Westin Hotel, Retail Planned for Habitat for Humanity Site on FP Avenue

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Today, we’ve learned what may be next for the Habitat for Humanity site listed for sale this past August. There were reportedly multiple bidders for the property across from the massive City Foundry project, and near Cortex. Plans show an 8-story Element Hotel by Westin fronting Forest Park Avenue.

Planned for the former Headquarters of Habitat Humanity, The Hotel will add to the ever changing Forest Park Parkway-Vandeventer area of Midtown. The $25 Million project will bring around 153 Rooms to the area and add to the Urban Streetscape of Forest Park Avenue. Upon Completion in 2018, if goes as planned, it will be another key part of this region’s revitalization. The Element Building will have 10,000 square feet of street-level retail space facing Forest Park Avenue, adding to what is set to become the first major retail district in St. Louis City in decades.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Maryland Heights-based Midas Hospitality purchased the site for $2.4M.

An aerial image of the hotel showing context with City Foundry also appears to show previously unknown buildings at that project. The new tower, east of the BYCO building, which is rumored to be a grocery store, appears to be on the site of the Falstaff Brewery Plant No. 1. The building has been home to Jimmy John’s, The Lab Gym, and other uses in recent years.

*This story will be updated.

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  • David Hoffman

    Lots of great development in this area. The city/state really need to redo the intersection of Grand and Forest Park Parkway. FPP especially is in terrible shape as it goes under Grand. The city recently did minimal curb repair, but the area is crumbling and full of debris. With an expected continual rise in traffic, what about tending to the infrastructure?

  • Kevin

    What’s with the lot across the street from the proposed new building and directly east of the library annex?

    • STLrainbow

      A few years back the owner had an apartment plan in the works but not sure if that’s still being pursued.

  • John

    Nice to see the hotel development. I wonder how well the white building will age without showing wear and discoloration over time. The white building trend looks decent enough but will become dated and show its age, I’m afraid. Earth tones would be nicer in my opinion, but it’s not my choice.

  • Alex Ihnen

    Sometimes I wish the inevitable comments about traffic would just begin and end with “BUT CARS!”

    • HawkSTL

      I expect to see Alex out in the rain on FPP in U City next to Wash. U. clamoring for a road diet there:) But Cars!

      • Riggle

        This is next stl, not next suburbia ֤

        • STLrainbow

          Also seems to not understand the difference b/w FPP and FPA.

          • HawkSTL

            Drive down it everyday, so, yes, understand FPP becomes FPA (formerly FPB) at Kingshwy. Just shorthand.

          • STLrainbow

            Is it more or less just a difference in names in your book?

          • HawkSTL

            Yes. Ever been down FPP adjacent to Wash. U.? Only difference is grass is on north side instead of median. Not really a “Parkway” in most places along the entire length of the road.

          • STLrainbow

            I have. The difference between FPP and FPA is that while the parkway isn’t precisely the same thing as a limited-access freeway, it functions somewhat in the same way – even along the Danforth Campus to a degree.

            FPAvenue otoh is in a highly urbanized context and with ever-increasing activity. Without a doubt bike/ped treatments are going to need to be considered with great care if the area is to reach its potential.

          • HawkSTL

            That’s splitting hairs. Take look east of Skinker and then east of Tayler. No difference b/w the segments. But, oh well.

          • Adam

            What? FPP east of Skinker is flanked by Metrolink tracks on one side and the backs of apartment buildings on the other. FPA east of Kingshighway is flanked by businesses, office buildings, apartments, condos, and even a few single-family homes all the way to Grand. How is that “no difference”? There is absolutely no reason for FPA to be three lanes. I’ve never seen more traffic on that stretch than can be handled by two lanes moving at 40 mph. The tree-lined median along FPA is actually pretty great and offers a mid-crossing refuge for pedestrians. Now change the outer-most lane on each side to a protected bike lane, lower the speed limit to 35 mph, paint some crosswalks that are actually visible, and done.

          • HawkSTL

            So we’ve now moved from restore the grid to re-make the grid because those prior engineers were (pick your pejoritive). Got it.

          • Adam

            nice try.

          • STLrainbow

            Speed limit is 30 mph on FPA but few abide by that b/c of the design.

          • HawkSTL

            Drive it during the evening commute. The 6 lanes are needed.

          • Adam

            I have. No they’re not. And I’m stopping now because I don’t have time for another endless back and forth with you. We’re just not going to agree or convince one another.

          • HawkSTL

            Clearly, you haven’t. Cars sit 4-5 turns through the stoplight going westbound on FPP at Vandeventer due to volume/backups. FPP is 6 lanes there. Maybe you do not have demands on your time. For the rest of us, that is more than headache to get to school events, practices, etc. Drive it anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and you’ll see.

          • Adam

            Guess I didn’t work at Duncan and FPA for 5 years. Weird. It felt so real.

            Also, maybe you overestimate the value of your time.

          • HawkSTL

            Jeez. Duncan runs parallel to FPP and is west of where I’m talking about. Value of time? Many professions bill in time increments. You may wish to look into that, or at least think before saying such things.

          • Adam

            “Duncan runs parallel to FPP…”

            Yes, I misspoke. Boyle. I worked in Cortex.

            “…and is west of where I’m talking about.”

            Funny. For half my time there I took 44 to Kingshighway to FPA to Boyle. Never had a problem. For the other half I lived in Benton Park and took Jefferson to Chouteau to Manchester to Boyle. Or Chouteau to Vandeventer to FPA. There are numerous N-S connectors along FPA that one can use to get to Kingshighway or Vandeventer or Grand. If you’re getting on 64 you might need to wait a few minutes at a light. Too f*cking bad. That’s the nature of highway commuting. I guess I just don’t expect the city to be built for my driving convenience above everything else.

            “Many professions bill in time increments.”

            WUUUUUUUT!?!? Well in that case we should totally build our roads so that professionals can optimize their billed time and not so that people can cross the street safely or use a form of transportation other than a car.

            I guess it’s your turn again since this never ends.

          • HawkSTL

            So, your total commuting experience on FPP consists of 4 blocks from Kingshwy. to Boyle. 4 entire blocks. Explains everything actually.

          • Adam

            Sad that you missed (or more likely chose to ignore) the entire point of alternate routes. bye, Hawk.

          • HawkSTL

            Didn’t miss the alternate routes (all north/south). They are irrelevant to the east/west commuters on FPP. 4 blocks.

          • HawkSTL

            Adam – your comments above and my below response show the precise problem here. Your commute to work is largely unaffected by changes to FPP because you only drove it for 4 blocks. The rest of us schmucks then have to deal with your policy decisions and wait 5 cycles for lights to change at FPP and Vandeventer due to volume/backups. We deal with it, and you don’t. It’s easy to make decisions that don’t affect you and your family (suburbanite do-gooders have been doing that for years to the city, in making decisions for others that don’t personally affect them). In the future, to remind you of that, I will end response posts to you with “4 blocks.” In other words, don’t advocate/make decisions that affect me when they don’t affect you at all.

          • Adam

            “It’s easy to make decisions that don’t affect you and your family… In other words, don’t advocate/make decisions that affect me when they don’t affect you at all.”

            yet it’s totally cool for drive-through commuters to disregard the people that actually live near, walk across, or bike down these death-trap stroads because it’s more important that your commute be 5 minutes shorter. we’re done with this conversation. you’re oblivious to your hypocrisy.

          • HawkSTL

            Hypocrisy? That area is my neighborhood (and is not yours). 4 blocks.

          • Adam

            Sorry, just had to say that

            “In the future, to remind you of that, I will end response posts to you with ‘4 blocks.’

            is brilliant. Can’t wait. It’s gonna make a huge impact.

          • HawkSTL

            Happy to help. 4 blocks.

          • STLrainbow

            You must be really, really bad at those “spot the differences” brain teasers.

          • HawkSTL

            Nope — really good at finding Waldo:)

        • HawkSTL

          Then why is the moderator a suburbanite?

    • Danger!

      BUT CARS!

  • Presbyterian

    That aerial rendering is great. I know City Foundry just took control of the three lots across the street from the proposed hotel — the lots that had been houses (since demolished). I look forward to seeing how this corridor develops.

  • stlnative

    Who’s the architect? How nice of them to rip off LGs rendering.

    • RosarioSTL

      I would think you would need to request permission to use someone else’s drawings in such a manner. Yikes.

  • MidtownBill

    What kind of plans are there to reduce car traffic and increase pedestrian accessibility on forest park parkway? It would be awesome for Spring street to become an easy access for slu students to the Foundry, but I feel that the pseudo highway that is forest park parkway needs to be completely re-designed around that area

    • HawkSTL

      Sure – turn a pkwy/blvd into a residential street. I’m sure it will go wonderfully.

      • MidtownBill

        What would your plan be for the Foundry development to reach a large market of college students right next door? From my experience, it is almost impossible to cross that street without having a car zip past you around 50-60 mph

        • stlnative

          The intersection will probably be reworked to include a wider sidewalk and incorporate the GRG trail on the south side of FPA on the edge of the Foundry. I’m assuming the GRG trail will split at FPA/Spring and go north to SLU and south to the “Innovation Bridge.”

          • RosarioSTL

            Bingo.

        • HawkSTL

          There are these new things called “crosswalks.” They work well. In all seriousness though, I crossed FPP to go to class for years. Speed limit was 40 mph. Not a big deal.

          • jhoff1257

            Putting aside your snark, Bill here raises some good questions. I’ve almost been hit by 3 cars on FPP while legally crossing the street using marked crosswalks. One of those times the car actually drove into the giant concrete block on the FPP center median while I was standing on that poor excuse of a pedestrian “refuge.” Thank god that block was there or me and the other half a dozen people crammed into that little space would have been toast.

            Speeding is a problem on that street without question. A road diet and thinner lanes and while we’re at it, mid-block crosswalks would be a welcome addition between Euclid and Grand.

          • HawkSTL

            All I can say is that your experience was much different than mine. Perhaps you had it coming. I don’t know.

          • jhoff1257

            Yes, imagine that, people have different experiences then you. Probably explains why some of us have different opinions about this stuff then you as well.

          • HawkSTL

            Not really. You have to really work to get hit by a car there. I took chances by jaywalking, but I never tried to make a point with a car approaching. I either didn’t walk out in front or moved quickly. Or, I used the crosswalk in high traffic. That’s why I didn’t have a problem. After years of that experience and now driving through there, I have seen those who are trying to make a point that they are somehow entitled to walk out in front of traffic, move slowly, etc. outside the crosswalk. They are seemingly trying to make a point and are asking to be hit. If you want to walk slowly, use Laclede. Walk on campus. The drivers have a right to drive. If you don’t want to deal with high traffic and fast cars, don’t live on a major street. Otherwise, deal with it. Your choice.

          • jhoff1257

            Two of the people that almost hit me were staring at their cell phones and hadn’t seen their light turn red. The third was the guy that drove into the concrete median.

            But yes, me crossing on a crosswalk with a walk signal is just selfish entitled behavior. Being behind the wheel of a 2,000 pound car looking into your phone is perfectly fine, just let people drive, right? You are a poor excuse for a human being.

          • HawkSTL

            Yes, the cell phone reading is an epidemic and is not limited to major streets. On the other hand, the sight line there is long. You had no idea that a car, when it was not slowing down, may hit you? You continued to walk across anyway? It’s starting to sound like contributory negligence by you so long as the drivers did try to avoid you. Perhaps your “different” experience is merely agenda-driven. That’s what it appears to be anyway. BTW – love the name calling. Classy.

          • jhoff1257

            Obviously I saw it coming, I didn’t get hit, I was able to avoid it by hauling ass out of the way. Except when the guy hit the median and I was in the refuge, I still can’t figure out how he managed to pull that off…just drove right into it. Still doesn’t change the fact that a motorist wasn’t paying attention those other times and a few changes to the street, like narrower lanes and a slower speed limit might keep someone from getting so easily distracted. God forbid it take you an extra minute to get to your destination.

          • HawkSTL

            Bad things can happen when people panic – particularly in cars. Glad you were okay.

          • jhoff1257

            I’m just glad you weren’t driving.

          • HawkSTL

            Well, I certainly wouldn’t have hit the median.

          • jhoff1257

            I will definitely give you that. Was at Forest Park and Euclid. I was in the refuge in the middle of Forest Park walking toward the train station. This guy was making a left from Euclid onto eastbound FP and just drove right into it. I’ve never seen anything like it. Luckily everyone kind of saw the turn go bad and got out of the way. We all had a good laugh and then continued to the station.

          • Riggle

            You are a dream

          • HawkSTL

            Have you been able to move out of your parents’ basement yet?

          • Riggle

            Have yoy moved to the County yet?

          • HawkSTL

            Rooting for you to move out of mom’s place.

          • MidtownBill

            Again, I don’t understand your point here. The area around FPP south of SLU’s campus is drastically changing with a significant influx of residents and many bars/restaurants set to open. As a result, there will be many more people crossing FPP on a daily basis than at any point in the past. From my personal experience, that 6 lane “street” (honestly, it’s pretty much one of the widest roads in the city between Grand and Vandeventer) is already a hazard even with very minimal pedestrians. It is pretty obvious that the road needs to be changed to account for the hundreds of new residents in the Foundry, plus the increased foot traffic from SLU students.

            I fail to understand why that would be a bad thing?

          • HawkSTL

            Cars have to go somewhere. Restricting at one point causes backups on adjacent streets. Cause and effect. I realize that many here want to get people out of their cars. This won’t do it. They will take Hwy. 40 and avoid the city streets (and the businesses there). I’ve reacted that way, and I live in the city. Think about those with a longer commute. Not a good thing.

          • MidtownBill

            I disagree. I usually take Lindell to Grand on my commute to slu’a medical campus, but I can also take FPP to grand, or Vandy to Chouteau. I don’t think shrinking FPP between Grand and Vandy would cause any issues whatsoever for daily commutes because it’s pretty easy to access alternative routes to get to Grand or especially highway 40, where FPP eventually merges. There’s not really a point anymore in having that stretch of FPP serve as a large path for cars when the highway is right next to it….

            Plus I don’t really understand your argument that it would make people avoid that part of the city. People taking FPP down that stretch aren’t necessarily doing it to access those parts of the city anyways…

          • HawkSTL

            Nope — they are taking FPP to stay off of Hwy. 40. You have it backwards.

          • Riggle

            I bet you respect them too

          • HawkSTL

            Them, yes, you . . . not decided.

          • MidtownBill

            Where did you cross FPP? At the Grand intersection? Cars move slower at the intersection (though it’s still a terrible intersection), but It’s a completely different story when you pass Grand going west and have an open road right in front of you for almost a mile

          • HawkSTL

            Jaywalked between Spring and Vandeventer. Never had a problem.

    • HawkSTL

      Let me additionally point out that FPP is an even higher speed/more restrictive access strode in U. City and Clayton. It’s also directly adjacent to (not just near) a university. Not a peep from the road diet crowd, most of whom reside in the burbs, about it. Do as I say, not as I do (again).

      • Riggle

        No they don’t

        • HawkSTL

          Here is an instance where a complete sentence would help.

      • Framer

        Yeah, I don’t see what the big deal is about crossing FPP. You push the button, wait for the “Walk” light, then cross.

      • MidtownBill

        I don’t think you understand the point i was trying to make. Yes, there’s a “crosswalk” that I have used before, but again, the area is much more populated and there are a whole lot more cars driving through than there used to be just a few years ago. Add in the Foundry development, a couple hundred more residents walking in the vicinity, along with slu students actually crossing that street on a regular basis, and you have a pretty significant potential for accidents. I understand that you could just “jaywalk” back when you were in the area, but with the way the area is set up to develop the next few years, I just don’t see how FPP as it is now is very conducive to pedestrians/students who just want to go out for dinner/a drink without having cars flying by on a three lane road….

  • Mike B

    Looks like the new building on west side of FPP would mean demolition of Pappos and buildings all the way east to the Hendricks BBQ/Midtown Sushi building??

    • Adam

      Based on the blue outline it looks like Pappo’s is not in the footprint but the adjacent black-and-white-painted building is.