Plans for Armory Transformation Detailed in New Renderings by Arcturis

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St. Louis design firm Arcturis has rendered its vision of a new Armory in the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The $83M project by Green Street Development envisions a unique office space with expansive amenities. A second phase would include mixed-use infill and a 135-room hotel. The economic incentives and other project details are outlined below.

From our previous report: Green Street Details Plans for Mixed-Use Armory Project, Requests TIF, Abatement

Green Street Development has detailed its plans for the long-vacant Armory in Midtown neighborhood as it seeks city support for $8M in tax increment financing (TIF). The $82.2M redevelopment plan would transform the one-time military post into a mixed-used facility including office, restaurant, and health spa, according to documents filed with the city.

A first phase would renovate the existing Armory, with a second phase would include a 90,000sf building just east of the Armory, and a separate 135-room, seven-story hotel and 300-space parking garage south of that site. The basement of the Armory, once used for tank and military truck parking, will be utilized as a parking garage.

According to documents filed with the city, Green Street is aligning an array of financing and incentives to fund the project. These include the formation of a Community Improvement District (CID), Transportation Development District (TDD), 100% tax abatement for 10yrs followed by 50% for 5yrs, almost $7M in state historic tax credits, $5M in federal historic tax credits, and $1.1M in state Brownfield tax credits. The CID and TDD allow for additional tax levies on economic activity within the development.

armory3armory2

The developer’s TIF Commission materials show an estimate of 700 jobs at the site with a total payroll of $33M. Listed as architects on the project are Trivers and Grice Group Architects. Green Street is seeking to acquire one additional sliver of land adjacent to the railroad yard (where the south end of the hotel and pool appear in the rendering above). It is currently owned by Union Electric, which owns the electrical station immediately south of the Armory.

Just to the north and west across Interstate 64 from the Armory, Lawrence Group’s $340M City Foundry project is moving ahead. A very early concept is being explored to reconstructed a pedestrian connection between the two projects along Spring Street. Both projects are within the boundaries of the imminent 395-acre Saint Louis University redevelopment district. To the east of City Foundry, Cortex recently unveiled its next phase of development.

foundry-armory-ped-1{conceptual pedestrian connection between City Foundry and the Armory}

image

While used for track and field, baseball practice, indoor soccer, and other activities, the post-military life of the building is best known for hosting The Grateful Dead in 1968, and being home to the hardwood indoor tennis courts where a young Arthur Ashe would hone his game.

Amazingly, five tracks from The Grateful Dead’s two shows were recorded and have been preserved. You can listen to the following here: Morning Dew, It Hurts Me Too, Dark Star, Saint Stephen, and Turn on Your Love Light. At least one image exists of Ashe at the Armory (1976):

 

STL Armory_Market{Market Street, looking west across Grand – a corner of the Armory can be seen at the far left}

Armory_40-64{the Armory and Highway 40/64 today}

500 Prospect Avenue_The Armory{the four-acre adjacent site at 500 Prospect Avenue}

Continue reading: Green Street Details Plans for Mixed-Use Armory Project, Requests TIF, Abatement

More from nextSTL: Green Street Pursues Redevelopment of The Armory, Acquires 500 Prospect

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  • Dahmen Piotraschke

    do something..I don’t dispute anything…It’s great to see that development can happen and be a great addition to the highways that plague our city’s south side …the entanglement of 40 and 44…we all believe are a menace to the city. But when u see all the great buildings we glance flying past in an automobile. The Sheraton Hotel has been a strange but beauty as it lays big right beside the highway..and the flying Budweiser eagle coming into the city..now could use more integrated use..as owned by the now defunct Union Electric..! yowzza.

  • brickhugger

    I’m just happy they are also interested in the enclosed skybridge to the Foundry complex. It’s a tough building on a tough site, and I’m sure they looked at alternatives before deciding that this is the most feasible concept.

  • STLEnginerd

    Weird but to me phase 2 seems more doable than phase 1. Without a complete rethinking of the connectivity of that area to both grand and i64. I don’t see this getting done…

    • jhoff1257

      I don’t know about that. According to the site plan here, it looks like there will be access built into the Market/Bernard ramp from 40. Looks like Scott Avenue will be rebuilt which would cross over to St. Theresa which connects to Spruce which you could take all the way down to Jefferson (via Scott east of Ewing). There would be access to Market from Bernard Street. And there is an entrance ramp to 40 on Ewing as well. Not saying it’s ideal, but with some minor changes and a Spring ped bridge it could work well I think.

  • Luftmentsch

    Is anyone going to speak up against the very misleading comments about “central corridor development” coming from the Mayoral candidates and certain followers? Projects like this will not get funded if activists keep promoting the lie that subsidies are no longer needed in the central corridor and investments in high-end office space and residential buildings do nothing for low-income people on the North Side. The truth is that a project like this WON’T get done without public subsidies and WILL benefit the city as a whole if it happens as planned. Speak up, people.

    • SupportDevelopment

      Just because public subsidies are used for this particular single project does not prevent low-income housing to be built now or in the future. It is possible to do both. You can pursue both. Mixed strategy. It is not a zero-sum game.

      Very nice archived Grateful Dead selection of music. It’s dope.

    • Guest

      St. Louis is the only city I know of that has what it calls a “central corridor”…lol…a CBD 8 miles long….8 MILES LONG. It’s simply a meme created to foster certain suburbs to continue corporate development while the central city suffers with almost none. And, it’s not very central for the 1/2 million people who live in Illinois…but, who cares about them, right? I’m saddened and perplexed at the stupidity of it all.

      • Adam

        Wow, I’d say you’re loading the term with a bunch of your personal grievances. It’s a corridor of density that cuts through the center of the city from east to west. It’s that simple. Nothing to do with some pretense of an extended CBD. Midtown isn’t very “mid” with respect to the metro east, either. Must be ’cause nobody cares about Illinois. And what’s with calling the West End the West End? I mean, tons of people live WEST of it for Christ’s sake! So insensitive!

        • Guest

          And just what are those “personal grievances”? You haven’t said. Whatever, I can assure you I have none, and to say I do would mean I have something personal to gain. I don’t. I AM concerned that St. Louis is a workable, desirable city for all. How is that personal if that’s what most of us want?

          Please, don’t take my word for it…look at the demographics of developing cities that have passed us by (I’m old enough to I remember when St. Louis ranked around 7 or 8 nationally in size and corporate clout, and higher as far as culture, nightlife). No other city has an 8 mile long “central corridor” to define it’s CBD. The growing trend is sustainability and convenience, which translates to walkability and centralization, and if people think this can be achieved by an 8 mile long “corridor”, I’d have to say that’s sheer ignorance.

          Midtown and CWE are not part of the CBD. They are areas that similarly exist in any large city…entertainment and more intense urban living. These areas fan out from the CBD…not strung out on some miles long swatch (unless some other feature is desirable enough, such as the lakefront in Chicago. St. Louis has no such feature, except possibly the Mississippi River.). We have, and always will have suburban areas, but their role is changing.

          Lol…about 30 years ago some people in St. Louis wanted to drop Illinois from the SMSA…until they found out it was more than a half million people…which would have rather drastically brought St. Louis down in the SMSA listing. So much for your comment about at least some local Missourians’ opinion of Illinois.

          So, I’d say “wow”…please learn something about how other cities function (especially the ones that have left us in the dust) before you make baseless comments and (goodness..!) accusations about my person. However, just as a side note, I’m not offended or “insulted” by your reply.

          • Adam

            Why would anyone (i.e. you) go through such contortions to take a completely innocuous term like “central corridor” and frame it as some nefarious pretense? “Central corridor” is not equal to “CBD” and nobody anywhere is claiming that it is except for you: “…lol…a CBD 8 miles long.” (But then you contradict yourself by saying that Midtown and CWE aren’t part of the CBD. So which is it?) In St. Louis, the CBD is a subset of the central corridor, as are Midtown and the CWE. It’s a convenient term for the dense stretch of city/county that runs from the river to Clayton. How is it any different than saying “east side” or “west side” or any number of direction-specific descriptions for parts of cities? What the hell does the term “central corridor” have to do with “the demographics of developing cities that have passed us by”? You haven’t even begun to make a case, despite your purported sweeping knowledge of how cities function (’cause, you know, none of us have traveled extensively or lived for 15 years on the east coast or in any of those developing cities or anything—oh, wait, yes I have.)

            “So much for your comment about at least some local Missourians’ opinion of Illinois.”

            This says to me that you completely missed the point of my comment. I have no desire to drop the metro east from the MSA and said nothing that could reasonably be interpreted as such.

          • Alex Ihnen

            IMO – it just happens to be the area where our greatest civic assets are located – the museums, universities, medical schools. Not sure it’s so different than Boston with the Back Bay (though that’s clearly more contiguous), or Buckhead in Atlanta, or Country Club Plaza in KC. OK, clearly none are exact copies, but every city has a different history of development, topography, etc. Nothing really crazy or nefarious about that, I don’t think.

          • Adam

            Exactly. I’m not sure why Guest expects that every city should draw from the same set of monikers, or how “central corridor” is in any way deceptive or insincere, as he/she seems to be suggesting. I suspect that Guest’s intended argument/beef is that the central corridor is seeing preferential treatment as compared to the rest of the city. Whether or not that is true or unwarranted, it has nothing to do with the term “central corridor”.

          • Guest

            Sure…I agree with you on this, Alex. But I have to ask…where have all the grade A office buildings in the last 30 years built? What big corporation is going to be the anchor of Ballpark Village office tower (IF it’s built)? Where are those CBD’s new big corporate office buildings of Boston, Atlanta, KC, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, etc. etc.etc being built? In a suburb?? I think if anyone can read a road map they can clearly deduct by common sense where the CBD is…it’s where all the interstates converge. Now, look at a map of St. Louis and this so called Central Corridor. Does it look easy to travel by interstate/expressway…paying attention to where all the office market is being built and where it isn’t? What’s the reality of easy access? What will it take to make easy access for travelers and exurban residents (and like it or not, exurbia is still, and likely will be in existence in the forseeable future) to make this giant 8 mile long central corridor a workable reality? I guess when it comes right down to it we tell the NIMBYS in those fine mansions in Clayton to go suck an egg and don’t stand in the way of progress in allowing the building of new expressways. Sheesh…imagine the expense of that. Imagine the stupidity of abandoning what’s already in place that could be improved instead of the ridiculousness in abandoning and building new. And why does an upper middle class city like Clayton allow such architecturally bland and cookie cutter sized structures to be built? Where are the Helmut Jahns, the I.M. Pei’s, the Sudio Gangs? If Clayton is indeed competent and upper middle class, it should at least have SOME of these fine architects among it’s structures. Instead, we have a skyline there that looks like a third world city. (I don’t mean any offense to the competent architects of what’s there…but ya gotta realize the architects are gonna give ya what you ask for).

            Those who disagree with me…please take a close look at the whole picture and search behind the scenes. St. Louis continues it’s slide down, down, down in perception from the rest of the country. Just last week I saw a map on line of the central states showing Chicago west to ~ Oklahoma City. The name of St. Louis was quite obviously erased off the map (wish I could remember the site). Obviously, the city was there, but no name. Do I really need to wonder why one would take the time to erase our city’s name? And I remember about 20 years ago a period movie being shot in St. Louis. One of the locations included an historic building downtown where a large, well known Kodak Film outlet was. It was a key element by the producers in keeping and portraying accuracy of sites in that film. Kodak would not allow their name used in that film. I have to wonder why a firm like Kodak would turn down free advertisement. I think I know why. I’ve personally talked to others when out of town and was saddened at many of their perceptions of our city (I always ask for honesty in those discussions)…but I won’t go there because this is dragging on too much…and besides, I know I’ll get all kinds of flack from it.

            So, believe what you will. I gotta voice my opinion. The odds are I’ll be dead within 10 years (and I guess there’s a couple here who’ll rejoice at that…lol) and it won’t matter to me by then, anyway.

          • STLEnginerd

            I think in general Guest you are preaching to the choir here. But the semantics of central corridor vs. downtown vs. central business district, isn’t worth the energy IMHO.

            I always like the comparison of our central corridor to the Island of Manhattan. Geographically they are roughly the same size and New Yorker’s often complain about the over emphasis of Manhattan over the surrounding Burroughs. DeBlaisio was elected on that argument if i remember correctly. I also bet cantankerous New Yorker’s get annoyed when some yokel refers to Manhattan as ‘downtown’. It is however a real place with real distinction from the surrounding city so it can be named as such.

            Incidentally, hopefully you will continue ranting for decades to come.

            P.S. Also I wish we had a better name for it than central corridor. So uninspiring.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Main Street St. Louis? :/

          • jhoff1257

            I don’t really see what’s wrong with Central Corridor. By definition that’s exactly what it is.

          • Nick

            It’s fair to say St. Louis’ national stature has been declining for some time, but I do think the actual decline of the region is overstated. The growth of the Clayton business district more than makes up for the decline of downtown (and I couldn’t disagree with you more that it’s ‘third world’…however it does have a bland vibe) and when those unfamiliar with the St. Louis region discuss the happenings here, they are usually only referring to things that happen within city limits. Contrary to what most seem to believe, I feel ‘St. Louis’ stands for the region, not just the city.

          • STLrainbow

            I disagree… we’re a slow growth region only faring better than a few rust belt peers and what population growth we do have is occurring beyond the City+County. That doesn’t mean it’s not still a nice place with a lot to offer, but we’re definitely falling behind. We have some bright spots that hopefully will improve our positioning, but we have a long way to go.

          • Nick

            I mean, what you just said is kinda what I’m also saying…my only rebuttal would be when you say we’re falling behind, who is that relative to? San Francisco, Chicago, New York, sure, we’re not in the same league as them. But Kansas City? That seems to be a more reasonable comparison, and they’re kind of in the same boat as us:

            http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article103195472.html

            KC, OKC, Indy, Memphis, we’re not really falling behind them so much as quietly coasting along with them (as is most of the middle of the country).

            All I’m saying is we look better as a region than as an individual city…which I think is fair as many county residents consider themselves St. Louisans, and many city residents work and spend significant time and money in the county.

          • STLrainbow

            While we may beat KC, Indy or other peers in one economic data point or other at any given time, as a whole these metros have been outgrowing us on a pretty consistent basis.

            But what I’m primarily getting at and concerned about is the City+County as a combined core unit has been faring very poorly nationally in recent decades and what has been going on in the County has not made up for the losses in the City; in fact last decade both City and County lost population. I believe our combined population high was the 1970 Census where we clocked in at around 1.575M people; we’ve lost over 250,000 people since then, nearly 20%. I believe only Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Wayne (Detroit) and Allegheny (Pittsburgh) Counties have seen a greater drop in population of a major metro core county.

            Again, much of the City and County are still great places and there are green shoots that provide hope for greater overall growth than in the past but I think its important to acknowledge we have tremendous challenges as well.

          • Nick

            I don’t think it’s as bleak as you say. Sure, we’ll never hit our peak population again, but while population in the county did drop over the 2000s, according to Wikipedia, estimates show it is now on the uptick:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_County,_Missouri

            Comparing us to KC again, I feel we have much more of a complex about the state of our city and its future than they do. I find them to be generally optimistic about how things are going, and I don’t think their projected trajectory is much different than ours. It seems the only thing they have going for them that we don’t is their downtown is more vibrant. Even that isn’t giving St. Louis a fair shake because we basically have two downtowns, one of which is very much so thriving. So I agree with you that the region is a great place to live…but I don’t think it’s as bad as many perceive it to be.

          • jhoff1257

            I’ve lived in KC for 10 years and this is exactly true. The people over here think this city is God’s greatest gift to man. All it is is a nice downtown surrounded by suburbs. St. Louis is wiping the floor with KC where it counts (employment numbers would be one good example). Also, I think STL has more going for it in more parts of the city. I live in Midtown KC and despite being a fun place to live I feel my neighborhood is ignored by City Hall. All the attention is downtown here, nothing is really happening anywhere else. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live on the East Side in KC, a whole swath of the city that is roundly ignored by officials here.

          • STLrainbow

            Don’t mean to belabor the stats, but STL County’s estimated growth is definitely lagging (again only ahead of a few peers) and when we include the estimated loss in the city, our core growth is negligible since 2010 – .06% (800 people). Compare to Jackson County, where it is up a modest 2% (13,000 people) or Marion County, where it is up 4% (36,000 people), which is the US national average. Then you get into places like the core counties for the Minneapolis, Columbus and Nashville metros and we come up really short with some of our hot heartland peers.

            We got to get beyond stagnation as a measure of progress.

          • jhoff1257

            I live in KC. There are no new corporate office buildings opening up downtown. All happening in the suburbs here. You might get a small company that will move 50 jobs downtown but there are no big corporate expansions happening in KC, outside of Cerner which is being constructed at a massive freeway interchange in the South KC suburbs.

            And stop ranting about people calling the 8 mile corridor the Central Corridor. Every major city has something similar, look it up. And Clayton doesn’t look anything like a 3rd World city…and nobody cares what Kodak said over 20 years ago. This city has changed immeasurably for the better in the last 20 years. And part of the reason our perception is so bad is the thousands of people that live in St. Louis that continually shit all over it like you. That 10 years can’t come fast enough…

          • Riggle

            There is no west side, what city are you talking about?

          • Adam

            I didn’t say St. Louis has a “west side”. Read it again.

          • jhoff1257

            When did people start calling the Central Corridor the CBD? I’ve never once heard it referred to this way. The CBD stops at Tucker as far as I’m concerned. The Central Corridor is just a name for the large urban corridor between the Arch and Clayton.

          • STLrainbow

            I haven’t hear the Central Corridor called the CBD before, but there was a recent article in the Post-Dispatch on the notion of the CC becoming one big downtown. I wanted to through my computer out the window.

          • Alex Ihnen

            There’s a thin line between describing the Central Corridor as the place where our office and institutions reside, and promoting it as an 8-mile “downtown”.

          • STLrainbow

            I dunno; seems like sort of a bright line to me… very little of our Central Corridor has the land use or spatial characteristics of a proper downtown of dense commercial/mixed-uses in a rather compact, accessible area. It’s our healthiest “urbanized” part of the region, but little of it is “downtown” in nature.

          • jhoff1257

            Who cares? I mean everyone outside the city already refers to the entire city as downtown anyway…so I don’t see why Guest or anyone else is losing their minds over this.

          • Riggle

            Only “morans” do that

          • jhoff1257

            I don’t disagree with you, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t care less either. Seems like a weird thing to get pissy about.

      • Riggle

        Mostly agree, although in the City its only 6 miles long, two miles in the suburbs so people in Clayton and Ucity can pretend they live in the City

      • jhoff1257

        Kansas City has one called the Southwest Corridor.

        Downtown to Brookside.

  • Tim E

    I think this is good plan. Plenty of entertain venues to be had and one more is only go to draw from somewhere else. The region is doing just fine with the Loop, Grand Center, Wash Ave and Cherokee Street or the Grove. At same time, I think the Armory going forward gives some more confidence in the demand for office, tech space in and around CORTEX/Central Corridor., for that matter the city.
    ..
    When I drove by the Armory yesterday my thought was a well planned hotel/platform that can make the connection Grand seemless is doable and will bring some much needed connectivity between Grand metrolink/viaduct to the SLU campus/Forest Parkway. Adding the Pedestrian crossing between Armory and Foundry will only make it better.
    ..
    Now if SLU could find the will and some dollars to make an at grade intersection happen for Grand and Forest Parkway.

    • David Hoffman

      I’ve been speaking with Joe Roddy, my alderman, about the condition of the existing intersection of Forest Park and Grand. He has persuaded the city to repair much of the crumbling curbs on FPP. Overall, though, the intersection looks blighted. Since it’s in such a high profile, high use area with much development around it, I’m a bit surprised it isn’t cared for more. Not sure raising to grade would be the best idea since all 4 directions already have access to turns in all directions. Wouldn’t that just add another stoplight? I’d be more for it if the FPP stoplights were computerized for better flow. Sorry for the ramble!

      • Tim E

        Definitely can see yours points. Not sure how to articulate it well but come to think Forest Parkway should really be treated as a grand blvd from at least Grand to what will be an at grade intersection with Kingshighway that would be better suited for the built area that is coming back… not another freeway when you got one nearby that is already intended to be one as such

        Also, Grand and FP being at grade will give semblance of being part of a connected neighborhood instead of SLU..Forest Park Speed way..short stretch of built environment…more ramps and I64…maybe the Armory development with future hotel/garage platform connected to Grand.
        ..
        Of course, the trade off is that some one will have the extra time of a stoplight as you note. Can’t argue that considering when I was back in St. Louis & saw a lot of east bound traffic heading towards city/Illinois this past Friday evening and suspect that a fair share of drivers utilize FP

      • Riggle

        You cant even cross this intersection on foot, its illegal

      • STLEnginerd

        If they can put FPP and Kingshighway at grade, they can do it with FPP and Grand.

        This upgrade should be part of an overall development plan. That plan should include how to reconfigure, grand and i64, and FPP Compton Market and i64, as well as future ROW for mass transit. FPP and Grand is actually the easiest of all of these.

        Computerization of lights is a good suggestion and should be the norm for any new light systems. But it shouldn’t be used as a foil to delay righting the intersection.

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  • Matt B

    Totally not what I thought they were gong to do with this. I thought they were going to use it more as a venue type project or complex. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs with the giant armory project going up right on the other side of the highway from this site. I’m also a bit pessimistic they’ll be able to get all the financing they are seeking giving the new republican controlled state government. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    • Brett

      Agreed. Still think it would have made an awesome Blues practice facility as someone else had suggested in the past.

      • Tim E

        Agree, I also think it would have imperative for SLU athletics desire to have a Divison 1 hockey team.

    • SnakePlissken

      I get that everyone hates Greitens bc he shoots guns, blows shit up and doesn’t want to fund a soccer stadium but he’s actually the most pro St. Louis political figure the State has had in a long time. We may finally see more state money flowing back to the city.

      • jhoff1257

        I’m with you here too. I’m not a Republican by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a City resident. He has been much closer to this city’s issues then any governor in recent memory. I’m hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic.

      • Tim E

        I doubt the state money part because the state doesn’t have any money and won’t make tough choices to increase the gas tax and the cig tax to least to match the overall average of neighboring states.

        However, it will be interesting to see his take on the tax credits play out. I think Green Street’s is looking at least Historic and Brownfield tax credits as Alex noted. However, the state has the good, the bad and ugly when comes to tax credits. Some reform is coming. I think that is where you will see Greiten’s support for the city or not IMO. Does he keep Historic and Brownfield tax credits viable, or not?

      • Nick

        Maybe I’m not dialed in as much as others but I’m curious, other than living in St. Louis, what evidence has he shown to be ‘pro St. Louis?’ So far the only specific St. Louis relevant action I’m aware of is his stance to deny state funds for the soccer stadium.

        • Riggle

          None

    • Tim E

      I think the threat of a major change is tax credits is in part driving some urgency into this project and hopefully others, such as Jeff Arms and Railway Exchange downtown. Either make the push to make it happen now or risk a major financing avenue not being there or more likely, more competitive on the tax credits that will be available in the future..
      ..
      The second thing of note is that I believe CORTEX space available is minimal at best. So the push is on to make some new available space on the fringes such as Foundry project and now Armory. Curious how quick they make it happen before Wexford or even Koman breaks ground in CORTEX. And hopefully, all the above happens as well as Crescent.