City Foundry Vision Gets Big Boost from Bull Moose, Now $340M

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City Foundry 8_16

What was once announced as a $100M remake of a long vacant foundry just to the east of the St. Louis IKEA and Cortex, is now a $340M dream.

In just January of this year, news broke that Lawrence Group had purchased the 14-acre site in Midtown, where a big box strip retail center had been planned in 2013. That plan became a $232M vision in March, then just earlier this month City Foundry Food Hall & Market was announced.

So what’s changed? It appears the deep pockets of Bull Moose Industries, which will be moving its headquarters to the Missouri Theatre Building (a Lawrence Group project) in Grand Center, and positive market reaction have grown the project. Only time will tell if the Bull Moose investment at the Foundry site precludes significant investment previously envisioned in Grand Center.

Big plans will soon be announced for the next phase of Cortex development, work continues toward redevelopment of The Armory, and rumors continue to swirl about more big box retail along the Vandeventer corridor nearby. According to the Post-Dispatch, environmental cleanup has begun. And anyone travelling east on Highway 40 will have seen the bright red shipping containers advertising the project.

Foundry

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Additional images of City Foundry project added 9/15/2016:

City Foundry_nightCity Foundry_dayCity Foundry_aerialCity Foundry 11City Foundry 13City Foundry 12

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In a city where we are perhaps over prepared to be underwhelmed by the reality of big development visions, The Foundry may be ready to over deliver. Even from the first more modest announcement, and Lawrence Group’s proven past success, re-purposing The Foundry was viewed by many to be a long shot. Now, instead of being dumbed down again and again (we’re looking at you Ballpark Village), the project continues to grow.

From the Post-Dispatch piece, Bull Moose will take “a significant ownership interest” in the project, the market will total nearly 50,000 sf with 20 food stalls and up to four full-service restaurants. Office space could reach 124,000 sf, and 45 retailers could occupy 133,000 sf. Parking for 511 vehicles is planned, and work continues on incorporating the rail line over Vandeventer with the Great River Greenways recreational trail network.

And the timeline is fast, with the first phase opening in 2018, Lawrence Group could announce the first tenants before the end of the year. The developer also told the Post-Dispatch that a letter of intent for a 30,000 sf retail space has been signed. If all goes according to plan, a future phase could add 279 residential units, 265,000 sf of office space and a 16,000 sf retail space.

Foundry3{historic image of the Foundry, double-decked I-64 now runs in the foreground}

Additional images:

East of Cortex_Lawrence Group 3

LG_mapEast of Cortex_Lawrence Group 7

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

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}

East of Cortex_aerial_lawrence group 2

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  • Tim E

    Alex, you hint at imminent announcement of CORTEX/Wexford next development. Any timeline, next week? a couple weeks? before end of year.

    This development will only get better if Cortex/Wexford continues to build out. CORTEX East will also add a healthy lunch hour crowd.

  • Adam

    so basically this is becoming an outdoor mall with a fancy food court… interesting. not saying that’s necessarily bad or good. just not what i expected. all the talk of West Elm and J. Crew is reminding me of Boulder’s 29th Street mall.

    • Will

      What were you expecting?

      • Adam

        I guess I was expecting (or hoping for) less of a “lifestyle center” and more of a true mixed-used, urban development. more residential in particular. maybe i’m jumping the gun though…

        • Will

          I agree but the article did say future plan has 279 residential units which would be great for the site

        • Tim E

          You also got 124,000 square feet of new office space in first phase which was a pleasant surprise
          ..
          Maybe demand will warrant more office space, jobs coming to area in phase II on top of 279 residential units that Will references.. That will help sustain the food hall & court.

  • Josiah

    What rumors are we talking about retail wise on Vandeventer? Between 64 and 44 or north of 64?

  • Michael B

    Am I reading this correctly that the trestle bikeway will lead over Vandeventer and into Cortex? Does anyone know if there are plans to extend it all of the way down to Forest Park or at least the BJC/WashU/Children’s med campus?

    • tony

      Not sure if this will be the final plan, but it looks like it will follow the track’s path then jump over to the park via Clayton under Kingshighway

      http://greatriversgreenway.org/chouteau-greenway-master-plan/

      • Josiah

        That’s the plan and Forest Park forever study talked about closing the Clayton entrance to FP to vehicles

    • mpbaker22

      Also, is this the same trestle proposed years ago through onsl?

      • jhoff1257

        No, this is only a short freight stub that runs from the railroad that used to run where the MetroLink currently does into the Federal Mogul site. The Trestle in North St. Louis runs from 12th and Hadley through the Near North Riverfront to Branch Street.

  • Billikens&Bricks

    Where is the parking structure going to be?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I *think it’s at-grade along Forest Park Avenue and extends south, so levels of parking would be below as the grade slopes away.

  • Riggle

    So this is right next to the Grand metrolink station, but you can’t walk there, are they going to fix this?

    • Steve Kluth

      There is text stating “Pedestrian Connector” where Spring St intersects 40/64 on the map drawings. I’m hoping it’s a pedestrian overpass between the lower and upper decks of the highway much like the Spring St viaduct crossed 40/64 back in the day.

  • BudSTL

    Anyone who has seen the “highline” in NYC knows that this idea is sexy. Let’s all hope that something like this happens here…

  • John

    This development shows a lot of promise and a genuine “sense of place.” I like the stone walkways and hope the landscaping in reality lives up to the lush appearance in the rendering. It looks like an environment in which I would want to hang out for lunch and do some shopping. How about a Z Gallerie store? St. Louis could use one since they left the Galleria. Seems like a perfect fit with the residential, businesses and nearby IKEA.

    • Brian Lewis

      Z Gallerie is opening a new store in the Galleria in the old GapKids location next month.

      • John

        Great news! Thanks for the update!

  • Presbyterian

    I’ve heard retail interest in this development has been intense. I wonder what the renderings are trying to suggest:

    • Box & Carton = Crate & Barrel
    • BC3 = CB2

    Now, if we could just get an East Elm, a Bullseye department store, an H&N and the Spanish clothing retailer Zoro, we’d be awesome.

    • Chris Stritzel

      East Elm? I understand Bullseye= Target
      H&N= H&M
      Zoro= Zara
      But what does East Oak and Elm mean in reality stores?

      • kmgee

        East Elm/Oak = West Elm (furniture/furnishings store similar to Crate & Barrel)

        • STLrainbow

          There’s a West Elm in Atlanta’s similar Ponce City Market. Other national retailers there include Anthropologie, J Crew, Sephora & Williams-Sonoma. (Also Lululemon but there’s already one in the CWE).

          http://www.poncecitymarket.com/

      • John

        Galleria has a West Elm store.