New Images and TIF Application for $340M City Foundry Project

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City Foundry_night

New images of the $340M City Foundry accompany that project’s Tax Increment Financing application. Our past reporting and more images of the evloving project can be found here: City Foundry Vision Gets Big Boost from Bull Moose, Now $340M

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City Foundry, St. Louis – TIF Application by nextSTL.com on Scribd

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Conceptual rendering of pedestrian connection from City Foundry to the Armory project south of I-64:

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Conceptual rendering of City Foundry’s proposed Great Rivers Greenway Trail extension along Forest Park Avenue:

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  • Jakeb

    Well this is a very exciting development. I will confess that I’m worried it’s too much of a destination and I have a hard time not comparing this to Union Station. But it’s not my money, it is exciting and I will visit. I’m looking forward to watching this play out over time and come to life.

  • The StLouminator

    Urban redevelopment requires a tremendous amount of vision, resolve, and tenacity. Historically, St Louis is slow to adapt, and even slower to adopt. The Central Corridor is the fastest growing census tract in the city, and continues to offer the most exciting redevelopment opportunities anywhere in the metropolitan region.
    The Central Corridor also has some of the oldest infrastructure west of the Mississippi. The $20MM TIF request is actually very modest with respect to the total development size.
    Parking Garages are expensive. Updating 200 year old sewer infrastructure is expensive. Fixing the urban planning “wrongs” of the 1950s – 1960s is expensive. Density is required to make these improvements pencil economically, which requires a phased approach. I am willing to wait this one out and see how City Foundry concept evolves over time.
    The comments regarding “life after 5:30” and “food court” are valid – only if we consider this development as a 1980s enclosed mall with zero character…which it clearly is not.
    The proposed redevelopment incorporates many ideas that cities across the US have already incorporated into their urban fabric – mixed use, reuse of iconic historic architecture, connections to alternative transport, and experiential culinary and retail program use. The GRG master plan also considers this site a link to FP and SLU.
    City Lover – if the chips are on the table – and given the suburban mindset of too many developers – I will put my chips on City Foundry being a great urban experience. It will certainly be more authentic than “Boulevard……Phase 2.0314……?
    City Foundry will be a significant addition as we continue to connect the Arch to the Park!
    Lastly – Go Armory – I hope GreenStreet is successful.

  • brickhugger

    Perhaps they could build a garage where they currently propose a surface lot across from the Armory. that solves two problems: 1) it allows for parking reduction elsewhere on the property, and 2), allows for future construction of an enclosed walkway between the garage and the Armory.

    I can live with the parking on the Parkway if it is VERY WELL landscaped, with large and clearly marked pedestrian access.

  • Tim E

    The residential tower seems to have definitely grown is size and stories if not mistaken for the original renderings. Is it possible this might be coming together a lot quicker and might have some possible financing and investment already in the works? .
    ..
    My thoughts is that we would have seen a high rise residential either out of Koplar/Koman or on the vacant lot along W Pine I believe by now. Heck, I figured at least another announcement out of CORTEX/Wexford. Instead, we see an aggressive proposal for foundry including a 28 story residential tower.

    • STLrainbow

      From the application: “it is anticipated that the tower will be an approximate 380,000 sq. ft., 24-story structure that offers approximately 280 market rate studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residential apartments.”

      It’s Phase 2 though, with no anticipated timeline as far as I could tell from an incomplete scan. My bet is that we’ll see residential in Cortex underway before this but you never know.

  • STLrainbow

    If I’m reading things right. Phase One will have 47,000 in new construction (primarily retail with a bit of office and a restaurant. Can someone point out for me where this is on the site plan? Is it single building or a couple smaller ones? Thanks!

    • STLrainbow

      Answering my own question, looks like the new construction for Phase One will be three two-story buildings directly across from the Foundry and lining the north side of the pedestrian strip as shown in the new images.

  • Tom of the Missouri

    The imagers of the proposed Foundry kind of reminds me of The Grove in LA. but hopefully not as plastic, although I think that is quite a destination in that area for tourist and locals alike. Hopefully the Foundry will make Midtown a destination in a similar way. I think the Lawrence group does great work and is a great asset to St. Louis. Not only are they good at architecture and wildly creative, but they also apparently put lots of their own money in their projects in our town and actually build and develop what they design. I don’t remember too many other local architects doing that Not something the great HOK did often if I remember correctly. We are lucky to have such a firm. I just love their totally out of the box Grand Center beautifully designed and appointed Ignatio Hotel and its combination exotic European motorcycle dealership with their Italian Ducati motorcycles just off the lobby are also works of art , a motorcycle museum and motorcycle themed restaurant. No one can imagine that those things go well together but they do and the Lawrence Group made it happen.

    If anyone can pull off The Foundry it is the Lawrence Group.

  • moorlander

    How many more years will it take to finish installing the siding on the house at Hampton and sulfur ave?

    • Tom of the Missouri

      At the current rate I think they will have it done by 2026. That has been a big question in my mind too for the last 30 years. I don’t think it is a Lawerence Group project, nor did it get TIFF approval. I think he is doing it with his left over change from his daily meals at McDonalds next door.

    • shad schoenke

      By the McDonalds? Good gravy, people!! I was just thinking the other day that place needs some kind of award, meme or historic marker.

  • citylover

    Trail is awesome. Offices, great. But I worry about this massive food court and surrounding retail. Sounds a little bit like St. Louis Centre to me. Lot of favorite stores and restaurants, but no life past 5:30. The standard is close. Gerhart lofts also. SLU campus, yes, but there needs to be some residential revolving in this project. Developer is promising rez in the “future phase” but I am skeptical.

    Other than the no first-phase living options, I love the idea. It’s amazing to me that this evolved from the Pace Properties bland strip center. And even more so since.

  • pat

    I second Mark’s sentiments. Too much parking. At the very least add the same retail component on the south side of the garage to the north that fronts Forest Park Parkway. Or work out a deal with SLU to rent some unused parking spots in their garages if they have them.

    • “SLU to rent some unused parking spots in their garages if they have them.” not a thing. SLU’s lots and garages are full during the day, and mostly full in the evenings. also, allowing non-SLU people into those areas represents a security/potential PR problem for SLU (because crime on SLU’s campus has to be reported on their report to the DOE, regardless of whether members of the community are involved). Not saying it’s impossible, but SLU would need a big incentive to overcome the negatives, and I’m not sure there is one.

  • John

    The renderings are enticing, as they usually are. Nice to see this area developing, and it looks exciting and great….BUT (you knew it was coming)…NO TIF! No corporate welfare. No handouts to developers. I am tired of taxpayers having to “buy” quality development. This area now has Cortex businesses and residential units and a major, global retailer (IKEA), not to mention SLU, downtown proximity and highway access/visibility.

    A tax increment financing (TIF) handout is not needed to entice developers. This property is already “hot” and desirable due to the neighbors. No TIF, no! But again, it looks great in concept and I would love to see it built without the taxpayer burden.

    • johnny1421

      They’re asking for 14.5% of the estimated costs, roughly 19.4 million in TIF’s. With the amount of work they’re doing and the amount of buildings they’re rehabbing I think that’s a fair request.

      100% tax abatement on property for 10 years plus another 15 at 50%, yeesh that seems high

  • Mark Leinauer

    I like what they’re trying to do and I’m definitely happy to see it … I especially love the bike trial, but I have some “Jane Jacobish” concerns. It’s not very walk-able. It’s flanked by major, pedestrian unfriendly roadways on two sides (FP Parkway and The Highway). It also has some formidable parking lot moats. There’s no residential. I just can’t see anyone walking here. It seems to rely on (1) drivers coming from elsewhere and (2) office tenants from the complex itself. The latter group will be gone come 6 pm. The former, is this really going to attract commuters and the like? I guess I just wish St. Louis would stick to what works. Pedestrian friendly streets, dense residential mixed with office and retail. You know …. how cities were (successfully) built for hundreds of years….. We really need to dethrone the car. This, for all it’s merits, is still a car-centric development.

    • Mark Leinauer

      I would much rather see a street grid laid down with retail on the bottom, office/residential on the top. Parking, underground or in a garage with retail below it. Nice cross walks across FPP. But I would keep the bike trail. That’s a winner.

    • Chicagoan

      It looks like the goal is to have people come in by automobile, park, and partake in the pedestrian corridor-like areas.

      Forest Park & I-64 aren’t exactly pedestrian-friendly, so the developers just don’t have much of a choice.

      Perhaps if density does increase down the line, some of the lots see development.

      • Adam

        yep, it’s going to be a lifestyle center similar to the Boulevard.

      • Mark Leinauer

        I hear your point. I just think they could be more pedestrian friendly if they followed the street grid that exists on the North Side of FPP. As is, the retail appears to be completely inward facing (I could be reading the plan wrong here), creating a hidden “inner courtyard” strip mall like area. The outside edges of the development seem designed to keep people out (parking moats, busy streets with no crosswalks). I just can’t imagine someone from the north side of FPP walking or cycling to this. Much less strolling over from Ikea (with its equally burdensome sea of parking). It would be a haul to do so, and not very safe either. It reminds me of the development across from the galleria. I remember wanting to check it out after shopping, and it was an enormous pain in the ass to do so. I had to walk across the Galleria parking lot, down Brentwood about three blocks, cross a very busy street with little to no cross walk time, then trek about two blocks in the opposite direction – just so I could reach the entrance of a retail strip that is literally adjacent to where I was. This looks similar. Imagine living north of FPP and trying to walk to this.

        • Chicagoan

          Being pedestrian-friendly would be great, but the location is terrible. This site is placed in between a highway (I-64) and a car-centric urban highway (Forest Park). The developers turned their backs on both of them in favor of the insular pedestrian corridor and I don’t blame them.

          The pedestrian experience on Forest Park is just too harsh and there is none on I-64, of course. Perhaps if Forest Park got better sidewalks and a road diet, they’d embrace the street. I’m hoping that’ll happen down the line and some of the gross surface parking will go away.

        • STLrainbow

          While in need of bike/ped treatment, I don’t see FPA being too much of a problem… lots of people already cross it. Spring is going to be a wave of SLUsters crossing over for this. I’d look at lane reduction for FPA; maybe parking only on the far lanes with bulb-outs at the corners and/or bike lane.

          Also, the project seems certain to improve the sidewalk experience along FPA from current conditions, even if a parking fronts a good portion of it.

        • “the street grid that exists on the North Side of FPP”. huh? there is no other grid north of FPP. There’s Spring on one side, Vandeventer on the other. They could reconnect Clark through the property east to west, but it would only run for a block and a half and dead-end in a weird way, and I’m not sure that would be an asset.

    • Will M

      i agree in many respects. the second flor of many of the retail buildings on the strip are office. Why not apartments? one or two of the restaurants could stay open later, perhaps enrich the local nightlife. Those two additions alone might create a more lively district, leaving office to the peripheral buildings (and with 24/7 security in them) acting as gateways to a safer district at most times of the day

  • Presbyterian

    I find this development very exciting!

  • Danny

    It’s good to hear major retailers are interested in the project to bring new retail options that are otherwise unavailable in the City, but unless this is able to pull in a bunch of suburban Ikea shoppers that otherwise wouldn’t be staying in the city to eat, I worry this project’s heavy reliance on retail and restaurants will just be creating a new “entertainment” district that will compete with the Central West End, the Grove, and Grand Center venues for patrons, and at the taxpayer’s expense. Subsidizing Ballpark Village at the expense of Washington Avenue shouldn’t be forgotten. Maybe this project’s addition of new retail amenities will be enough to attract a stronger residential market to Midtown and the City in general. Without that, I worry this project will just create a new entertainment district that will absorb demand from other, already existing, walkable neighborhoods in the city.

    • Will M

      I think youre underestimating the growing foot traffic in the surrounding area: thousands of students directly north (with parents and family visiting increasingly more regularly), the number of ikea shoppers who are from outside the city and stl county, the growing number of offices and employees (cortex, SLU, constuction, and the proposed office on site).
      Not to mention, the people who are visitng the grove and cwe (euclid mainly) are generally not going to be the same people visiting this development (in my opinion). This development is bringing suburbanites from west county back into the city to walk around; euclid and the grove have unique draws that a strip mall does not compete with in the same way: grove clientel are interested in the unique shops only the grove has to offer, euclid grabs people from the hospitals, forest park, and cwe residents. Suburban families and shoppers generally dont go to the boutique shops in either (the only mainstream stores in both can easily be found near them in the county).
      This development acts as a collection of retail arranged in a district to draw in not only the existing foot traffic i named above, but also people from the metro region looking to take a piece of their day and come to the urban core (in an area that is grabbing attention from far outside the metro region).
      While i understand you may be thinking that this will have a ballpark village effect, I dont think that it will. Especially due to the increasing amount of residential nearby.
      With this development, Cortex phase 2 (which we should hear about very soon), cwe apartment and WUMC growth, grove development and the nearby vandeventer district on the horizon – I see the area only growing stronger and more stable.

  • David

    And am I the only one that finds it funny that the development company is called fopa? Sounds like a mistake.

  • Tim E

    Alex, Cortex East seems to be evolving into two 10-15 story towers as per the renderings. Do I got that correct? and if so, heard any feedback if we might see a tower happening sooner then expected.