Second New Residential Tower Proposed Overlooking Busch Stadium

Another 33-story apartment tower has been proposed across from Busch Stadium according to documents the city’s Preservation Board released this week. This proposal is not the planned Ballpark Village residential tower but instead is a second, competing tower. The planned tower will have undulating glass walls with balconies at the corners and structured parking below. HDA Architects is listed as the designer. The firm declined a request for comment on Thursday.

The developer has proposed demolition for the six story structure currently at the location at 300 S. Broadway at Clark Ave, adjacent to the Tums factory. The existing 93,000 square foot building was built around 1900 was the home of Cal Hirsch & Sons Mercantile Company.

Red brick pilasters frame brick arches that sit atop a stone base. Currently the building serves as the Joseph P. Cosand Community College Center of St. Louis Community College. The school bought the structure in 1980 and uses it to house its Chancellor’s office and district administrative offices. The school announced its intention to sell the building last April.

While in a preservation review district, the neighborhood is not a historic district. The city’s Cultural Resources Office is expected to release its recommendation next week. Demolition will require approval from the city’s Preservation Board, whose decisions can be appealed.

  • Chris Orlet

    Why the f**k can’t they tear down the parking garage next door and build their ugly glass box there instead of destroying one of the last beautiful historic buildings downtown? Idiots!

  • Presbyterian

    Dec 18, 2017: The Preservation Board voted tonight to require the developer to incorporate the historic facade into their design for 300 S. Broadway. The developer states that this requirement will kill the project.

    • Adam

      Good and oh, well. It’s prime real estate. If not them then someone else will snatch it up, preserve the facade, and make a shitload of money selling units to rich people who want views into the ballpark.

    • WikiWild

      It will be interesting to see if this project stays alive if they get their 20 year tax abatement they are looking for in today’s meeting.

    • brickhugger

      On this, I would support incentives from the city to help make the numbers work. But I would very much like to see them (not likely to happen, but I do economic development by profession, so if given the chance I could reasonably see if the developer is lying or not).

  • One way to upgrade a city’s architecture is to: 1. Only allow replacement of a building with one that is better architecturally. 2. If you meet 1. but you could have built on abandoned or parking lot very close by and retain both a new building and an existing building, do it. Find a way.

    So I believe this project can probably meet 1. above. But I’m afraid the builder probably may not consider the parking lot nearby to be as desirable for a tower, even if it was for sale (isn’t all real estate for sale if you offer enough?), It isn’t as visible from the Busch Stadium press box and TV cameras. And the view into the stadium might not be quite as good at middle stories. So I’m hoping they keep the Hirsch building outer frame, at least on the West and part of the North, and build the tower above it.

  • WikiWild

    https://www.bisnow.com/st-louis/news/multifamily/apartment-tower-planned-near-busch-stadium-82483

    “As yet, no renderings for the tower at 300 South Broadway have been released”

    Apparently the guy who wrote this national article didn’t bother to read the full article he is summarizing…

    • jhoff1257

      They probably sourced it from the original Post-Dispatch article when the news broke. No rendering was available at that time. According to the link you posted they corrected this several hours ago.

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  • Jakeb

    “…please get rid of those dull stadium garages”

    This is a sentiment expressed here often. While I would not mourn the loss of the stadium garages they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. They are cash cows worth a fortune.

    To illustrate the value of the garages (East and West) when Bill DeWitt purchased the Cardinals from AB in 1996, he paid $150M for the team, the old stadium and both garages. He promptly sold the garages for $100M. It’s hard to imagine what they are worth in 2017.

    Until downtown rents (commercial and residential) approach Chicago levels, the economic reality is that no developer could purchase either or both garages at market value and build a financially successful project.

    • STLrainbow

      Stadium East garage is appraised at $28M (and pays just under $1M/yr. in property taxes), the same amount as the 100 S. Broadway office tower just to the north. I think the revolting Kiener garages — smaller and appraised at $8M each — would be a more realistic, and worthy, attempt at a tear-down/replacement.

      • Jakeb

        I agree re the Kiener garages. Much more realistic.

        I assume these ‘appraisals’ you cite are the property tax assessments and not a recent commercial appraisal using an income capitalization approach?

        I’m not a real estate expert, but I’m having a hard time believing something that sold for $50M 21 years ago could have lost so much value since that time while generating millions of dollars a year in revenue.

        • STLrainbow

          correct.

        • WikiWild

          You are correct: Appraised value from a municipality does not equal actual market value.

  • Robert Barquero

    Normally, I’d support this, but there is a gorgeous economically viable building on the spot, and a block south there is a surface lot that could use a 33 story building… perhaps a partnership effort is merited.

  • brickhugger

    Given that there is a vacant lot immediately to the south of this building (its used for parking, but that doesn’t make it any less vacant) there is no reason to demolish the other building to build this one. I like the design, but this is just another example of demolishing a perfectly good building when there is a lot right next door that could serve the same purpose.

    • jhoff1257

      It could serve the same purpose if the owner of that lot put it up for sale. Like others have mentioned, you can’t just build wherever you want. The developers of this building own the STLCC lot, not the lot down the block. I agree with you that moving it South is the best course of action, but that’s not going to happen.

      • brickhugger

        Well certainly that’s true. So it’s a matter of contacting the owner of that lot (he owns a mortgage company in las vegas), and making an offer. the asking price will come with a premium, but it seems to me that this is a case where incentives are actually merited; to get a new development and save an old one.

    • Jakeb

      Do you believe the City should use imminent domain to take real estate from individuals to resell for private use? Does Missouri law even permit this? I believe it happened in the past but I recall it being controversial.

      • brickhugger

        Only in certain circumstances, yes. And there was a U.S. Supreme Court case that said that this is allowed (Kelo v. New London 2005) I would prefer the property be bought instead of taken, because I’m not a huge fan of eminent domain, but is a situation like this I think it is a tool that can be used (preferably as a last resort).
        Another example where I would use E.D. is the parking lot on the SE corner of Delmar and Euclid. The Roberts brothers have sat on that lot for years (and supposedly it’s up for sale, but under what terms I know not), and if developed properly, it is the one place where the Delmar barrier could be broken.

        • Jakeb

          I’d guess that the city would use the same discretion in E.D. that they use in subsidies / tax abatement. But that’s just me.

  • THE NEWSLETTER05

    I want this to happen please get rid of those dull stadium garages

  • Karby65

    Would think this would be more useful at the old Mike Shannon’s site.

  • Grove Res

    Come to think of it…isn’t this kind of like putting a giant mirror across from batters at Busch Stadium reflecting the setting sun directly into their eyes? Yikes 😉

  • Nick

    Cool design and I hope it comes through. My biggest worry is this combined with the BPV development we will continue to see Wash Ave businesses fall behind, which is the street with the most character/potential downtown IMO.

    • Rusty

      Shit he’s right

    • Tim E

      i think the bigger question for Wash Ave is if Jeff Arm, Railway Exchange and Chemical can move forward. Plans in the work, tax credits be applied for and so forth but I don’t believe any of them are a definite go.

  • John

    We have to give up an older, historic building to get a new, modern building. Considering the slow pace of tall building development in the City of St. Louis, this seems like a no-brainer. We NEED projects like this!

    I do not support any public funding or welfare TIF or handout tax abatement for this project. Otherwise, I am not overly concerned about the loss of one brick building. I do hope they build this with high-end, quality construction materials.

    Overall, there is never going to be one project to “make or break” St. Louis. Development and redevelopment of all sizes can improve the city. Of course it would be nice if everything was win-win and no loss of an older structure, but I “get” that this location is prime near the ballpark.

    Go St. Louis! We need more positive news!

    • jhoff1257

      I bet my last dollar a significant subsidy will be involved.

      • John

        Unfortunately, I know your’re right because St. Louis has created an environment in which developers feel entitled to WELFARE HANDOUTS. As much as I like this idea of a new, modern, tall building in downtown, I don’t want it if a single dime of public money has to finance it. I am tired of the lame excuses from developers about project feasibility and reliance on tax abatement and public funding.

        • jhoff1257

          St. Louis didn’t create that. This is America, massive handouts of public money are given to corporations all the time, in every city. I live in KC, no development gets off the ground here without all the same incentive programs. This is a nation of handouts for rich people. Might as well settle in, because it’s only going to get worse.

  • Imran

    The symbolic disruption of a worn out narrative and of low self esteem is tempting. I wonder though if this same thought process yielded the metropolitan building and the SBC behemoth or heck even the mansion house complex. Weren’t they all, at one time, supposed to save and revitalize downtown?

    I firmly believe in smaller scale incremental change, the kind that comes with continued use of historic brick buildings. And if you must build a ‘look-at-me, I’ve arrived’ tower the process should, first, DO NO HARM.

    And how about declining any public financing component to this project if we are to give up the future use value of a historic building?

  • Bread

    Too tall, modern-looking, and out of place. How about we do two separate 15-story buildings instead and connect them with a skywalk? Not so much glass either!

    • jhoff1257

      This has got to be sarcasm. There are 5 or 6 other buildings downtown that are taller than this and a new tower that will be only 4 stories shorter than this one is breaking ground next week. At the same intersection. I have my qualms with this project, but it’s height and look aren’t any of them.

    • Deandre

      same ole non forward looking stl residents.

    • SmokesOut

      I like modern and tall. Looks good. I support it. Need way more development downtown. There’s too little as it is. There are down sizers who want to get out of home ownership and this would be perfect for them. Need more housing options and this is a good one.

    • opendorz

      Are you out of your mind? Downtown desperately needs more architecturally bold buildings of substantial height. If anything it would be better if 60 stories. We are low on the Totem Pole when compared to even smaller cities when it comes to height of tallest buildings. It’s embarrassing.

      • jhoff1257

        Actually it’s not embarrassing. I live in a smaller city and their tallest building is a few feet taller then the Met Square. I don’t understand these pissing matches STL people always want get into about mundane details of no real substance. These are wealthy homes for wealthy people, it’ll look good on the skyline and that’s about it. The work people are doing in North Sarah, Forest Park Southeast, Cherokee, South Grand, Old North, Hyde Park and many other city neighborhoods (historic neighborhoods that are largely unmatched in much of the Midwest I’ll add) are what will actually transform this city. St. Louis’ lack of some super tall building isn’t a knock. Leave Downtown and see some of the amazing work people are doing for the neighborhoods that desperately need it. Far from embarrassing.

        • opendorz

          I absolutely agree with everything you wrote about the neighborhood rehab work, and how that is a wonderful accolade for our city. This is not an either/or debate, however. We need both modern eye-popping additions to our otherwise architecturally mundane (save for few exceptions) downtown as well as historic rehab. Think of how much pride generations of St. Louisans still take in our soaring Arch. Now name one other structure built in the last 50 years that evokes even a whisper of that affection. That is what is sad, and embarrassing. We are big enough and great enough than to settle for a single structure of this status.

      • gmichaud

        Helsinki, Finland does not allow high rises except in the suburbs. The city proper is approximately the same physical size as St. Louis although the population is over 500,000. The population of the two metro areas are approximately the same. The difference is Helsinki is adding around 10,000 in population a year. It is a beautiful city with excellent mass transit. Their stadium, Olympic, is about the same size as Busch, it has one parking garage and parking in total for about 3600 cars. I have estimated there is at least 15,000 spaces are around Busch Stadium. I wrote Helsinki Planning at one point and asked what percentage of people took transit to stadium events and they answered back they weren’t sure of the per cent, but with the number of parking spaces practically everyone walks, rides bicycles or takes transit.
        It’s not the lack of huge high rises that is the problem in St. Louis, it’s the extremely poor urban planning that harms St Louis. Parking lots would never be allowed in Helsinki the way it is the status quo of doing business in St. Louis. If a developer offers a project in St. Louis Otis Williams, SLDC. the Mayor and the Board of Alderman pee all over themselves in excitement and give away public money carte blanche. Building a better city isn’t considered except mildly and certainly massive parking lots never stand in the way. The fact the St Louis public and the developer don’t already know the status of community college building within a larger urban context points to the root of the problem. In fact there isn’t a larger urban context in St. Louis, none, nada.
        If you google Helsinki on maps and start say at Senate Square which is in the heart of Helsinki, you will find there a complete lack of massive or smaller parking lots anywhere, unlike here in St. Louis. I might add Helsinki is not the only city that manages high rise development in their urban environment.
        High rises have nothing to do with building great cities, some cities go crazy for them and get them to work properly, but it has nothing to do with building humane, people friendly, attractive cities. A high rise of any size is one choice among many. It’s the rest of the choices St Louis is screwing up on.

        • Nick

          We have parking lots everywhere downtown and throughout StL because 85% of the metro’s population live outside city limits and use autos as their main form of transportation. The primary reasons for this decentralization are white flight and deindustrialization, much like every other midwestern city, which is beyond the control of any local officials. With some exceptions urban planning is primarily a reaction to these realities, not a cause of them.

          • gmichaud

            I’m afraid you are wrong. Your approach and attitude is the same as city and regional officials and why St. Louis is such a mess. If you are interested in research there is a book called Vallingby and Farsta-from Idea to Reality by David Pass, MIT press. It is a detailed description of the process in building new suburbs north and south of Stockholm, Sweden. Today I believe it is around 80 percent of commuters use transit to get into central Stockholm. The book describes the process of integrating the needs of people, including pedestrian friendly environments, transit and of course the automobile as an equal partner.
            Sure you can make transit difficult to use, unattractive and undesirable. You can also make environments that people don’t want to be in, and what happens as a consequence, the population declines and the region is static, this describes St. Louis.
            It is no accident that corporations, sports teams and individuals don’t want to be in St. Louis, the horrible planning process has made the city and region undesirable as hell.
            The first consideration should be design for people, then transit will follow behind as will the automobile, both will need some effort to accommodate them.
            You apparently, just like city officials, ascribe some magical decision making power to the automobile as if human beings cannot control what is happening to their environment.
            You should ask yourself why so many cities are more successful than St. Louis. Each has its own decision making process like Stockholm. If you do a close examination of any of these cities you will find they put the needs of the human being above the needs of the automobile.

          • Nick

            Ok buddy. Feel free to continue to misrepresent my positions to make yours more tenable. Also feel free to continue comparing St. Louis to cities that have virtually no similarities to StL. Cheers

        • opendorz

          Europe in general has no tradition of high rise structures. In America they are a defining element of urban success. In this measure STL is failing.

    • Butter

      Love it!

  • JB

    Love when commenters just assume that the developer can simply pick any lot they want to build on. “Build on one of the empty parking lots..even though you don’t own them and the people who do aren’t interested in selling them to you!”

    Yes, it’s unfortunate that the lot they’ve tabbed for this development is occupied by a historic building. I think we would all prefer it be built in place of a bland parking garage or lot. But it’s hard to argue the potential positives of adding another Class A residential high-rise to a downtown that desperately needs investment and growth. Ideally they could integrate the existing structure into the larger development like we’ve seen in Chicago/NY, etc. I’d assume the Board will ask that question.

    Hypothetically, let’s say that this building along with the BPV development sparks a run of retail/residential/office investment in that immediate area and turns South Downtown into a legit neighborhood as opposed to a seasonal entertainment district that is open 80 days a year? Is it worth the collateral damage of losing a soon-to-be-vacant historic building in a city littered with vacant historic buildings? Investment of this magnitude – skyline changing growth – is the potential that everyone was excited about when BPV was originally pitched. This would certainly be a step in that direction

    • jhoff1257

      I don’t know why, but my bullshit detector is spiking on this one. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will fall where most other residential high-rise proposals for Downtown have fallen. In the garbage. Regardless of what the PRB says about the STLCC building.

      Having said that we can all have a little wishful thinking, can’t we? Why not contact the owner of some of these other empty lots and see about a partnership. Nothing wrong with that.

      • JB

        I think there’s a good chance it doesn’t happen as well, although they went into it with full knowledge of the BPV tower going up across the street. City will have to tie the demo permits in with financing approval, so there’s no chance that the building is knocked down and the high-rise never goes up.

        As for a partnership, how do we know that hasn’t been tried? In a perfect world, all the historics are restored and all the empty lots have gorgeous modern high-rises, but reality rarely plays out that way. If you’re the city, do you take your shot that this building goes up or do you decline and cross your fingers that another one comes along in an empty lot?

        • jhoff1257

          How do we know it was tried? This is STL, these things often happen behind closed doors and then come out of left field like this one did. Considering the owner of the parking lot south of this has a propensity for constructing high-rises I may be inclined to take a chance…

          But yes, at the end of the day if the old building goes down and this one goes up, I won’t be out there with a pitchfork. It’s beautiful, transformative, and would most certainly make a statement. Things desperately needed Downtown. And this is a rare occasion where an old downtown building gets taken down and replaced with something that is actually a worthy replacement. But Busch was built to replicate the historic brick warehouses that surround it and I’d hate to see one of the few left get replaced, especially when you consider the huge amount of empty space just 300 feet to the south. So yeah, all in all, if this goes the distance I won’t be disappointed. Hopefully it will spur something else about 300 feet away…

          • JB

            No disagreement, but I don’t think this is unique to STL. Every city has 99% of their development deals done behind closed doors and every city has wrestling matches of highest/best use, historic vs. new, etc.

  • Tom of the Missouri

    I suggest the city condemn one of those two unsightely or “blighted” 60’s era parking garages located north-west and north-east of the stadijum for the new building.
    These gastly ugly eyesore garages are close to the staduim which should make the builder happy. . Then the owner of the parking garge can build a new parkng garage over by I-64 on one of those emply lots where the traffic noise will cause no problems. Parkers I am sure will not complain if they have to walk an extra block. If the Cardinal org. owns the garages, tell them to either fish or cut bait and build their own new high rises or keep their mouths shut. God know how many subsidies and subsidized takings they have already benefited from at tax payer expenses already, thus they should understand if one lot is “taken” from them.

    Surely the city has learned their lesson about tearing down rehabbable significant historic buildings. “Don’t tear that nice building. Someone can rehab it and put some more Wrigley field style seats on top of it.

    • THE NEWSLETTER05

      Please please will someone listen to us, get rid of those tacky stadium garages they give downtown such a gloomy tacky appeal.If they need to park that bad put the shyt south of the stadium and place something vibrant there like a high rise or shopping district.The parking garage attract thugs and bad elements.Tacky.

  • RJ

    I like the tower not sure about the location and tearing down a historic building with so many surface parking lots. A better location would be west of the stadium at the metrolink station. There could be an issue with the height. I like a 33-story building but there is an ordinance prohibiting anything taller than 289 feet on the east side of Broadway.

  • Jakeb

    I love the design.

  • Jakeb

    Distance from the Interstate is a major factor. Residential towers adjacent to, and overlooking Interstate highways are not https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c1375719123fad53eb0e266f52a12dbbf0ce5f2caf86c10ae367ad8044329dc.png desirable places to live.

    • jhoff1257

      Here in Kansas City several apartment developments (none that are skyscrapers, though) have been built up against the Westside Viaduct (35 Highway). Mere inches away from it. With the right materials it could easily be done. The PET Building seems to do just fine and it’s much closer. I don’t understand why they can’t build it on the southeast corner of Broadway and Spruce which is already a surface lot. I believe a developer from Nashville recently bought that, could partner with them.

  • Nick Lemen

    Why are they tearing down anything when there are so many empty lots and garages…

  • John S Wieser

    It’s a shame they can’t preserve the skin of the original building as a podium for the skyscraper above – similar in concept to the Hearst Tower in Manhattan.

  • JCougar

    Something like this would really be a shot in the arm for downtown development, but it’s hard to justify tearing an existing building down when there’s so many surface parking lots nearby. You can get views into the stadium from a number of other places. If you want a view good enough to watch the game, you’re going to need a ticket anyway.

  • Rusty

    What an absolute joke, Busch is surrounded by surface lots, this should be an absolute no. It doesn’t even seem serious, what’s the angle here?

  • Catherine

    I’m baffled that they would tear down a perfectly good building when they could build on any number of vacant lots within blocks…

    • Mike Buha

      It is most likely because that exact lot would provide the best views into the stadium.

      • Catherine

        Makes sense. (I mean, it doesn’t, but I get what they’re thinking now!).

        • MRNHS

          Also, the surrounding lots are not for sale. This building was put up for sale by SLCC. It’s worth noting that the surface lot immediately south of this was recently purchased by a developer out of Nashville who has done a lot of high rises, so that lot may disappear eventually…

          • jhoff1257

            I mentioned that Nashville developer in a comment upthread. Why not partner with them…if they’re known for high-rise development seems like a good match.

          • Eddie in NorCal

            What incentive does the Nashville developer have to partner with the group developing the tower on the SLCC site, absent the latter group getting approval for this building? It would be naive to assume that the developers haven’t explored other locations downtown for this building, which btw, is a strikingly beautiful design. We should assume that the SLCC location provided the least expensive option to acquire the land.

            If the Preservation Board approves this teardown & new construction, then the Nashville developer must consider the possibility that his potential residential tower will be the 3rd such structure (after the BPV and SLCC site buildings) in the neighborhood. That scenario could be immensely appealing or it could incent the Nashville developer to entice the group developing the HDA-designed tower to locate the building on his lot instead of the SLCC site.

            The un-named group developing the SLCC site have put themselves in an enviable position and are likely to get TIF funding on a par with that received by the group that proposed the 39-story Studio-Gang designed residential tower at 100 N Kingshighway.

          • jhoff1257

            Yeah, I’m well aware of how these things work. Like I said upthread, just a little wishful thinking.

            And that Studio Gang tower is 36 stories.

      • Jakeb

        And distance from the Interstate. Residential towers adjacent to, and overlooking Interstate highways are desirable places to live.

    • Tom of the Missouri

      I 2nd your bafflement and vote nay on the historic building destruction.