SSM/SLU Announce $550M Medical Center Moving Forward, Share Site Plan

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SLU hospital

In a message to faculty, staff, and students today, Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello unveiled additional details, including a site plan for the SLU/SSM $550M academic medical center. The massive project was first reported on nextSTL last June. As previously reported, the project will be built immediately north of Desloge Tower and the existing hospital. The fate of Desloge Tower has still not been determined.

Pestello shared that the 316-bed, 802K sf project has completed the general scope and conceptual design stage and that specifics continued to be determined. He also stated that the project “furthers the progress of the SLU campus master planning initiative, which includes redevelopment of SLU-owned property to the north of these new SSM facilities.” The project is scheduled to be completed by late 2020.

Last year, Saint Louis University purchased the hospital from Tenet Healthcare, which has owned the facility since 1998, when it was purchased from the school. SLU then contribute the hospital to SSM in exchange for a minority membership interest. That deal became official September 1, 2016, allowing for planning on this project to proceed. Selected to design the project were The Lawrence Group in partnership with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA).

The fate of the land north of the existing hospital and Chouteau Avenue, and even further north, has been highly anticipated since the university’s purchase and request for demolition of the Pevely Dairy complex in 2011. Ultimately, the school was allowed to demolish the majority of the complex, leaving just the corner building. Virtually nothing has changed on the site since then.

The last parcel in the area not owned by the university was recently acquired, giving the school control of several complete blocks of land. The plan calls for the demolition of remaining homes on Hickory Street, and the closure of that street. A new Lasalle Street would be introduced at the north end of the site, adjacent to the Missouri Belting building.

It was previously reported that the project would be built on the existing vacant lot bordered by Hickory and Rutger Streets. The plan revealed today extends the footprint north, and includes the demolition of a few remaining homes, and a couple additional buildings.

The site of the future hospital was largely demolished years ago:

SLU demoltion

In 2011, the following site plan and rendering were offered SLU, arguing that the corner of Grand and Chouteau needed to be cleared for a new healthcare center:


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  • citylover

    There’s much too much property being sat on by SLU. That corner of chouteau and Manchester would be perfect for high-rise development. From the ground you have views of central corridor skyline. And would be really close to GRAND Metrolink. Also the southeast corner of grand and Lindell. There’s seriously a fountain and one of those pathetic SLUburban gate entrances just sitting there. You could still keep the fountain and mount a 10+ building in the foregrounds. And across from that is a sculpture park that lacks residents. Everything is too spread out.

    And Why is wash u so much more productive in building? More $$$, more enrollment? Just hate to see SLU in such a crossroads with very scattered development.

    Hopefully d-tower will stay and new hospital will hug Grand. Also have good feelings about the new housing at grand and Laclede.

    • Lucas Strittmatter

      If the area around SLU’s Medical Campus was prime for development, other developers would be building there or working with SLU to develop the area. SLU would love nothing more than to have a prosperous area surrounding it’s campus but it’s not just realistic at this time.

      Washington University is a more prolific builder because Barnes Jewish is a much larger hospital system that maintains a better national reputation.

  • mitch

    Would it really kill them to put more entrances along the street? Or at least squeeze in a Starbucks along the street or something?

  • Billikens&Bricks

    “furthers the progress of the SLU campus master planning initiative, which includes redevelopment of SLU-owned property to the north of these new SSM facilities.” – Pistello

    Is this “SLU campus master planning initiative” an actual plan? Is it available to the public? A little transparency from the new SLU administration could go a long way…

  • PJr.

    I cannot figure out why SLU continuously goes cheap with design. This design is lack luster, to say the least. Another opportunity to put SLU on the map…lost.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Well, there is no design. The really old rendering put out in 2011 wasn’t a real building. I’ll add images of the new project whenever they become available.

  • ChrisO

    Looks suburban in design. Looks like a pedestrian desert. The antithesis of walkable city. Please stop suburbanizing the city. And why bother leaving the smoke stack? To remind us what we lost?

    • Max Ztloh

      The bottom rendering and site plan were from old proposals and have little to do with the current plan for the new ambulatory care center. The smokestack was demolished in 2008 or 2009.

      • Alex Ihnen

        True, though the smokestack only came down with the other Pevely demo in 2011-12.

        • ChrisO

          I hope the new design does not contain the suburban setback. Grand has enough pedestrian deserts as is.

  • Looks like a parking garage occupying prime space along Grand Blvd?

    • ChrisO

      Paris is promising to eliminate 55,00 parking spaces a year. St. Louis looks like it is going to take them off Paris’ hands.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Looks to be wrapped with an angular building? It actually seems to match up well with the existing Missouri Belting building…dare we hope that it stays?

      • I’m guessing the “angular building” is just a fancy roof above another row of parking. Note that the area beneath the “angular building” is colored gray signifying asphalt. In fact, the “angular building” at it’s widest point (or the width of the space between the garage and the edge of the gray area) is 60-ft wide, the same width as a row of 90° parking.

        • Imran

          Yeah, SSM probably wants to do what they did with garage for St Mary’s on Clayton rd. A wall of false windows facing the sidewalk. Better than a parking lot I guess.

          • Chris

            Please tell me they are not putting a garage fronting Grand!

  • tbatts666

    Is the demolition of the Missouri Belting Company building for sure?

    • Max Ztloh

      SLU admin hate both buildings and can’t wait for them to come down. Having been inside Pevely it would be hard to see it getting up to code for adaptive reuse in a medical setting. It would have been great as market rate housing, though.

      • Eric

        One of the SLU admins recently said he was looking forward to getting rid of the “graffiti covered buildings.” Apparently oblivious to why they were covered in graffiti to begin with. There’s hope, though, based on this design

        • Eric

          Although, based on where the garages are, the new outpatient building may end up there. I was hoping outpatient would either be retrofitted into the current hospital replace that building. It’d make more sense to have the garage on the south side of this, though, if that were the case

  • tbatts666

    Oh man, these proposed designs are so non-urban. It’s heart-breaking.

    Here’s to adaptive reuse!

  • Pingback: SSM/SLU Announce $550M Medical Center Moving Forward - ConstructForSTL()

  • Presbyterian

    In the strictest sense, it appears that neither Desloge nor the Pevely and Missouri Belting buildings need be demolished to move forward with the new hospital. I’ll look forward to seeing how the concept translates into the actual design.

    • I spoke with someone at a Lawrence Group event a while ago and they said they were trying their darnedest to not demo the older buildings, but they said the plan in the long-term future was bleak for all three buildings.

    • Eric

      One of the SLU admins said that Desloge will stay. We’ll see I suppose