new high-rise residential development is where land is relatively expensive and the exponential cost of building a high-rise can be justified – certain lots in the CWE, and Clayton. I guess if these places rent, then people are saying they want to live in a high-rise, but I think it’s much more the case they people want to live in a certain location, and to create space for them, one must build up.

          • gmichaud

            I am saying that building a high rise does not automatically confer urbanity to its surroundings. I used the example on Pine, which I think in the past was called Plaza Square Apartments. Another example is Doisy Center at the corner of Grand and Chouteau. This high rise contributes zero, and I mean zero to density and the urban environment. A better scheme would have been to build low and mid rise buildings related to the streets and sidewalks.
            This is what I mean by too many high rises. With the extensive dead space throughout St. Louis, some, if not many high rise projects would have been better off rebuilding city blocks with dense development rather than isolating themselves into a large single entity like Doisy Center.
            I did not say anywhere St. Louis is overbuilt, although there are places in the region that is true. Nor am I sure how you come up with that I am anti-urban, why because I don’t agree with you?
            So yes the Doisy Center is a phallic symbol where SLU turns it back on the city so it can express its dominance.
            There are places and urban configurations in which high rise buildings can be desirable, but the problems in St. Louis are not related to a lack of high rises or their height.
            It appears Cortex and the development with the high rises has context and meaning and seems from the rendering to work well with the street.

          • Adam

            gmichaud, why do you say that the Plaza Square Apartments aren’t urban? is it because there’s green space between them? i think they’re pretty urban, and at 7 stories i’m not even sure they classify as “high rise”. seems to me you’d get about the same density by packing every square meter with low rise (what you appear to be endorsing) as you do with the current configuration of 7-story buildings.

          • John R

            May not be the best urban form but I believe the complex has about 1,000 units which is decent density imo for the acreage… hopefully the recent improvements can help get them to full occupancy.

          • Chicagoan

            Regarding my comments on height, I was talking about how I don’t feel like the location next to IKEA isn’t the best place to build really tall.

            No, I don’t feel like a skyline needs to have a pinnacle shape, but I think there are areas to build really tall and then there are areas to keep it more residential. The roads around Forest Park look quite ideal for building tall. The stuff Robert A.M. Stern is building in Chicago and New York would be great.

            People would pay a lot of cash for a place with sweet views of Forest Park.

          • matimal

            So, building a very tall building on a corn field should be the most profitable real estate deal imaginable, one we figure out how many people like to live high up. Why haven’t these projects been built if desire is all that matters and the real world of finance, land use regulation, taxes, etc. are just frauds and we can really do anything we like anywhere we want?

          • Alex Ihnen

            On that note, I’m hitting pause on this deteriorating convo.

      • Michael B

        The tallish buildings part was kind of tongue-in-cheek. I agree with you and the poster who responded. We are so starved for tall buildings that I get excited about things that are over 10 stories. You’re right that we need more density in order to help theses areas thrive, but Tim E is right that St. Louis is land rich. I’d love to see more tall buildings downtown, but I think a 30-story building would be out of place in midtown. Not to say it can’t be done, but this is a great development and a major improvement over past ideas, so I’m definitely not going to condemn it. Getting a grocer in there after it was nixed from the the Chouteau’s Grove project is a nice win. I hope it stays in the plan. Connecting bicycling infrastructure is another big win. Overall this is a solid victory for the area. Tall buildings can and will come when there is demand for them. I’d love to see that start with Ballpark Village Phase II.

        • RJ

          Well there is already the 27-story Council Plaza Tower, the 17-story Griesedieck Building @ SLU and the 22-story Continental Life Building that have been in the neighborhood for years, so why not a couple more newer buildings in that 25-30 story range. While it is true there is way too much surface parking lots and available land you can still build higher density projects in those areas instead of a bunch of 4-6 story buildings, which help but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to that type of development. There should be a good mix. I think there is an untapped market for people who prefer living in high-rise buildings that is not met throughout the St. Louis area, downtown, midtown and the CWE. The consensus I get from many people who participate on these blogs is they want more taller buildings throughout St. Louis. They keep hoping for a mega tall building by the Koman family at Lindell & Kingshighway.

          • Jeff Leonard

            I’m newer to STL, but I’m wondering if there’s ever been any conversation around replacing the light manufacturing that runs in the valley between 64 and Chouteau with mid-rise apartment/ condos. I know that’s a pipe dream in many ways (buying out existing businesses, what to do with the rail tracks), but the location seems like a perfect fit to run a new spine of housing right along Metro, within walking distance of CORTEX and SLU. I believe an earlier concept was Chouteau’s Pond. Thoughts?

          • Tim E

            Interesting idea, but the part I think would be better serve the city future development is the St Louis streetcar line proposal on the central corridor which offers plenty of space to infill and build out more housing as well as connecting downtown, midtown, SLU etc. with future N-S alignments and or BRT on such streets as Grand, Jefferson, Broadway. Trying to add another competing corridor right now just doesn’t make sense to me. Get CORTEX built out. Get Federal Mogul Site built out, Get Lawrence Midtown development built out and then worry about the next corridor.
            I think Metrolink even though its Grand Ave station is on an island alignment does serve the city well and maintains its identity as light rail as a regional connector over a streetcar system serving neighborhoods. To me the failure on the city part is not finding ways to strengthen and increase bus frequency as much as they should have for Grand Ave lets say. Just as the many of the muni communities in the county have failed to encourage TOD and density around metrolink.

      • Riggle

        Are you daft? st louis is the most overbuilt city in america

        • Adam

          I’m picking nits here, but St. Louis is underpopulated, not overbuilt. Overbuilt implies that, when most of St. Louis was built, supply exceeded demand. But that wasn’t the case when most of the city was built, prior to 1950 when the population peaked. Now that the city has lost 500K people, however, it’s underpopulated.

          • riggle

            Same result

          • Adam

            Agreed. I just think the semantics is important in terms of conveying what actually happened.

      • Thomas

        Building in the 30-50 story range is what gets induced after projects like this come to fruition. Plus about 5-10 more 4 story mixed use type buildings in close proximity. Tall buildings are always a major lag behind lower rise developments because they incur so much more risk. The central corridor (midtown specifically) has made huge gains in the last five years. It however still has a way to go I think before becoming a truly desirable place to invest to live. I think Sarah has the potential to be midtown’s Euclid if done right but it’s years if not decades away from high rise inducing status. I think CWE is in a place right now that it could sustain a high rise to about 30 floors. The issue that’s not really discussed is that because STL is not really a high rise city, any new high rises built are going to be very high end if they are residential. We are 15-20 high rises away from reasonably affordable high rise living in my opinion. What I think STL does do well though is low to mid rise walkable neighborhood type areas. Focus on continuing to do these well and we will get to high rises later.

        • John R

          I pretty much agree with all that…. at this point in time I suspect we probably could get something along the lines of another Park East Tower on a prime spot in the CWE and something significant downtown if the right partners/financing come together but aside from that I don’t think we really have enough demand for the requisite high price condos or rents to see multiple 20+ story towers.

          As for this particular project, I agree it is the type of addition that is going to induce more demand and is the exact type of thing we need if we’re ever going to be able to take the city’s central corridor to that level where 10-20 story buildings become rather routine along with the occasional taller tower. (I am curious about the 13 story office tower and if they may have a tenant potentially lined up… and whether that is parking on the base.)

      • jhoff1257

        Lol at MoDOT ever having the money to tunnel I-64 through Midtown. It’d be significantly cheaper to simply retrofit it for earthquakes like they did with the Downtown portion.

        Regarding Spring, you could put an overpass there now, there used to be one.

        • RJ

          Rebuilding I-64 from Vandeventer to Compton is below grade not a tunnel which is more expensive than below grade and I doubt you could get clearance for the height of trucks in extending Spring, retrofitting doesn’t necessarily eliminate the safety concerns. Who knows when MODOT will have the funds but at some point it should happen and better to plan for that now. I believe there is enough room to redesign the freeway and build the East Cortex development. I would hate to see them ignore it and then later MODOT will want to plow through the development.

          • Tim E

            RJ, not sure if I understand your point in the first sentence.
            .
            I do think you bring up a point or a question on Spring Ave. Would a Spring Ave bridge over lower part of I-64 meet interstate height standards/requirements? Jhoff, I believe Spring Ave bridge existed under the state Hwy 40 designation and different standards. Just don’t know for sure and what exactly was the clearance.
            ..
            But putting Grand & Forest Park Ave back to an at grade intersection and being able to reconnect Spring Ave would be two big pluses imo

          • RJ

            I hope this helps below grade would be like I-44 in downtown which is below street level but not covered like a tunnel

      • RJ

        Oops I meant Steve Smith not Larry