City Foundry- $340M Lawrence Group Plan

Construction activity, major renovations, office projects, etc. in the Central Corridor -- defined by the area south of Delmar Avenue and North of Interstate 44/55.
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City Foundry announced office leases this morning as reported by PD and Biz Journals. Link to PD article. Not sure if existing space or new office building along/next to the Vande entrance

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 7f6ab.html


The $187 million CityFoundry STL development in Midtown has signed leases with two lead office tenants: digital publishing and technology firm Multiply and DNA tech company Orion Genomics.

Combined, the two companies will lease 30,000 square feet of space for almost 100 employees, CityFoundry's developer, The Lawrence Group, told the Post-Dispatch. Multiply, whose digital publications include HealthyWay, FashionBeans and Urbo, is currently based in University City. Orion Genomics is based in the Central West End.
dredger wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:00 am
Not sure if existing space or new office building along/next to the Vande entrance
Existing i'm sure. I don't think we'll hear about any phase 2 tenants for awhile, unless someone huge from the county relocates or an out of towner.
^^ I didn't realize this until just now (after reading last month's Biz Journal article on the announcements) but Multiply is the former Answers.com.
STLrainbow wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 pm
^^ I didn't realize this until just now (after reading last month's Biz Journal article on the announcements) but Multiply is the former Answers.com.
Interesting. Did some work back in the day for them. They were really exploding for a bit there and were poised to move downtown. Unfortunately, they didn't become the next BuzzFeed.
So if you want to open a restaurant or retail at the foundry, apparently after paying high rent relative to rest of stl market you’re only get $20 per sq foot for tenant improvements and Foundry gets to keep 10% of your sales on the back end.

I know a very well know regional brand that has a outpost in the county and is looking at Foundry but $20 sq foot for tenant improvement is a non starter for them
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:14 am
So if you want to open a restaurant or retail at the foundry, apparently after paying high rent relative to rest of stl market you’re only get $20 per sq foot for tenant improvements and Foundry gets to keep 10% of your sales on the back end.

I know a very well know regional brand that has a outpost in the county and is looking at Foundry but $20 sq foot for tenant improvement is a non starter for them
Is that normal for a place to take part of the retailer's sales?
^A percentage of sales as part of the lease terms is not uncommon for retail and restaurants.
Percentage rent isn't unheard of, but not terribly common these days. It's also an accounting headache for both sides as rents are always fluctuating. $20psf in TI is actually a fairly competitive number for retail in St. Louis, although coupled with high rates and percentage rent, I can see the pushback.

Restaurants obviously want more because of the heavier improvement costs, but that's a hard line to straddle for Landlords because you're effectively investing in their business and the food business is notoriously high in turnover.

I think one interesting aspect of the food hall concepts is how the developers balance the market rates w/ a roster of local tenants. I've seen similar projects where on paper the idea of featuring local food users, vendors, etc. looks great, but then they roll out rates on the space that quickly price out most of the tenants they said they wanted. And I don't see any way that a food hall concept sees much momentum in the city if it's loaded with chains.
Out of curiosity, when will we see some more movement on this site? I drive by this daily and I can’t wait for it to finally get underway.
Chalupas54 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:47 am
Out of curiosity, when will we see some more movement on this site? I drive by this daily and I can’t wait for it to finally get underway.
A date I keep hearing is July 1st (but probably realistically the 2nd). I think they're still working out some office and retail leases and securing the financing. Sounds like they had another investor jump on board recently and got the banks to release some money for "pre-construction" site work and demo before going full steam when all the financing is secured.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:14 am
So if you want to open a restaurant or retail at the foundry, apparently after paying high rent relative to rest of stl market you’re only get $20 per sq foot for tenant improvements and Foundry gets to keep 10% of your sales on the back end.
I was at the Chefs Panel that the Foundry hosted yesterday featuring some out of town chefs that are operating in Food Halls. I think Denver, Seattle, and Dallas. Couple interesting figures that I head from the Dallas chef, he's expecting to make 900k this year out of 175sf. Started in a food truck, and said within the first month of being in the Food Hall he made the same as a year in a food truck. The Food Hall he is at is charging a 26% fee, which makes the Foundry's 10% seem pretty low. This is just for Food Hall stalls, not sure about their numbers for retail and full service restaurant.
Yeah, I think the whole food truck thing is cooling off.
Demo seems imminent. Been passing by the site recently this week and been seeing a lot of SM Wilson trucks and sub contractors parked in front of Byco on FPA. Hoping to see some equipment on site next week!
^ I am a bit confused... I thought everything already was demolished?
STLrainbow wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:24 pm
^ I am a bit confused... I thought everything already was demolished?
The work that was already done was just the Environmental Remediation with the Brownfield credits. Removing all of the contaminated junk. Which is why they only excavated a little bit, to get to clean soil. They basically just did a big gut and power wash to remove all the nasty stuff. Which was a lot. Something like $10mil worth.

Demo will consist of removing the warehouse building where Alamo is going to be built, probably the remaining site excavation, removal of roof that needs replacement, new openings in existing walls, foundation work, removal of existing windows to prep for replacements, etc etc.
^thanks... I didn't realize another warehouse was coming down.
STLrainbow wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:11 pm
^thanks... I didn't realize another warehouse was coming down.
Hmmm I only got a glance at it this weekend but I thought the entire Alamo site was a grass field. Which also makes me think that it'll be a while before construction starts on phase 2. I'm surprised they didn't make it a surface lot.
Speaking of parking, I went to Ponce City Market in Atlanta last weekend. We paid $5 to park for 2 hours. And don't even try and tell me that "people drive everywhere is St. Louis" but not in Atlanta. Makes me frustrated once again that Ikea set a bad precedent of free parking in the Central Corridor. Union Station did not fail because of the lack of free parking, Union Station failed because of St. Louis County's cannibalistic thirst for sales taxes.
https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... undry.html

Lawrence Group has debuted new renderings of its City Foundry development in Midtown.

The renderings show a courtyard and an elevated, industrial-style walkway near an entrance to the 10-acre adaptive reuse of the former Century Electric Foundry complex. Previously announced phase one tenants include Alamo Drafthouse, Punch Bowl Social, a McNellie's Group restaurant, as well as office tenants Orion Genomics and Multiply. A food hall also is planned, and some of those tenants are:

A new concept from Whitebox owner Brendan Marsden
Lost & Found burger and pizza joint from Michael Friedman
Hari Manok, a Filipino concept from Britt Simpson and Kevin Pellegrino
Essentially Tacos, led by Matt Borchardt
Natalie's Cakes & More, a bakery from Natalie DuBose, whose products are featured in local Starbucks
Sumax, a hummus and wraps concept operated by Jason and Maria Sparks
Lawrence Group said work will begin immediately, with the first tenants opening in mid-2019 and others in early 2020.

Lawrence Group, who is developing the project with London-based Caparo, also said that it finalized its agreement with St. Louis-based S.M. Wilson & Co. for phase one work on the project. S.M. Wilson, one of the largest privately held companies in the region with $230 million in revenue, will be the construction manager for all current and future contracts, an agreement that's estimated to exceed $100 million. Work in phase one will include construction and renovation of six buildings, improvements to the 10-acre site and construction of more than 60 tenant spaces. The entire first phase is estimated to cost $185 million.

Lawrence Group CEO Steve Smith said the two companies operated on a "handshake deal" prior to the signing of the master construction agreement.

The firms also agreed to sub-divide the project into smaller bid packages to offer more opportunities to certified minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) subcontractors. The bid packages will be as small as a couple hundred-thousand dollars and as large as $50 million, Smith said. Lawrence Group, S.M. Wilson and the St. Louis Development Corp., which oversees the city's diversity inclusion program, held three informational sessions for interested M/WBE firms.

“We have worked very closely with S.M. Wilson to come up with some innovative ways to provide the greatest opportunity for MBE and WBE firms to be a part of City Foundry. While some construction is moving forward on early critical work for the project, there are many construction packages still to be released, including those for the new buildings and many of the tenant buildouts,” said Todd Rogan, development project manager for City Foundry.

Smith said they plan to follow the new city ordinance regarding the use of M/WBE firms but emphasized that diversity was a personal goal.

"If this region is going to move forward and be competitive, we have to address inequality and do everything we can to help disadvantaged businesses rise up," Smith told the Business Journal.
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These look better than the main rendering they used on Twitter.

The Alamo Drafthouse building looks pretty bad. Overall, I'm still not feeling overly optimistic about this.

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I know it's trendy and appropriate for the site, but personally I'm not a big fan of the industrial-chic aesthetic. It's not gonna age well, I'm afraid.

Still, I do expect this place to be hugely popular (at least for a while).
framer wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:50 pm
I know it's trendy and appropriate for the site, but personally I'm not a big fan of the industrial-chic aesthetic. It's not gonna age well, I'm afraid.

Still, I do expect this place to be hugely popular (at least for a while).
While i'm sure a more modern industrial design was desired, we have to remember that this is a "historic complex" and the project is receiving state and federal historic tax credits. That being said, everything on this site is at the discretion of the NPS review process. There will be some design limitations because of that. The Alamo building seems bland, because it is replacing the existing bland warehouse that is currently on site, and is unfortunately being considered a historically relevant and contributing structure to the overall historical complex.

If you dig up the previous renders, the new buildings directly to the north of the existing Foundry, and backing up to the new garage, were a much more modern design.

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This is not a historic district. NPS doesn't have any say on new construction, even if it's replacing a demolished building. Actually, NPS wouldn't even have a say in historic districts. That would be Cultural Resources, and ultimately, the Preservation Board. Brick buildings were swapped out for corrugated metal and EIFS to save money, it's that simple.
aprice wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:50 am
This is not a historic district. NPS doesn't have any say on new construction, even if it's replacing a demolished building. Actually, NPS wouldn't even have a say in historic districts. That would be Cultural Resources, and ultimately, the Preservation Board. Brick buildings were swapped out for corrugated metal and EIFS to save money, it's that simple.
So none of what you said is accurate, save for the saving money part. Where is this EFIS that you talk about? I don't see it...

Anyway, I didn't say historic DISTRICT, I said Historic COMPLEX. Big difference. Here is the historic designation application.

https://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/docs/moachp/Cen ... omplex.pdf

It specifically states Century Electric Foundry COMPLEX. On page 30 there is a site plan with boundaries and states what is a contributing structure. Like I said, that warehouse is a contributing structure. Give that application a good read, a lot of history and information in it!

NPS has a huge say in the design of HTC projects. It is their money being spent anyway, why wouldn't they want to be involved? Everything that is going to be built within the boundaries of the complex is subject to review and comment by the Federal and State historic review boards. Everything from renovation, new construction, sight lines into the project, even the parking garage. If you don't design to their liking, you don't get their money. Obviously the developer wants to keep them happy.
So they included a building on the Nation Register nomination so they could demolish it and get HTC on a new building that kind of looks like it?
Sorry, I've never worked on a NRHP "Complex" before. But I can't say I've ever heard of NPS requiring a building to be built in a certain style because of the building that was demolished to make way for it. Especially brown corrugated metal. I could understand them requiring certain materials and proportions, similar to the Preservation Board. This is also the first time I've seen HTC used to make something uglier.