Initial Approval Given for Marriott Hotel, Retail at Hanley/40 in Richmond Heights

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the-crossings-at-richmond-heights_1

As first reported by 40 South News, a Courtyard Marriott Hotel, retail, and restaurants appear planned for the corner of Hanley Road and I-64/Highway 40. The more than 6-acre site would be accessed from Dale Avenue adjacent to The Heights recreation center and feature a five-story, 140-room hotel and 16,000sf of retail space titled The Crossing at Richmond Heights.

The $52M project by Summit Development Group, could break ground early next year, and be completed in roughly 12 months. The plan received an initial go-ahead from the Richmond Heights City Council yesterday. The site has been the target for development in the past, having sat vacant for nearly two decades. Among the ideas to have come and gone, was an aquarium, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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The area south across Dale Avenue has seen massive retail development in recent years, with the latest addition being a Menards big box store, which replaced a neighborhood of single-family homes. Several years ago, an IKEA store was planned for the area, but holdouts from several property owners, and the city’s decision to not use eminent domain, pushed IKEA to find another location. IKEA opened in St. Louis City in late 2015.

ikea_richmond-heights{an outdated map of Richmond Heights retail development}

A more than $500M remake of Interstate 64 and Interstate 170 through the retail corridor has brought more traffic. Plans for a “South County Connector“, adding vehicle capacity from South Hanley, would have further increased traffic. That plan appears to be officially dead, with municipalities in its path, and various civic organizations opposing the plan. Just north and west of the proposed project is phase II of The Boulevard, which includes 95,000sf of retail and dining space, 30,000sf of office, and 50 to 165 residential units, and is being subsidized with Tax Increment Financing.

Concerns voiced by residents at the meeting regarding the hotel and retail project included traffic and storm water runoff. An apartment project just to the east on Dale at Boland Place was approved by the city earlier this year over the opposition of some residents concerned with additional traffic. That project has yet to break ground.

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  • Whiskey Priest

    Why not put the parking on the other side, next to the highway, and give the corner some curb appeal? These parking lots look sad as they age.

  • Goomba

    No TOD potential in Brentwood/Richmond Heights. This area has been lost for another generation. Maybe in 20-30 years when redevelopment is needed, they will do it the “right way”.

    • Riggle

      Good, maybe people who want an urban lifestyle will choose St Louis instead

  • Benjamin Aronov

    THIS IS SO BAD!

    Why do they elect to put the hotel as close as possible to a very, very busy highway?

    Why not build a consolidated parking structure for both this development and the Heights, allowing to use more than 50% of that very expensive land?

  • DCWind

    In my humble opinion, it would have been nice to see a taller hotel, maybe 7 or 8 floors, with a parking podium below to give the hotel some significant presence on and off of the highway. The grading of this site drops so quickly to the east, it would have been pretty easy to have direct access to the hotel lobby from Hanley and the garage entrance further down Dale (2-3 garage levels at the east most edge of the site). You could then front Dale with the retail/restaurants, with some staggered outdoor spaces as the site drops to the east. This would have access to the garage and could use that access as a way to get deliveries and service. Given how crowded the parking lot can be at the community center, overflow could be possibly be provided here.

    The real missed opportunity, to me, is the lack of residential. Given the location to the highway (Clayton, CWE, Downtown STL),accessibility to Metrolink and The Heights, this could have been a landmark TOD. Retail on the ground level(s) fronting Dale could easily support a couple levels of residential (with parking available in the garage). You could provide a slight slope to the roof and give a nice swath of open/green/landscaped space back between the hotel and Dale. I am talking about a much greater development cost, but with such a prominent site, it seems like such a waste to see this go in there, after waiting so long for something to happen there.

    • Tim E

      landmark TOD? as you try to cross Hanley and then walk between a massive parking structure and Home Depot. Just don’t see a big plus putting residential here. Richmond Heights should be pushing to get The Boulevards Phase II with its residential component underway and explore what it would take to fold the Burger King property back into the mix and revive a Phase III (with its original proposed residential tower.)
      .
      Instead, wait to see if Home Depot or Lowe’s can last with Menards now in the mix. Both Home Depot and or Lowe’s sites offer pretty good access to metrolink stations without the walk across Hanley Ave as well as an easy demo and fair size piece of real estate to work with. Might take a while but it will be worth the wait.

      • DCWind

        I guess the landmark TOD might have been an overstatement, with respect to other cities, but in the context of St. Louis, it would be significant, even with the Hanley hurdle. This could be overcome, but understandably, not without expense. I think this site would accommodate a true mixed use development, given all of the plusses that I mentioned previously. But my pipe dream would be a significantly larger, more expensive project, to be certain.

        I guess my main point, besides portraying a dream, is to say this site deserves more than what has been shown.

  • John

    The rendering and the site map layout do not seem to be aligned. Are there two versions of the site plan? I realize the third retail development map is outdated, as noted. However, the first two illustrations look like different site layouts.

  • Where is the sidewalk to the hotel?

    • brickhugger

      My thought exactly; there is NO pedestrian access from the street to the hotel, nor is there a pedestrian cut-through to the community center next door. talk about missed opportunities!

      • Riggle

        Do the Drury and (defunct?) Bonefish grill have pedestrian access?

        • brickhugger

          probably not, but then again, they aren’t sitting next to a community center with an indoor pool and library. that really does make a difference.

          • Tim E

            I still think Drury Inn could have had a much better site plan on Brentwood Ave itself as it is a very easy walk to existing office/commercial space, residential and believe a Brentwood YMCA without having to cross Brentwood Ave itself. A nice wide sidewalk down the east side of Brentwood Ave.
            ..
            Nor did Brentwood had a vision of developing a mini greenway along the creek/drainage from the park along the west side of Hanley Business park to Eager Blvd on the backside to existing commercial/apartment complex & parallel to Brentwood. Not much of a trail extension but would have been a nice touch and give neighboring residential and patrons a way to get to Target or say to Bonefish without car on a nice day or vice versa, hotel guest a nice stroll out of the room

          • brickhugger

            That would’ve been nice, and they could’ve maybe connected it with metrolink as well

          • Riggle

            Its sitting right next to a metrolink station

        • moorlander

          Defunct?

          • Riggle

            Yeah, I thought I read that in the RFT, I avoid the area like the plague so I wouldn’t know.

          • STLrainbow

            still open according to the intertubes.

          • Riggle

            Too bad

  • Riggle

    Look like some pretty brutal swipe-thrus, hope no one plans on walking from Brentwood Station…