New Renderings Unveiled for $550M SSM/SLU Hospital Project

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Today SSM Health released new renderings of its new $550M hospital and ambulatory care center on 15 acres along South Grand Boulevard. The project features 800,000 square feet of space, 316 patient rooms, expanded trauma center and emergency department, larger intensive care units, more parking, green space, and areas for any future campus expansion.

That last item seems to pertain most directly to the prominent northeast corner of the site where previous renderings have shown a parking garage with street-level retail built up to Grand. Now, instead of two parking garages, the western garage has grown, and a grass lot occupies what will be the corner of Grand and the future Lasalle Street.

According to SSM, the project total more than 2.2 million workforce construction hours and a peak workforce team of more than 600. Groundbreaking for the project is planned for August of this year, with completion in 2020.

About SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest.
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-bed quaternary and tertiary hospital specializing in organ transplants and home of the Mid-America Stroke Network. A teaching hospital, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is home to SLUCare physicians and students of Saint Louis University Medical School.

About SLUCare Physician Group
SLUCare Physician Group is the academic medical practice of Saint Louis University, with more than 500 health care providers and 1,200 staff members in hospitals and medical offices throughout the St. Louis region. SLUCare physicians are trained in more than 50 specialty fields.


From our previous report: We Now Know What the $550M SLU/SSM Hospital Might Look Like


nextSTL has reported on the $550M SSM/SLU Hospital development since summer 2015. Slowly, details of the remade medical facility have been revealed and it now appears we know what the hospital is likely to look like. The massing plans previously shared mirror the new images, which include significantly more design detail.

It appears building facades will feature the varied-width glass panel design that has quickly become popular with institutional buildings, including the second phase of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy project, and the BJC @ The Commons building. The new tower, rising nine stories, is set back significantly from Grand Boulevard, where a  three-story ambulatory care center will connect with the tower via a Commons, which will serve as the main entrance to the facility. Two parking garages will front what will be a new Lasalle Street running east-west. Access to the facility will be from Grand and Lasalle.

While significantly more detail is revealed, nothing new is offered regarding the future of three prominent buildings within the project site. It is a near sure bet that the historic Desloge Tower remains, though its future use has not been determined. The existing attached hospital building will be demolished.

At the north end of the site, it’s a good bet that the Missouri Belting and Pevely buildings will be demolished. The City of St. Louis recently gave a development corporation led by Saint Louis University rights to control development across 395 acres spanning the school’s medical and Frost campuses. The move empowers the university to have the final say on development within the site, grant tax credits to projects, deny others, and bypass any demolition review. In the recent past, both the Missouri Belting and Pevely buildings have been saved from demolition by the city’s Cultural Resources Office and Preservation Board.

Additional new images:


The hospital bed tower:


Fronting Grand Boulevard:


The Commons:


Previous images:

SLU hospitalSSM_SLU feature

The information below is from our previous story posted June 20, 2016: SSM/SLU Announce $550M Medical Center Moving Forward, Share Site Plan

In a message to faculty, staff, and students today, Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello unveiled additional details, including a site plan for the SLU/SSM $550M academic medical center. The massive project was first reported on nextSTL last June. As previously reported, the project will be built immediately north of Desloge Tower and the existing hospital. The fate of Desloge Tower has still not been determined.

Pestello shared that the 316-bed, 802K sf project has completed the general scope and conceptual design stage and that specifics continued to be determined. He also stated that the project “furthers the progress of the SLU campus master planning initiative, which includes redevelopment of SLU-owned property to the north of these new SSM facilities.” The project is scheduled to be completed by late 2020.

Last year, Saint Louis University purchased the hospital from Tenet Healthcare, which has owned the facility since 1998, when it was purchased from the school. SLU then contribute the hospital to SSM in exchange for a minority membership interest. That deal became official September 1, 2016, allowing for planning on this project to proceed. Selected to design the project were The Lawrence Group in partnership with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA).

Continue reading: SSM/SLU Announce $550M Medical Center Moving Forward, Share Site Plan

The site of the future hospital was largely demolished years ago:

SLU demoltion

In 2011, the following site plan and rendering were offered SLU, arguing that the corner of Grand and Chouteau needed to be cleared for a new healthcare center:


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  • Depending on timing and outcome, we may get to test a campaign promise here. When I interviewed Alderwoman Krewson at the Royale, she stated on record that if elected mayor, she will veto all bills to vacate or close off streets.

    • rgbose

      “I haven’t closed any streets. Don’t plan to.” is as far as she went.

      • Yes, I overstated the promise in recollection, although “don’t plan to” promises a stance against these sorts of matters. Tishaura Jones has stated flat out that the Board of Aldermen should not have power over these matters, and that they should go to professional city staff for study and recommendation. Other candidates have not been as direct, but it seems like street closures would get harder under Krewson or Jones at least. The Slay administration never stopped a single one, at least any that made it as far as an ordinance on the mayor’s desk.

        • rgbose

          I hope so. It’s crazy to me how easy it is to block or give away a street, while it’s practically impossible to change a park due to the charter amendment which requires a city-wide vote.

  • kjohnson04

    What the heck is the obsession with green space in St. Louis? There’s three blocks of green space on the north side of Chouteau, and Doisy is sitting in the middle of green space. I can imagine how that meeting went.

    “We need something to set this project apart!”
    “Green Space!”

    Do any of the other hospitals in St. Louis have such a ludicrous amount of green space around them (that aren’t in the far flung suburbs?)

  • brickhugger

    If Pevely goes, then I oppose this. the video shows Pevely as green space, which is what SLU has done for over 20 years, and that is unacceptable. Clearly they can build this facility without demolishing the building, so to suggest doing so is frankly offensive, after all the times SLU has done this in the past.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Yes. There’s at least $2B worth of development that could easily occur on SLU’s greenspace, and still leave plenty for recuperative and serene spaces for patients and visitors. It’s good to know the school is working on a plan, but it appears things will be worse before they get better. And what’s a realistic timeline to make use of all that greenspace? My guess = at least 20yrs.

      • Framer

        The “recuperative and serene space” is tucked back between the buildings. It’s the heavily landscaped area seen in the renderings above, not the grassy knoll fronting Grand; that’s clearly a placeholder for a future building.

        As the SLU spokesperson said in the PD article:

        “…it was important to incorporate green space to project a soothing and healing environment…The green space will be situated between the hospital and outpatient facility, similar to the feel of an outdoor commons area, a frequent design element at many university campuses, Becker said.”

        That’s not to say that they don’t have way too much vacant land surrounding the hospital complex, but I think it’s only fair to differentiate between the specific “greenspace” mentioned by SLU, and all the rest in the surrounding area. Any time the word “greenspace” appears on these boards, people tend to freak out. The reality is, sometimes it really is appropriate.

    • jhoff1257

      Pevely’s demo has nothing to do with this hospital project. This project stops at a reconstructed Lasalle Street. Pevely is a block north along Grand.

      Seriously, how are people still missing this? I agree with everyone’s sentiment about Pevely and SLU’s awful land use, but those aren’t in question here. SSM is building and will operate the hospital, not SLU.

      • brickhugger

        Because as I noted, the video fly-by they have published shows the site where Pevely is currently located as green space. Given the history of SLU with demolition in the area I do not think this is an accident, and unless we make sure they and SSM know demolishing this building is unacceptable, I fear they will try and sneak it by us,

  • STLEnginerd

    It looking very nice. Preserving Desloge was a big relief.

    I think my least favorite aspect is that they want to close Rutgers. What is the point of the big yard thing? Why not leave Rutgers open…?

    I don’t mind the space on grand left open as much only because I think the retail as proposed would have been a huge failure but it is a good site for some kind of office development down the road, and no new demolition is required. My only hesitation is because there could be reluctance to build there because a new building would obstruct the view of the main hospital building. This arguement is probably made inevitable by the current site plan…

    None of this should excuse any proposed demolition of Pevely or the belting building.

    • Pevely and the Belting building aren’t part of this project. Any decision to demolish them would be made by SLU, not SSM who now owns University Hospital.

  • miguel2586

    So Rutger will be closed off as well? At first I was excited about LaSalle reopening but losing two streets to gain one doesn’t seem like a fair trade. Also the new “LaSalle” looks like nothing more than a glorified access road to the new parking garage and outbuildings. Does it even go through to Spring?

  • Jakeb

    The renderings are beautiful. I’m thrilled for this investment in the City. Love the incorporation of green space in the urban environment and second the hope that it is sustainable.

  • Riggle

    Why does is show people illegally biking on the sidewalk?

    • kjohnson04

      Because that’s safer than riding in the bike lane on Grand/Chouteau. Drivers will try to kill you.

  • mc

    I thought that Desloge was going to stay. I’m pretty sure they announced that a few months ago…

    • Framer

      They said Desloge was going to stay “for now”. Very noncomital.

      • Joe s

        I didn’t see an update from when it was last reported “It is a near sure bet that the historic Desloge Tower remains, though its future use has not been determined.” I believe the uncertainty is the use. I highly doubt many physicians would want to keep their office in that building due to its distance from patients in the new hospital.

        • Adam

          Given that the market is on the upswing I’m sure they could find a buyer with an idea for use if they were willing to sell. Most likely apartments with amazing views of midtown and downtown.

  • Imran

    Beautiful renderings as far as materials go. Siting is suburban. What bugs me the most is the constant reference to Desloge Tower having an uncertain future.

  • John

    Glad to see the landscaping. I hope the end result is high quality and sustainable.

  • RyleyinSTL

    Why can’t they build this bloody thing to the curb along grand?? It’s like SLU doesn’t care about the built environment…oh ya.

    • Joe s

      Which part do you want built along the curb? The parking garage? There is an ambulatory clinic (that part that people are more likely to take a bus to) near the street. There appears to be enough room for them to put a structure to the East of the parking garage along Grand in the future. I get that people don’t find SLU to be supportive about the environment but the function of the structure is that it is a hospital, not a mixed use building. There are plenty of other gripes for SLU, but building along the curb doesn’t seem to fit here.

      • RyleyinSTL

        The first image posted shows a huge swath of land between Grand and the Hospital. Yes, it’s a hospital, so in this case building to the curb isn’t about mixed use opportunities (although, really, why the heck not not?? Think big!) it’s about creating/extending a dense urban feel along the blvd…creating a positive pedestrian experience, slowing traffic, blah, blah, blah. This part of the city already has way to much large open spaces because of SLU demolition and their land-banking is famous doublespeak for buy-it and forget-it.

        Yes, overall, SLU’s presence in the city is clearly a much bigger positive than it is a negative. However that doesn’t mean we still can’t ask for the best or let them hold us hostage.

    • jhoff1257

      SLU isn’t building or planning the hospital, SSM is.