nextSTL has learned urban developer Koman Group has acquired 3.3 acres within the Cortex Innovation Community boundary. The area is the heart of the burgeoning urban development scene in the city. Though a purchase price has not been disclosed, sources tell nextSTL Koman Group outbid Cortex and perhaps other interested parties. In a significant vote of confidence in the area, Koman purchased the site on spec.
Contacted by nextSTL, Garrick Hamilton, Executive Vice President at Koman Group confirmed the company has closed on the site, “We’re excited, to say the least. The site builds on what we’ve attempted to do in the City of St. Louis to date: develop or redevelop critical, highly visible sites into unique workspaces with character.”
Garrick added that the investment represents a further move toward urban development for the company long known for its 40-acre, 1.2M sf CityPlace development in suburban Creve Coeur. While the site was purchased without a tenant or imminent development plan, Koman Group is actively targeting several companies in the St. Louis area and beyond.
nextSTL was first to report Koman Group planned to sell City Place back in 2014. It was later reported five buildings, totaling nearly 900K sf were sold for approximately $140M. In late 2013, a 224K sf building at CityPlace sold for $40.2M. In recent years, Koman Group has targeted urban development with the following projects:
- renovation of the historic Cupples 9 warehouse near Busch Stadium
- renovation of the architecturally significant General American building in downtown
- mixed-use infill at 32-40 N. Euclid in the Central West End (soon to be home to Shake Shack and across the street from Whole Foods)
- 14-story mixed-use infill adjacent to the Delmar MetroLink station (The Everly)
- a proposal for Cupples X, a mixed-use building on 3 acres across from Busch Stadium
- proposed renovation of the Optimist Building on Lindell (no longer moving forward)
- pre-construction involvement along with architect Kohn Pedersen Fox at Kingshighway and Lindell
With its investment in Cortex, Koman Group enters the mix of what continues to be a hot market, and one that sees little indication of slowing. In December 2014, Cortex purchased a 3.5-acre parcel fronting Vandeventer adjacent to Interstate 64 for $3M next door to Lawrence Group’s massive $340M undertaking now titled City Foundry.
It’s known that the next phase of development within Cortex will be announced soon. Green Street recently purchased the nearby Armory and it’s exploring renovation as an event venue with adjacent new construction, and just to the south, SSM-Saint Louis University is nearing the start of a $550M hospital project. To add to that, the city is set to blight the entire area, 395 acres in all. The blight designation will streamline the area’s redevelopment.
From our previous reporting: Site Development Begins in Cortex, Plans for St. Louis Metallizing Site not Disclosed
In one of its largest efforts at land assemblage since Ikea, the Cortex Innovation Community is seeing the demolition of eleven contiguous parcels between Clayton Avenue and Highway 40 (I-64) west of Sarah Street.
The buyer has not yet been identified, but demolition began this week. Nine parcels are affected from 4100 to 4200 Clayton Avenue, as well as the two parcels at 4101 and 4123 Sarpy Avenue, both facing the interstate.
This location most recently was the site of St. Louis Metallizing, which closed quietly last fall, liquidating its equipment and supplies. St. Louis Metallizing was a pioneer in the development of industrial surface coatings, supporting aircraft manufacturing, power generation and the oil and gas industries.
The company was an authorized FAA repair station. That business has been acquired by American Roller and Plasma Coatings Group of Union Grove, Wisconsin. The utilitarian, industrial structures along Clayton and Sarpy were constructed between 1939 and 1990. All ten buildings on the site are being demolished. No plans for the site have been revealed.
Early schematic plans, now several years old, showed office buildings surrounding a parking structure at the site. Development at Cortex has varied from these plans significantly over time.