Kummer's $270 Million Project

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects within the City of Clayton, the center of St. Louis County government.
Fred Kummer is planning a big condo/hotel project at Central and Maryland.

https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... tOXQqClHCw
$270 Million on a site slightly smaller than BPV Phase 2 ($260 Million). I expect a nice sized tower in here and some interesting architecture. Hope to see renderings soon.
Unfortunately, Kummer's architectural track record is...disappointing.
Are we talking about the parking lots on the northwest corner of that intersection, i guess?
ah the proper restaurant row of downtown clayton. this project is going to blow a giant hole in it. nice job.
warwickland wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:07 pm
ah the proper restaurant row of downtown clayton. this project is going to blow a giant hole in it. nice job.
Yeah. Very sad. I think this is the site:

Image

"digging for gold in my neighborhood, where all the old buildings stood..."
For those outside the paywall, here is some more information

"The site, which Gershman Commercial Real Estate marketed last year, borders Central, Maryland and Bemiston avenues and includes a slew of restaurants such as Nami Ramen, Vincent Van Doughnut, BARcelona Tapas and John P. Fields. Clayton license office, tax assessment firm PAR Residential and AKS Law Firm also have offices at the site.

Tenants were notified on Thursday that their leases would not be renewed and the entire site will be vacated by the first half of 2020, Manion said."


Very sad they are tearing out some great (albeit small) buildings along Central, but if it fills in the surface lots that are on that block I guess it could be good overall.
Post Dispatch is reporting that this will be two towers, a high rise hotel, and a condo tower. I expect this to be in the ballpark of 15-20 floors for the hotel and 30+ for the residential. NIMBYism will be high for this.

https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... user-share

Then there's mine: https://www.cityscene-stl.com/news/mixe ... to-clayton
I am usually not a person to gets to sentimental, but I would hate to see those store fronts go. I will withhold my opinion until I see a rendering though. If they find a way to keep it somewhat similar but just build up then I probably would be fine with it.
Clayton desperately needs a historic preservation ordinance. Can't trust developers to have good taste or consider the effects of removing viable mixed-use buildings that serve as connective tissue between the mirrored office towers and the surrounding residential areas. Successful cities and neighborhoods have a mix. This rush to tear down functioning buildings just because they're old and small is a mistake. That row of commercial buildings (the ones on N. Central, at least) is one of the last vestiges of the original downtown. It's also the most charming and liveliest part of the business district, especially after hours. Build stuff on the parking lots, not in place of buildings that are IN ACTIVE USE and inhabited by thriving local businesses. Downtown Clayton is an appealing place to live and visit BECAUSE of this little strip that has miraculously survived and flourished amidst transformative growth around it. Jane Jacobs would be rolling in her grave...
stlgasm wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:15 pm
Clayton desperately needs a historic preservation ordinance. Can't trust developers to have good taste or consider the effects of removing viable mixed-use buildings that serve as connective tissue between the mirrored office towers and the surrounding residential areas. Successful cities and neighborhoods have a mix. This rush to tear down functioning buildings just because they're old and small is a mistake. That row of commercial buildings (the ones on N. Central, at least) is one of the last vestiges of the original downtown. It's also the most charming and liveliest part of the business district, especially after hours. Build stuff on the parking lots, not in place of buildings that are IN ACTIVE USE and inhabited by thriving local businesses. Downtown Clayton is an appealing place to live and visit BECAUSE of this little strip that has miraculously survived and flourished amidst transformative growth around it. Jane Jacobs would be rolling in her grave...
There isn't much of old Clayton left, so a preservation board sort of thing would be nice. If this and Forsyth Pointe happen, there go some more old buildings, but I guess it is the business cycle. The businesses are being given the boot but at least they were given a year to look for a new location. At very least, this project should be unique in design and include a shitload of retail space. Maybe even offer discounts to the businesses forced out by this. We will see when plans are released so while I think it is a cool idea right now, it comes down to design.

On an unrelated note, I wonder if this will make the Montgomery Tower come back. But that will further remove "old downtown" buildings. What I want to see is the parking lot near the Justice Center built on.
I agree. There is still plenty of surface lots all around Clayton. Kind of a bummer.
I will withhold judgment until we see the plans.

While looking at the lot on google maps it appears about 50% of this is surface parking so I think the only part that would be missed would be the buildings that line the western edge along N Central.
And a quick google search netted this:

https://www.stlmag.com/dining/clayton-e ... -hbe-corp/
"At this time, approximately 50 percent of the development site is covered by surface parking," noted a press release from HBE. "Commercially zoned for decades, the half-block area currently includes a mix of tenants and tenant vacancies, including a prime storefront that was a former pharmacy."
pdm_ad wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:06 am
And a quick google search netted this:

https://www.stlmag.com/dining/clayton-e ... -hbe-corp/
"At this time, approximately 50 percent of the development site is covered by surface parking," noted a press release from HBE. "Commercially zoned for decades, the half-block area currently includes a mix of tenants and tenant vacancies, including a prime storefront that was a former pharmacy."
This is why I will withhold judgement until I see the renderings. If they replace what is on the N Central strip with street level retail then I am fine with it. The rest of that block isn't anything worth keeping and needs replaced with something else.
As Chris mentioned the NIMBY's will certainly be in full force. The adjacent "Old Town" Clayton residential neighborhood seems to have had more money and influence poured into it in the last few years than anywhere this side of Mar-a-Lago.

I agree with a lot of the sentiments voiced here - although historically Clayton has preferred characterless office towers to quaint old buildings and I feel like that's their prerogative. No municipal government has been more successful at protecting their interests (namely their public schools) than Clayton. If they don't want to pick this battle so be it. There is a recent example of them blocking increased density in the name of neighborhood character (and of course traffic) - namely the The Beacon proposal on Hanley. Basically, the NIMBYs will use whatever argument is convenient and available to them, including historic preservation and neighborhood character.

That said, it's worth mentioning that the building at the southwest corner of Maryland & N. Bemiston - which is currently being leased by the Clayton License Office - was designed by Harris Armstrong. He's one of the most notable architects to ever work out of St. Louis, and had a major influence on bringing archetypal and elegant modernist architecture to the Gateway City. This isn't necessarily a save-at-all-costs, Louis Sullivan/Frank Lloyd Wright/national treasure level of building - and an ambitious and thoughtful contemporary design (basically a starchitect-level building) that has a higher use could be justified here. But a number of Armstrong designed buildings have been lost in recent years, and it would be unfortunate for this one to join the ranks.
Well this is quite interesting. Big numbers in the headline. Could very easily be a new tallest. The Opus project directly across the street set a clear expectation for density and the new Clayton Library is being built right now across the Maryland frontage. I would anticipate a "Stepped" proposal with 5/6 stories fronting Maryland as part of a podium moving towards the 2 towers fronting Bemiston and Central abutting the alley end of the parcel. This would do the most to head off Nimbyism as it would move the towers further from the neighborhood. On the downside, from what I remember of the site it drops in elevation towards the alley end of the site which would limit the impact potential towers would have on the skyline. If they were against Maryland they would appear much taller.
newstl2020 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:16 pm
Well this is quite interesting. Big numbers in the headline. Could very easily be a new tallest. The Opus project directly across the street set a clear expectation for density and the new Clayton Library is being built right now across the Maryland frontage. I would anticipate a "Stepped" proposal with 5/6 stories fronting Maryland as part of a podium moving towards the 2 towers fronting Bemiston and Central abutting the alley end of the parcel. This would do the most to head off Nimbyism as it would move the towers further from the neighborhood. On the downside, from what I remember of the site it drops in elevation towards the alley end of the site which would limit the impact potential towers would have on the skyline. If they were against Maryland they would appear much taller.
I think that this will be among the tallest but not the tallest. Centene Subdistrict 3 is supposed to be 455FT so we will see how close it comes. The stepped idea sounds nice to appeal to the neighbors. Yes, the property does go downhill but I think the developer will try to make it as level as possible so height is retained for prominence in the skyline. When people are going to spending perhaps millions to live in this condo building, you better believe it won't be shorter due to a hill. People want a view over other buildings, which won't be hard here, but they don't want to be down. I guess we will see how the renderings are first.

The Lawrence Group is designing this according to the Post
Assisting Kummer as consultants on the project is a team that includes Lawrence Group CEO Steve Smith as the architect, Gary Feder of Husch Blackwell as attorney and Judy Goodman of Lents & Associates for public relations.
Since this is the case, the case, I hope they can draw up two towers that are eye-catching and not blah like SLU Hospital or City Foundry's future office tower.

I hope I am pleasantly surprised because, with a price tag of $275 Million, Kummer will have to screw up big time to make this a bust. As I said, Ballpark Village Phase 2 is $260 Million and on a much larger piece of property (as far as Phase 2's buildings go) so this project should be modest.
Modernist forces in St. Louis have been mobilized in an effort to save the Shanely Building.
framer wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:57 am
Modernist forces in St. Louis have been mobilized in an effort to save the Shanely Building.
I actually like that idea. I have two ideas to save it.
1. Spend a lot of money to move it to a nearby lot much like that house by the NGA.
2. Build around it like this small, one-floor building that will be surrounded by One Chicago Square. It is on the street corner.
Image

On another note, based on cost and what I was told during my phone call today, the buildings will block that cream-colored building in the center of my picture with the tallest being around the same height as Pierre Laclede Tower from this view

Image
So my cousin that works for the fancy pants architecture firm downtown posted a petition about the Shanley building. I think this could stand to be here as well.

To the Mayor of Clayton: Save the Shanley Building
FWIW, there are quite a few petitions circulating on Facebook.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:33 pm
So my cousin that works for the fancy pants architecture firm downtown posted a petition about the Shanley building. I think this could stand to be here as well.

To the Mayor of Clayton: Save the Shanley Building
That's my petition. I started it to see how many people care about older buildings. Over 300 people is way more than I was thinking. I thought maybe 30 or 50 people but not 300+.
framer wrote: FWIW, there are quite a few petitions circulating on Facebook.
I would love to see the other ones.
Maybe I'm an architectural rube, but my initial reaction is that, if this exact same building was built by a non-descript guy named Bob Smith to lease to an orthodontist, no one would sweat tearing it down.

There is nothing visually appealing about it, and it's basically the polar opposite of the walkable, street-focused properties that many on this forum rightfully value.