Site Development Begins in Cortex, Plans for St. Louis Metallizing Site not Disclosed

Cortex Demolition - Clayton and Sarah

In one of its largest efforts at land assemblage since Ikea, the Cortex Innovation Community is seeing the demolition of eleven contiguous parcels between Clayton Avenue and Highway 40 (I-64) west of Sarah Street.

The buyer has not yet been identified, but demolition began this week. Nine parcels are affected from 4100 to 4200 Clayton Avenue, as well as the two parcels at 4101 and 4123 Sarpy Avenue, both facing the interstate.

Cortex demo map Clayton_Sarah

This location most recently was the site of St. Louis Metallizing, which closed quietly last fall, liquidating its equipment and supplies. St. Louis Metallizing was a pioneer in the development of industrial surface coatings, supporting aircraft manufacturing, power generation and the oil and gas industries.

The company was an authorized FAA repair station. That business has been acquired by American Roller and Plasma Coatings Group of Union Grove, Wisconsin.

The utilitarian, industrial structures along Clayton and Sarpy were constructed between 1939 and 1990. All ten buildings on the site are being demolished. No plans for the site have been revealed.

Early schematic plans, now several years old, showed office buildings surrounding a parking structure at the site. Development at Cortex has varied from these plans significantly over time.

Cortex early plans

The site lies near the heart of the Cortex district. Cortex is a 200 acre innovation and technology district that houses hundreds of companies including Square, Aisle 411, Bonfyre, Pandora, Uber, Cofactor Genomics, Dupont and Ikea, as well as the Cambridge Innovation Center’s [email protected] and Wexford Science & Technology’s @4240. TechShop will open this summer.

The district is in the early stages of planning for a boutique hotel and mixed-use residential, and funding has been secured for a MetroLink light rail station between Boyle and Sarah. Cortex and the Lawrence Group recently announced plans for a $232 million Cortex East on the former site of Federal-Mogul, across. Vandeventer and outside the boundaries of the Cortex district. Images there show historic renovation as well as contemporary infill.

Fed Mogul

The purchase price for the properties along Clayton and Sarpy has not been disclosed. The combined size of the parcels is approximately 3.5 acres. In 2014, Wexford bought the 7 acre site of U.S. Metals & Supply one block to the north for $4.2 million.

While no new development within Cortex has been announced since the building that will be home to TechShop and pharmaceutical company AAIPharma Services Corp., which will rebrand as Alcami, a conceptual image of Silo Lofts and development east of 4260 have emerged.

Silo Lofts at Cortex

Cortex east of 4260

  • Framer

    That Silo Lofts rendering could be one of the best designs to hit St. Louis in years. I sure hope that’s an actual proposal, rather than just a conceptual dream project.

    • John R

      If Cortex can deliver a truly inspired mid-rise that breaks the boring mold that has marked STL new construction for so long that would be a great achievement. I’d rather have that than a ho-hum tower in the area.

  • Tim E

    Assume more surface parking and less building maintenance cost in the near term is the goal

    • kjohnson04

      More than likely. There is already way too much surface parking around their as it is.

      • Alex Ihnen

        My guess too. It will be several years of juggling parking to come. I’d bet this will be a surface parking lot to replace other lots that are soon to go away.

        • Tim E

          I guess a surface parking lot here would be a compromise between CORTEX and Wexford to get ground broken on next building east of @4260 – also referenced as @4220 until structured parking is built. Relative to most St. Louis employees they would consider it a hike too far but none the less very doable & cheap alternative in the midterm.

          Alex, somewhere saw a comment about CORTEX and Wexford have not agreed yet on how to pay for proposed structured parking at US Metals site. Not sure if that was your comment or someone else.

          • Tim E

            meant compromise as a means to provide x parking spaces which I assume is buried in their agreement somewhere or a detail that has negotiated between the parties to some extent.

  • clebeau05

    FYI, Bonfyre’s offices are on The Hill not at Cortex. But thank you for shining light on the demolition

    • Presbyterian

      You are correct about HQ. Cortex still lists Bonfyre as a resident company on their website, though. Not sure the explanation.

    • Anthony

      Bonfyre employees have [email protected] Coworking memberships! 🙂