City Foundry Food Hall & Market Planned for 2018 Debut at East of Cortex

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City Foundry and Market_East of Cortex

In March we reported on Lawrence Group’s aspirational $232M multi-phased plan to resurrect the Midtown St. Louis Federal-Mogul site. As stated at the time, such a project would take years to complete, but now we’ve learned that a start may be just around the corner.

Today, Feast Magazine is reporting that City Foundry Food Hall & Market may break ground in just weeks, and open as early as 2018. The idea is to introduce a venue similar in some ways to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. According to Feast, the project could feature up to 40 retail spaces in addition to food.

In a way, the project is winding up to be what Union Station once was – a festival marketplace with food, retail, and surrounding office space. If the overall ambition for what is being called East of Cortex, comes to fruition, it may have a better critical mass to support its commercial space.

Union Station itself is undergoing a significant transformation as a destination. Coming is a 200ft Ferris Wheel, shipping container food court, a remake of the marketplace, and the addition of at least one major new attraction. Owner LHM has scheduled a announcement for tomorrow, August 9th.

Located between Saint Louis University and Cortex, the Federal-Mogul site could capture local traffic as well as tourists and those coming and going from downtown on gameday and for special events. The site is located between two MetroLink stations, and across from IKEA and its estimated 1M annual shoppers.

From our previous reporting: Cortex, Lawrence Group Team Up for $232M Midtown Project

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.

East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 5 East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 4LG6{the current view of the site from Interstate 64}

East of Cortex_aerial_lawrence group 2

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

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  • matimal

    How will this affect Soulard Market?

    • Riggle

      Not at all, completely different models, going to different customers. Soulard is for bargain hunting, this will be more upscale. In most cities the equivalent of soulard market has gone more upscale, ofcourse, not here,

      • matimal

        The division between poor customers without grocery access and professional class foodies has been overcome in Cincinnati’s Findlay Market. Why can’t St. Louis do that?

        • Riggle

          Because Soulard market is owned by the City, and they refuse to change anything for fear of, I guess, change. Findlay market is a bunch of yuppies, you don’t see throngs of poor and immigrants there like you do at Soulard.

          • matimal

            There most definitely are substantial numbers of poor and some immigrants at Findlay Market. I see many EBT transactions.

          • Riggle

            Cool story bruh

          • Alex Ihnen

            ^ What’s the point of this comment?

            I was at Findlay Market last week and while the number of relatively affluent white families was noticeable, it is still quite a mix of people. It’s been a couple years, but my last trip to the market in Cleveland was similar. I think the city is really missing out by not investing in Soulard Market.

          • Riggle

            Yes, the City is missing out, I wish they would create a yuppie market. The whole comment thread is kind of about that (start at the top). But, the City is not doing that, or anything at Soulard market, and I don’t think its going to change. So, as usual, it looks like somebody else is going to have to do the heavy lifting. It sucks that the City is so hapless. On the bright side, if this really happens, we will have a yuppie market, and a great bargain market, in the urban_core of St Louis, and that’s a great thing.

  • rgbose

    What would really help Union Station is 1000s of people living nearby.

    • SnakePlissken

      Agreed. The Locust Business District is ripe for redevelopment and infill, unfortunately most is owned by 3-4 wealthy (old white men with Ladue mailing addresses) land bankers who seem to be waiting for someone else to improve their values. One of which tried selling several vacant buildings and 2 lots for nearly $4 million. I live in the area and nearly everything is for sale for unreasonable prices. Is Real Estate Activism a thing? It should be. As a resident of this area I walk to Union Station regularly – I will even more now. I hoot and holler on this site about an updated 21st street interchange – hopefully within 10 years it’ll be completed with an abundance of land available for new development. End rant.

      • John R

        Was this meant for Union Station thread? Anyway, I’ve been hearing rumors that a full interchange will be going in at 40 & Jefferson for NGA and that the “22nd street area” land will be available for redevelopment.

  • John S Wieser

    A Metrolink spur from Cortex station to this development, perhaps in combination with the bike path, would be a great addition- it could be a single track terminus like the stretch connecting Lambert 1/2. You could rebrand the blue line to serve from “Market (new station)-Shrewsbury (via Cortex)” and make Grand Station a more practical transfer point for future south city lines utilizing the ROW of the UP/Frisco Railroads. Wishful thinking I suppose…

    • STLRainbow

      If the “East of Cortex” project and surrounding development were dense enough, the potential ridership might justify at least a Vandeventer stop along the existing track, which would make things closer than the Grand stop. Would have four stops though b/w Grand and CWE, which would be a time consideration.

      • John S Wieser

        Right, 4 stops in 2 miles is a lot, 3 makes more sense… And that’s why I would rather have a new stop in this development than an infill on Vandeventer (you can argue that people who get on and off at Grand probably aren’t en route to Vandeventer, and, despite being relatively geographically proximate, these stops are far apart for a pedestrian). However, and besides that, I don’t understand why municipalities insist that public transportation rely practically solely on government process… If this development, for example, believed the station would be an economically advantageous amenity and wanted to invest to build it and connect it to the existing system, I don’t think Bistate would say ‘no, the density isn’t high enough’… I also bet it would cost a hell of a lot less being financed by a developer rather than an agency.

  • Don

    Exciting plans but like Union Station before it, I worry that there will not be enough customers to support such an ambitious project. Certainly, a pedestrian connection to SLU is a must, but where will other customers come from? Sorry to sound so negative, but I was here for Union Station and St Louis Centre, their rise and decline. I think there needs to be more density before something like this can make a go of it.

    • Tim E

      Great point, the idea of 40 or so retail stores, kiosks and the like seems high and would require a lot of foot traffic. I wonder if it would be better to start small on that end. Maybe add a farmers market component along the lines of soulard
      In the meantime, focus on some of the additional office other commercial space within the building referenced. Let East Cortex and Lawrence second phase build out, so on. Lawrence fills commercial space, adds 2nd phase and East Cortex starts to build out and you got a big impact in the immediate area.

      • Don

        Imagine how many daily customers would be needed to support 40 stalls? is 100 customers x 40 stalls to few? I think it is. So this would be the challenge.

        • Riggle

          Yes, two per stall is too few, great numbers ya got there

          • Don

            100 x 40 = 4000. I assumed readers could manage simple multiplication. Clearly I was wrong and I unreservedly apologize.

          • Jakeb

            LOL, a good rule of thumb for future reference Riggle is that if a post at a sight like this (where the level of discourse is pretty high by Internet standards) seems to be absurd (like 2 customers for a day) the problem is very likely you and not the original poster. In this case, you could have just done the math. Remember what Mark Twain said, “it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.

        • Jakeb

          If you think in terms of a business plan and average revenue per customer at a food kiosk I would think you would need 200 or more customers daily to actually make a living at it. It’s hard to see where those people are coming from.

  • Shelby Ketchum

    Any word on how this ties in with the armory rehab and rebuilding the spring ave viaduct?? A new viaduct would connect this site directly to the grand metro station, the purposed hotel, and the massive event space that a rehabbed armory will provide. Hopefully all this development will kick off the delayed choteau landing project which would greatly help filling in the void between the grove and the armory

    • Tim E

      I don’t believe their is anything in the works to rebuild Spring Ave viaduct. In addition, believe part of the reason that Spring Ave viaduct was removed is meet minimum clearance requirements when Hwy40 was converted over to I64. But not completely sure on the clearance issue

  • Dan

    This would be terrific. A full-service grocery (Lucky’s, maybe), food stalls, shopping, mixed use with residential. Exactly what’s needed to create some critical mass.

  • John

    This is great news for the City of St. Louis. I hope it is a high-quality development with extensive landscaping and a real “sense of place” to make it special.

  • Randy

    Hopefully traffic calming and pedestrian accommodations from SLU main campus are part of the design.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Excellent point. This is pretty much absent across Cortex, where street parking is limited in places and additional turn lanes demonstrate the priority is for cars moving in and out as quickly as possible.

      • Tim E

        I think the elephant in the room is Grand Ave and FPP intersection as it currently stands which is on the city and SLU to move forward on the at grade intersection. I also think getting Federal Mogul site developed and at grade intersection opens up the property between Federal Mogul & Grand to the south of FPP to new grid, vision
        I do think it would be a big plus if the trestle corridor as envisioned could be extended to Grand Ave. Not the trestle itself but the idea of a continuous pedestrian corridor. Kiinda of a defacto bike/walking alternate to go between SLU Campus, Grand and new Boyle metrolink station that cuts right through Federal Mogul Marketplace.

  • Alex P

    I think half of my excitement comes from how this will look from Highway 40. The other half is how this will be used by architecture students across the country as a precedent for post-industrial design.