CORTEX: St. Louis' Life Sciences and Technology District

The thriving technology scene covering startups, incubators, investors, etc.
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Fwiw, the empty lots to the west of IKEA, between FPP and Duncan, to the east of Sarah have been getting some TLC. Looks like they've just leveled it all and will be making it into a nicer parking lot for the time being. Obviously I'm hopeful for residential to go here eventually, but cleaning up the old lots is a small step forward.
chaifetz10 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:25 pm
Fwiw, the empty lots to the west of IKEA, between FPP and Duncan, to the east of Sarah have been getting some TLC. Looks like they've just leveled it all and will be making it into a nicer parking lot for the time being. Obviously I'm hopeful for residential to go here eventually, but cleaning up the old lots is a small step forward.
This parking lot will likely be serving @4240, 4260 and 4220 Duncan guests while a new parking garage is built. Cortex has been very slow to build this garage and Metrolink is constantly behind schedule so with the new influx of workers coming, they need to do this. If you were here yesterday you would have found the parking lots at their limits with workers, construction crews, and Venture Café guests. I don't think any residential construction will start until the garage is finished. The garage is key to getting the lot north of @4240/east of 4260 (Vicia) to turn into something. The plans involving a garage and housing and retail there keep falling through which says to me whatever is built there will be a very different vision of what they've planned.

There is news on the Aloft Hotel though. I've seen crews doing something there and on July 25 at 9:30 AM a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled.
15 years ago the Cortex District's only office space was the CET according to the last half of this article it is the price leader in the region: https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... 49de4.html

This is great news for the city.

Rents and values are the best surrogates for demand. This demonstrates how focusing on comparative advantage (eds/meds) combined with zoning and planning (form based code and redevelopment plans) can be used to develop a brand people are willing to pay a premium.

Yes economic incentives combined with special taxing districts were used to redefine the districts' tax to service ratio--but once redefined the value to the city and the school district is very significant.
Construction fence (with renderings) is up around the A Loft site. Much dirt is being moved around.
Parking lot at Sarah and Duncan (northeast corner) should open this month. Sidewalks still inaccessible between the lot and 4240, 4220, 4260. Parking garage work next to 4220 is in the early stages with an estimated completion date of March 2019. The last week of July has a groundbreaking and grand opening in the district.
flipflopju wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
There is news on the Aloft Hotel though. I've seen crews doing something there and on July 25 at 9:30 AM a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled.
WUMCRC posted photos on Facebook of the ceremony this morning. The rendering used is the 5-Story version with a black and white exterior. I'm mostly excited to see what happens with the streetscape here.

One of my favorite things about Cortex is the integration with the city and streets, the attention to detail. Makes me think about the potential of our Fortune 500 building public, mixed-use districts throughout the central corridor, near north-side and near-south side.
Per biz journal - Lion's choice is opening in the old Tim Hortons.
good sh*t. I can only hope that the timmy ho's on Lafayette will become a LC.
Looks like it will have breakfast also.

https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... 69194.html
^Breakfast at LC? Huh! Interesting.
Several female friends that work in the district have expressed concerns with the parking being temporarily moved several blocks east along with observations that there are more unsavory characters hanging around with the new metro station. They are keeping the mace handy and dreading the fall when the shortened days will mean longer walks in the dark to their cars.
^“Several blocks east”? One block east of the Microsoft Building is the IKEA parking lot. Just east of that is the Foundry construction site. They must really be covering some ground, and walking in the opposite direction of the Metrolink station.

At least it sounds like the new station is seeing some activity right off the bat. Good to hear.
Actually, *connected* to the 4220 building (aka the MS building) is very large lot as shown in the map below. Additionally, I don't think the Metrolink took up much existing parking. Maybe just that row along the northside of the tracks near Boyle?

Image
I think I saw some drilling rigs set up on the lot just east of Microsoft. Anyone know what's up?
framer wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:49 pm
I think I saw some drilling rigs set up on the lot just east of Microsoft. Anyone know what's up?
I assume that is the location of the new CORTEX parking structure.. Believe it is being built along metrolink and pads will be left for Wexford to build out along Duncan and Sarah St.
Yeah - anyone seen a rendering? I'd hope it looks nice and has some retail on it. *prettyplease However, they are moving really fast on it - seems to be way further along than the hotel. They were drilling before the metro opening too.
pattimagee wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:17 am
Yeah - anyone seen a rendering? I'd hope it looks nice and has some retail on it. *prettyplease However, they are moving really fast on it - seems to be way further along than the hotel. They were drilling before the metro opening too.
I believe, as previously stated, there will be land between the garage and Duncan for a building. So I seriously doubt there will be first floor rentable space. Although, it would actually be really great if there was. It would do wonders to truly make this a great walkable district, reducing the amount of dead space in the district. Especially if there were cafes, shops, and community services facing the Greenway trail.
One of the worst aspects of automobile culture is the concept of buildings having a front that's highly designed, and a back for loading docks and giant A/C units, where pedestrians aren't allowed.

As for the longer walk from parking to 4240, they moved all of the parking that was adjacent to 4220 over to the lot northeast of Sarah/Duncan. While it's not really "blocks" per se, it's still almost a quarter mile from the nearest point on that lot to the nearest entry on 4240.
Posted this in the wrong board:

Here's an old photo of some other parking garages they planned: https://imgur.com/a/i9HDZXA

And apparently HOK is building the parking garage hopefully that's good thing for it looking somewhat nice? https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... ortex.html
Why is it so hard to have a building meet the sidewalk?
aprice wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:22 am
I believe, as previously stated, there will be land between the garage and Duncan for a building. So I seriously doubt there will be first floor rentable space. Although, it would actually be really great if there was. It would do wonders to truly make this a great walkable district, reducing the amount of dead space in the district. Especially if there were cafes, shops, and community services facing the Greenway trail.
One of the worst aspects of automobile culture is the concept of buildings having a front that's highly designed, and a back for loading docks and giant A/C units, where pedestrians aren't allowed.

As for the longer walk from parking to 4240, they moved all of the parking that was adjacent to 4220 over to the lot northeast of Sarah/Duncan. While it's not really "blocks" per se, it's still almost a quarter mile from the nearest point on that lot to the nearest entry on 4240.
^ I took the little greenway this morning from the Metrolink stop to the ending at Sarah.... would be kind of neat if there was even just a cafe or something lining it as part of the garage project. btw, 11 people got off at the Cortex from the eastbound train at about 10 a.m,... thought that wasn't too bad.

As for the temporary longer walk, it's just 500' from the Microsoft building to the new lot.... and I did see Cortex Courtesy Patrol on bike while I was on the greenway; I'm pretty sure safety concerns will be addressed sufficiently. Anyway, we can be a city or a sh*tty, where tech bros and gals want to wall themselves off from the world. (that comment isn't directed at you, btw.)
STLrainbow wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 pm
As for the temporary longer walk, it's just 500' from the Microsoft building to the new lot.... and I did see Cortex Courtesy Patrol on bike while I was on the greenway; I'm pretty sure safety concerns will be addressed sufficiently. Anyway, we can be a city or a sh*tty, where tech bros and gals want to wall themselves off from the world. (that comment isn't directed at you, btw.)
Most of the fears in this city of walking from parking to the office (and using public transportation) frankly come down to classism and racism. However, being a 6'-0" tall, relatively fit white man, I will never call out a woman's fears of walking through a city alone.
^ I won't either; there is a separation between legitimate safety/security concerns (and again Cortex appears to be on top of it with patrols, etc. and I imagine courtesy patrol would escort workers to a lot if requested) and the unacceptable and immoral desire to keep "those people" out of the public sphere in districts like Cortex: that is the undercurrent I was addressing.
Any thoughts if any new announcements will come out of Gov Parson's CORTEX visit for Microsoft opening? With most of CORTEX filled out it and remaining space at Crescent being built out it would be nice if Wexford can add another building to their footprint to go along with parking structure going up.

https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... osoft.html
Speaking of the garage, is there a rendering anywhere of it? It's going to be so visible from the highway, I hope it has some inkling of design atheistic.
dredger wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:52 pm
Any thoughts if any new announcements will come out of Gov Parson's CORTEX visit for Microsoft opening? With most of CORTEX filled out it and remaining space at Crescent being built out it would be nice if Wexford can add another building to their footprint to go along with parking structure going up.

https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... osoft.html
I can't speak to any upcoming announcements (though I am hopeful), this article from the PD back in April states that Wexford has already had some master plans laid out by HOK and have plans for two new buildings near the new Microsoft building. I image they could be announced soon, but I don't really have the sources to make any solid guess.

https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... e49fb.html

I also really home Koman's building near 40 and (I think) Sarpy takes off soon too. That would look amazing from 40.