Iron Hill at Grand & Chouteau

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.
quincunx wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:13 pm
About 800 spaces in the garage?
Chris' article mentioned 2,000
I like that they’re actually taking a block and trying to make it a genuine mixed use concept. And also good to see that SLU isn’t just sitting on their master developer rights in the area (although granting them the right to offer tax abatements was kind of a stretch).

All that said, SoulardX is right. Where are all the tenants, residents, workers, etc. coming from to fill all this space? This specific site may have a leg up on other new developments in the city because it’s got a built in daytime population with SLU medical and the hospitals next door, but it adds to a massive amount of space to fill in that area. If it’s just shuffling the same group of tenants from one place to the next, it makes the tax incentives even more of an issue b/c the properties on the tax roll are usually the ones struggling to backfill space.

From a pure development side, credit to Cullinan for trying to replicate the success they’ve had at Streets of St. Charles. This is a different animal though. Streets of St. Charles has worked because that area is so void of anything replicating an urban walkable environment that a “lifestyle center” continues to be shiny and new.

I’m not sure the same formula works in Midtown where there are viable urban environments basically surrounding the area. More specifically related to this plan, 140,000sf of retail space, with a big chunk of it having minimal exposure to Grand or Chouteau, will be hard to fill. 8,000sf restaurants are notoriously difficult to lease as is inward facing retail. 26,000sf retail facing Grand will be a challenge too as there aren’t many big box users targeting urban St. Louis. We would all love City Target, but they’ve been extremely picky about where they put their city concepts and St. Louis probably isn’t on their short list – population numbers aren’t high enough and incomes are too low.

I’d love to see it succeed and for the Central Corridor continue to rack up wins, but the supply is probably outpacing the demand at this point.
framer wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:15 pm
I like it. It's pretty awesome, actually. It's also very ambitious; let's hope they can get it done.
I would agree with you. While I do share others concerns about the off-kilter streets and the low density center (kind of reminds me of a lifestyle center type development) I think this looks great. I like the design and the look of the buildings, its urban in nature and it would fill a giant, giant hole in Midtown. It, along with the several other developments nearby, would bring hundreds of new jobs, residents, and money to this part of the city. Really hope they can pull it off.
I haven't looked at the data but I thought that the central corridor was adding population. I like the development. I don't drive by there all the time but I guess I hadn't realized the size of that lot. This is a a huge development. Can't wait to see it go up and maybe we'll get more buildings to the east in the gate district
In response to the demand for this development...

From what I've heard through the grapevine, the area developers believe there are a lot of barnacle businesses that are expected to leech near the SLU hospital, so that could fuel a decent amount of commercial space. Expedited MRI/CT/etc, Lab Tech, medical supplies, etc. Granted some of these will be covered by the BJC barnacles already in existence, but there will be a decent amount of proximity referral from a project as big as the SLU hospital.

There was also talk that a lot of the success of the residential in the area (and the residential projects coming soon) is todo from this SLU expansion + Cortex/Koman expected increases and has not reached the full supply needed as seen from the early success of Chroma, 4400... Woodford, Steelcote, Cortex Residential...

Also, some of the early SLU hospital renderings had a decent amount of additional buildings that aren't in this current build... so maybe more to come?
I actually really love this it’s a lot more ambitious than what I was anticipating. I could spend hours on knit picking on what I like and don’t like about the most important is that its going to add more desirability to the area. I think the captain ds and rally’s days are being our number it’ll only be a matter of time before this entire area will look completely different.
While it's not absolutely perfect I do think it's pretty solid. The buildings have decent lines. The density is pretty good. Things mostly go to the sidewalk line. I wish it had a little more mass towards the corner of Grand and Chouteau rather than towards the back, but . . . I'll live with it. As has been said elsewhere, I expect this will be heavy on the health-care, which means it probably won't poach too much from downtown. And it should help to build momentum in the neighborhood. (Of course, it makes the Pevely demo just that much more frustrating.)

But all in all I think I'd count this one a win.
My two cents is this project is underwhelming to me. Yes, the buildings as proposed individual would be a nice addition whether part of Iron Hill or any of the proposed development.

What I think of is BellaVilla comment posted earlier in that this development is another Highland with the same plug and play component confined to that rectangular space with every intention of sucking people into the parking garage. Maybe a little bigger then Highland and undoubtly more refined in renderings but none the less Highland type development. Which leads to my thought that the development goes out of the way to ignore the future Choteau greenway and does little to actually build or tie into the Grand Ave viaduct & Corridor in a meaningful way.

Instead, Grand Ave comes across as just another arterial street that will get you off and on the area freeways into the parking garage as quick as possible. Take the zig zag streets out, tie in the public space to the greenway, and make the northern edge flow instead of a straight edge defined by a parking garage. Heck, the rendering would look ten times better if the developer would reach out and get permission to incorporate the vision of pedestrian crossing that Goat posted above into the concept.

Which also gets me to Soulardx comments. I do wonder how much demand their is at moment between CORTEX/Wexford, Koman, Foundry, Armory as well Grand Center/Midtown such that something built here is simply one less infill project for the other developments. I know medical arts buildings/office space is given as the difference. But the new hospital overall footprint incorporates the ability to add lot of additional square footage in itself.

I guess I was expecting actually a development with more residential that emphasized connectivity to north and easy access to jobs revolving around the hospital & SLU medical school across the street. What I think SLU is promoting with this development is continue disjointed nature of Grand Ave between its campus to the north and the hospital/medical school just below. SLU Campus (insert grade separated FPP & Grand) Foundry (insert freeway) Armory (insert metrolink & RR tracks) Iron Hill and then the hospital. Their seems to be no public push on SLU part to add connectivity along Grand Ave outside of the car lanes whether it would be visionary pedestrian crossings/bridges, Choteau Greenway and expanded/improved Grand Transit whether it be BRT or even a modern low floor streetcar

Ok, done with why I think this an underwhelming cookie cutter development
^ Fair criticisms.

I think my initial feeling was being a bit underwhelmed as well. Roddy is on Twitter acting like it's the second coming of Christ for a "car optional neighborhood" (I laughed my ass off).

There is such a disjointed effort to really make this a game changing development. It'll be great for doctors -- they'll just drive in, park, and leave. There won't be any competition from the County as this will be brand new development. Patients can drive in, maybe grab a bite after an appointment, drive out.

At the same time, this area is not a hot, walkable area. What do you have to the south? Blocks and blocks of SLU Med. You still have to cross over 44 to get to anything commercial, and even then, several more blocks. Chouteau west is pretty barren; maybe you have opportunities for some loft conversions, then you hit the bridge, and then the QT/White Castle/Future Raising Cane's boondoggle.

Connectivity to the rest of "prospect yards" would be great. Bring back a Spring viaduct. Push on Roddy to get that stretch of Chouteau turned into a true 1|1|1 lane setup like the rest of the Chouteau. There are ways to make this more attractive, but the reality is that it is fairly disconnected from any other walkable areas (6 or 7 minute walk to Metrolink -- not bad, but still.), aside from the swiftly filling Steelcoate area.

Lastly, yes, this does look like a fake ass "city center" area you'd find out in New Town or Streets of St. Charles. It feels artificially "city center" or "new downtown". But at the end of the day, what is this replacing? And what did we expect to get from SLU? There's an overriding fear of not providing enough parking in the city, even with it's extreme proximity to Metrolink, and the Grand bus line. Firms are designing for affluence, not public need. Cars = money, money = business. Sadly.
Tough crowd.
There's all types of people on this site, so whether its walkability, development, architecture, interiors, political, city pride... I mean... everyone here is looking at it through their own lens.

Is it great that a developer is willing to bet this heavily on a TOD-ish project??? Yeah sure!

Is it exciting that Chouteau -> Grove/Manchester -> Foundry is taking off in such a big way? Hell yeah!

Does it kind of suck that this is in the SLU blighted area so it will get heavy tax incentives, yeah that sucks.

Will this development bring new jobs, construction, hopefully push more development? Yeah this is great for the area!

These building's at the very least are more attractive and denser than a lot of the developments we see in the city and county... this is good, yes.

Is this peak walkability? Nah... but it could be worse.

Is this peak density? Nope, but it's okay at the very least. See Richmond Heights/Brentwood for comparison.

Is this peak design, probably not, but is it above average, probably. Design is subjective and there's only 3 renderings on this project, which is subject to change probably.

All these can be debated one way or the other, but out of 10, I give it an 7.5/10 in context... and that can change as more info comes out.
Someone shared this promo flyer on Chris's CityScene site. Note the "Future Greenway Trail" connection shown on the larger aerial perspective on page 2:

https://www.cullinanproperties.com/wp-c ... 030619.pdf
pattimagee wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:53 pm
There's all types of people on this site, so whether its walkability, development, architecture, interiors, political, city pride... I mean... everyone here is looking at it through their own lens.

Is it great that a developer is willing to bet this heavily on a TOD-ish project??? Yeah sure!

Is it exciting that Chouteau -> Grove/Manchester -> Foundry is taking off in such a big way? Hell yeah!

Does it kind of suck that this is in the SLU blighted area so it will get heavy tax incentives, yeah that sucks.

Will this development bring new jobs, construction, hopefully push more development? Yeah this is great for the area!

These building's at the very least are more attractive and denser than a lot of the developments we see in the city and county... this is good, yes.

Is this peak walkability? Nah... but it could be worse.

Is this peak density? Nope, but it's okay at the very least. See Richmond Heights/Brentwood for comparison.

Is this peak design, probably not, but is it above average, probably. Design is subjective and there's only 3 renderings on this project, which is subject to change probably.

All these can be debated one way or the other, but out of 10, I give it an 7.5/10 in context... and that can change as more info comes out.
I completely agree. That's all I was trying to say. All in all, it's a win, but I do wish we could know what the other proposals look like. I know we don't get a say, but would have been fun to see, at least. I was trying to take a realistic look at the project, and other factors surrounding the immediate area, but in the end, we should be happy with this, but I also say with a critical sense, that we should think about what could be done better, and maybe send our thoughts to the developer. I doubt there are that many people out there who take a critical look at trying to make this one of the great intersections in the city again. So many people are just commuters, only so many will live and work in this area, and I just hope for it to be as positively impactful as possible.
jbacott wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:04 pm


From a pure development side, credit to Cullinan for trying to replicate the success they’ve had at Streets of St. Charles. This is a different animal though. Streets of St. Charles has worked because that area is so void of anything replicating an urban walkable environment that a “lifestyle center” continues to be shiny and new.

I’m not sure the same formula works in Midtown where there are viable urban environments basically surrounding the area. More specifically related to this plan, 140,000sf of retail space, with a big chunk of it having minimal exposure to Grand or Chouteau, will be hard to fill.
Agreed. It has that same faux urban living concept that STC capitalizes on. It's an awkward site. Like the one in STC, both are disconnected from the north. This proposal in particular seems desperate to fill the footprint.

Design could be simpler. Make the site a residential anchor for Midtown. Create the density needed to support what's already being established.
I've seen a lot of complaints about connections to the North and I'm not sure why. As this area takes off, it's very likely the Spring viaduct will make a new appearance whether it's an actual bridge like it was before or some sort of a pedestrian connection, something is almost certainly going to be done. There are already talks of bridging the tracks between the developers that are already working in this area and I'm sure there are plans for a similar connection in the Chouteau Greenway (even if it's not explicitly laid out in they very first rendering). In my opinion the area to the north is pretty much the best spot for a parking structure if there must be one. Unless someone is buying out the bus lot and other business directly to the north, I'm not sure what you could really do there.

Image

I agree about the concerns with the diagonal-ish streets and the lifestyle center vibe in the middle. And I think it's safe to say there will eventually be some revisions as this thing moves forward. But I personally feel like we're starting to get into perfect is the enemy of the good territory here.
This image from the promo flyer gives a good idea of the site's interaction with neighboring areas:

Image
Gotcha - its always tough reading without inflection, so the negative comments always feel a bit doomy sometimes, lol. Best we can do in this forum. :P
bwcrow1s wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:01 pm
pattimagee wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:53 pm
There's all types of people on this site, so whether its walkability, development, architecture, interiors, political, city pride... I mean... everyone here is looking at it through their own lens.

Is it great that a developer is willing to bet this heavily on a TOD-ish project??? Yeah sure!

Is it exciting that Chouteau -> Grove/Manchester -> Foundry is taking off in such a big way? Hell yeah!

Does it kind of suck that this is in the SLU blighted area so it will get heavy tax incentives, yeah that sucks.

Will this development bring new jobs, construction, hopefully push more development? Yeah this is great for the area!

These building's at the very least are more attractive and denser than a lot of the developments we see in the city and county... this is good, yes.

Is this peak walkability? Nah... but it could be worse.

Is this peak density? Nope, but it's okay at the very least. See Richmond Heights/Brentwood for comparison.

Is this peak design, probably not, but is it above average, probably. Design is subjective and there's only 3 renderings on this project, which is subject to change probably.

All these can be debated one way or the other, but out of 10, I give it an 7.5/10 in context... and that can change as more info comes out.
I completely agree. That's all I was trying to say. All in all, it's a win, but I do wish we could know what the other proposals look like. I know we don't get a say, but would have been fun to see, at least. I was trying to take a realistic look at the project, and other factors surrounding the immediate area, but in the end, we should be happy with this, but I also say with a critical sense, that we should think about what could be done better, and maybe send our thoughts to the developer. I doubt there are that many people out there who take a critical look at trying to make this one of the great intersections in the city again. So many people are just commuters, only so many will live and work in this area, and I just hope for it to be as positively impactful as possible.
I believe these are relatively accurate numbers...

Acres: 26 for Highlands v. 14 for Iron Hill
Office: both about 300,000 sq. ft.
Hotel: 126 room Hampton for Highlands; not sure of planned hotel for Iron Horse
Retail: Bar/restaurant, coffee shop, yoga for Highlands; 100k sq. ft. retail for Iron Hill
Residential: 700 units for Highlands v. 300 for Iron Hill
Parking garages: yes and yes

To me what stands about iron Hill is it's more retail-oriented development that has the capacity to serve a regional population (i.e. the broader city population) if the right tenants can be secured. If it's dominated by restaurant/entertainment, which we already have in spades, that will be really disappointing but if it provides more services for the surrounding community -- whether coming in by transit, foot or auto -- that'll be awesome. Same for Foundry... bringing things that folks currently have to go out to the county for will be a key measure of success imo.
STLrainbow wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:33 am
I believe these are relatively accurate numbers...

Acres: 26 for Highlands v. 14 for Iron Hill
Office: both about 300,000 sq. ft.
Hotel: 126 room Hampton for Highlands; not sure of planned hotel for Iron Horse
Retail: Bar/restaurant, coffee shop, yoga for Highlands; 100k sq. ft. retail for Iron Hill
Residential: 700 units for Highlands v. 300 for Iron Hill
Parking garages: yes and yes

To me what stands about iron Hill is it's more retail-oriented development that has the capacity to serve a regional population (i.e. the broader city population) if the right tenants can be secured. If it's dominated by restaurant/entertainment, which we already have in spades, that will be really disappointing but if it provides more services for the surrounding community -- whether coming in by transit, foot or auto -- that'll be awesome. Same for Foundry... bringing things that folks currently have to go out to the county for will be a key measure of success imo.
Completely agree. I also noticed, in another image not posted here, that there appear to be apartments on top of the retail in the center as well. Can anyone confirm that?
The Mayor wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:24 pm
Completely agree. I also noticed, in another image not posted here, that there appear to be apartments on top of the retail in the center as well. Can anyone confirm that?
I can confirm that the 4 central buildings will have retail on the first floor and apartments on the second. The apartments will have terraces.
Image
Image
STLrainbow wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:33 am
I believe these are relatively accurate numbers...

Acres: 26 for Highlands v. 14 for Iron Hill
Office: both about 300,000 sq. ft.
Hotel: 126 room Hampton for Highlands; not sure of planned hotel for Iron Horse
Retail: Bar/restaurant, coffee shop, yoga for Highlands; 100k sq. ft. retail for Iron Hill
Residential: 700 units for Highlands v. 300 for Iron Hill
Parking garages: yes and yes

To me what stands about iron Hill is it's more retail-oriented development that has the capacity to serve a regional population (i.e. the broader city population) if the right tenants can be secured. If it's dominated by restaurant/entertainment, which we already have in spades, that will be really disappointing but if it provides more services for the surrounding community -- whether coming in by transit, foot or auto -- that'll be awesome. Same for Foundry... bringing things that folks currently have to go out to the county for will be a key measure of success imo.
I guess that is one of the points of criticism in the day and age of Amazon, internet retail that its tough to see how this development doesn't compete with Foundry & others if going after regional dollars or this mysterious everyone leaving city to shop in the county argument. As an example, believe Stitch Fix the online clothes retailer had a huge quarter financially but most have made every brick & mortar boutique owner that follows CNBC or any biz news channel cringe on the thought. Throw in the fact that I believe Foundry is far from fully lease.

My other thought, reminds a lot of Street of Charles when I looked at the biz journals website headlines this morning. Competition is heating up for tenants and nice renderings don't take that fact away.

https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... s_headline

I don't really have numbers to back up my criticisms but it seems that we have distinct one building development/rehab or Foundry with intermix of rehab & future infill and or Highland, Streets of St Charles, and now Iron Hill. Just not as a big of fan of the later where a site is cleared to a big empty lot and the developer goes for all of the above to garner interest.