The Beacon, $24M Mixed-Use Project Proposed for Wydown-Hanley

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A prominent surface parking lot may soon be the site of a significant mixed-use infill project if plans by Cornerstone Development come to fruition. The design by CORE10 Architecture shows an Art Deco apartment building with street level retail wrapping the southeast corner of Wydown and Hanley Roads in Clayton. The site is currently a public parking lot.

The Beacon would rise six stories and total 237,000 sf, with a total of 84 residential units and 135 dedicated parking spaces. Proposed is 6,000 sf of retail space with 20 parking spaces, and an additional 35 public parking spaces to serve surrounding retail. Total parking would be 190 spaces in a below grade garage. The current surface parking lot has 26 spaces.

The project would appear as two buildings, with the larger along Hanley, and a smaller residential behind, on Forest Court. The “T” shaped parcel would sit atop the below-grade parking garage serving both structures. The Forest Court building would feature four units per floor and all residential units would share amenities.

Clayton’s city master plan identifies the intersection as neighborhood retail and residential. The pedestrian collonade along Hanley is an attempt to create a buffer from the busy arterial road. The development site is limited to three stories by current zoning, but will seek a zoning variance more compatible with the taller residential towers immediately to the south of the site.

The developer contends that expanded privately owned and maintained public parking, added residential, and the development of a prominent surface parking lot easily justifies the variance. The project would require the demolition of two multi-unit residential buildings facing Hanley Road and a third fronting Forest Court.

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Notice posted on the City of Clayton website:

City Withdraws RFP for Hanley & Wydown Lot
Publish Date:02/08/2017 2:15 PM
In 2015, the City of Clayton issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of 602 S. Hanley, the city-owned lot, which is located at the corner of Hanley & Wydown. The RFP sought development proposals that would replace and increase parking in the area and bring a development that would complement this important and visible neighborhood in our community.

The city received multiple proposals, and while there were some very promising and interesting concepts, the city did not feel the overall fit, economics or timing was appropriate to move forward and has halted consideration. The parking lot will continue to operate as an asset to support the businesses of the area and no development is anticipated for the near future.

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  • KP

    The way I read these plans is that all residential parking areas(86) will be accessed off of Forest Court which is a one way street which empties into Bemis Way (which is really more of an alley than a street) to get to either Hanley or Westwood. The traffic going up and down Bemis Way would also effect the parking lot and school for Central Presbyterian. Has there been any thought of expanding so much traffic on a little used street? There are already backups during school drop off and pick up!

  • Pingback: $24M Mixed-Use Project Proposed; Wydown-Hanley - ConstructForSTL()

  • tztag

    I dig it

  • PD

    Eh. Add a ton of more underground parking and 9 more stories and make it a beast like the rest are on that strip.

  • How do we find out the local building codes re: aesthetics? Where are all the trees?!

  • The county had the opportunity to upgrade Hanley but ignored complete streets policy. Now another issue getting bike/ped into downtown Clayton. All the more need to push for better facilities for walking and biking, particularily, protected bikeways.

  • Presbyterian

    I predict pushback from the NIMBY crowd.

    I’ll grab my popcorn and watch.

    • Jim Arsenault

      It only took a month: http://lilywchou.wixsite.com/beaconissues
      BONUS- they use NextSTL images in their website.

      • Adam

        for the love of god, how do these people not realize what cliches they are? and how can they no recognize the complete absence of logic in statements like “Desirable businesses like I Fratellini and Bar Les Freres have concerns about the impact to their business and ultimately may be forced to relocate.” my favorite: “…we believe there is no pressing need for the City to divest a highly utilized asset (the parking lot)…”

      • rgbose

        Parking! Sounds like the number of public parking spots increases by about 20.

  • Paul Hohmann

    Very nice proposal. Condo or apartments?

  • Randy

    Hanley Rd. is very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Posted speed limit is 30 MPH but vehicles regularly travel in excess of 45 MPH.

    Try walking the sidewalks from Central CBD to Hanley & Wydown. The walk is downright embarrassing and dangerous. It’s extremely unpleasant due to the lack of traffic calming or any kind of buffer between this high-speed arterial and the narrow sidewalks.

    • Steve Kluth

      Hanley Rd is dangerous. What does that have to do with this proposal? A larger local population that is more likely to walk or bike can help pressure Clayton to implement a safer Hanley (and Wydown).

      • Randy

        St. Louis County owns maintenance and design of Hanley.

      • chaifetz10

        I don’t want to speak for Randy, but I’m assuming he’s referring to the pedestrian colonnade shown facing Hanley. Having that semi-enclosed and covered pedestrian path would make for a much better walking experience.

        • rgbose

          The colonnade in The Loop with Seoul Taco is horrible. Don’t do it like that.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Right, but the sites almost couldn’t be more different. Delmar is a great walking street with an intact commercial street wall. Hanley is a highway and the current sidewalk immediately next to the road is about the worst pedestrian condition one can imagine.

          • rgbose

            I’m not saying don’t do it at all, just not with really thick columns like the one in the Loop. They make me feel confined, hide the businesses, and I worry if someone is hiding behind one.

          • Tim E

            I think you can add Brentwood Ave out of Clayton CBD as another loss opportunity and supports the highway mentality in and out of Clayton. Will be even more so with Centene’s big expansion.

            My wishfull thought is to extend the loop trolley westward from University City/East Loop into Clayton CBD would be an all around win for Clayton/U City as it would promote even more mixed use development like Clayco’s 15 story in that corridor & provide second transit option

  • moorlander

    I really like the design. It’s a great start.

  • Nice

    No doubt about it – Clayton and the Central Corridor are HOT. Undoubtedly this design will get beat up by the peanut gallery, but this is such positive news. When you really break it down, a lot of these developers are simply taking best practices from other markets and using them in an untapped market like St. Louis. Bottom line is that we’re no guinea pig – we’re getting the best, proven designs.

    • Adam

      eye roll. is that shit-box The Standard over on Forest Park Ave a good example of a “best, proven design” do you think? developers will spend as little as possible and take as many tax breaks as possible unless we hold them to higher standards. not saying there haven’t been good developments recently, but we’re not to the point yet where we can just expect good design and quality materials without a fight.

      • John

        Agreed that St. Louis and surrounding municipalities need to hold developers to higher standards across the board. We also need to rethink TIFs and tax abatement. If every development was scrutinized as much as in this forum, that would be a step in the right drirection. Overall, this design concept is not bad. As you pointed out, we’ve definitely seen worse.

        • Don

          There is this inferiority complex so ingrained in the psyche of this community that convinces everyone — even in a place like Clayton — that if they push back on any developer the development won’t happen. I’m sure we’ll hear about TIFFs next.

      • STLrainbow

        To be fair, the developer of the “shit-box” didn’t ask for the usual subsidies. But you’re right, so much gets approved that is crap. I think at least for major projects it makes sense for buildings to go through a city design review process. Not exactly rocket science.

        • Adam

          Well, at least there’s that. 😉

      • Don

        Seriously, you can disagree nicely as easily as you can be nasty. And being nasty takes so much more energy.

        • Adam

          Don, give me a break. That was hardly a “nasty” response. I think that “we’re getting the best, proven designs” more than deserves an eye roll. And I don’t think the shit-box cares that I called it a shit-box.

          • Nice

            Adam, you’re failing to realize that “best, proven designs” means the most practical design for everyone involved. Of course it’s not going to be an architectural marvel – those simply don’t get built because you can’t justify the cost to tenants…Clayton already has a hard time maintaining retail tenants as is. This isn’t the Great Gatsby….it’s Clayton – a well to do business district. Plain and simple.

            Get away from the peanut gallery and be excited that things are really starting to improve.

          • Adam

            Thanks for elaborating. If you were trying to convey “most practical design for everyone involved” then “best, proven design” was about the poorest choice of words you could have made. Nothing to do with any peanut galleries. Plain and simple. However, “most practical design” for a developer often means greatest return on least investment, and we’ve certainly seen such developments in the city lately (e.g. the Standard, the Aventura). I like this proposal, and my previous comment was not in response to this proposal but to your suggestion that St. Louis gets only the “best, proven” designs. As for costs, this proposal is primarily residential and Clayton is an upscale residential area and a “well-to-do business district” as you pointed out. There should be no reason for this project to skimp on anything, but I’m sure the developer will try.

  • John

    Scale seems big. I’d like to see more street-level landscaping… TREES are needed here.

    • brickhugger

      and a bit more setback on the Hanley side.

  • Framer

    I sure hope they demand actual brick, and not that god-awful fiber-cement crap.

  • Adam

    not happy about the Forest Court demo—it’s a great building. i don’t see why the developer needs to take that one. i would tell the developer be happy with the parking lot and the two buildings on Hanley or no deal.

    • brickhugger

      fair point, and I do wonder about that one. I wonder if the extra units are necessary to even out the cost of the garage. But if that’s the case, couldn’t the developer just buy the building, fix it up, and save the demolition cost?

      • Adam

        And to be clear, aside from that proposed demolition I like the proposal.

      • john w.

        The yield appears the same, so I’d like to see this approach instead. The Hanley Ave side is good.

  • Framer

    Should fit into the Moorlands very well. We’ll see what the neighbors say.

  • brickhugger

    At first glance I kind of like it; I’d like to see some vitrolite glass in the display windows, and some black terra cotta pieces in the roofline (and I’m not fond of the notch-outs in the top-floor corner units), but that’s nitpicking.

    • brickhugger

      Edit; instead of having the walls on the top floor just hanging there at the corners, have them instead follow the corner walls themselves. add a small setback on the roofline with some terra cotta detailing, and that would be a huge improvement.