An Exciting Time To Be A St. Louis Booster - St. Louis City Talk's Best of 2016

If you follow NextSTL, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Business Journal, there is plenty to be excited about in our fair city.


I've been paying pretty close attention to development plans, rumors and new construction/rehab projects in St. Louis for over ten years. The last few weeks have brought a barrage of proposals....maybe the most active span of announcements and plans in recent memory.

And this has been going on awhile. I'm seeing projects all over town that I remember reading about and thinking "right, I'll believe it when I see it". But when ground is being broken, cranes are going up and momentum is building you can't deny the fact that positive things are happening.

St. Louis seems pretty hot from an investment standpoint.


Here's a brief rundown of the top 20 projects (some planned, some underway) that resonate with me for different reasons. I will do my best to keep politics and economics out of the commentary and write a separate blog on each sharing my thoughts on why I find these interesting. I'll just keep it simple and talk about the positives.


ONE


The Shell filling station on the northwest corner of Delmar and Skinker in the West End Neighborhood has a substantial mixed-use retail and office plan proposal for the site.


TWO


Just east of Delmar and Skinker is a 14-story mixed-use retail and market-rate apartment building that will bring much needed residents and $ to the area. It is called the Everly.


THREE


Forest Park Southeast has three major developments on the horizon, the first just west of the Commerce Bank at Vandeventer and Manchester where a mixed-use building and parking garage are proposed. It's called Chouteau's Grove.


FOUR


A surface parking lot just west of the above project on that wedge property along Manchester has a proposal for a 7-story mod mixed-use apartment/retail/office building in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood.


FIVE


Further west near Manchester and Newstead is a proposal for a mixed use 5 story building with office/restaurant and 55-unit apartment building in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood.


SIX


The cool Laclede Gas Station G building on Chouteau in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood is being renovated to house a company moving to St. Louis from the suburbs.


SEVEN


The curvy building that hugs the train tracks at Tower Grove and Vandeventer in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood is one of my favorites in that neighborhood and there is a plan to convert it to loft apartments and retail.


EIGHT


The former YMCA/Pelican building property at South Grand Boulevard and Shenadoah in Compton Heights has a proposal to rehab the Pelican for office/retail and demo the Y for a large apartment building.


NINE


The Jefferson Arms in the Downtown West Neighborhood has a plan for >200 apartments and a Mariott Hotel.


TEN


Chemical Building. This might be my favorite building in the entire city and another plan has been proposed that makes me hopefully for this anchor of downtown.


ELEVEN


The Wabash Great Rivers Greenway extension from Shrewsbury Metrolink station to Slay Park in the Ellendale Neighborhood.


TWELVE


Ballpark Village Phase II Downtown.


THIRTEEN


Brick City, Brew City...beer news just keeps getting bigger and better with Earthbound Brewing renovation in the Gravois Park Neighborhood; Rockwell Brewing coming online in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood, Center Ice Brewery coming to Midtown and 2nd Shift Brewing coming to the Hill.


FOURTEEN


Better Family Life started a $20M project that is targeting the renovation of 100 homes on Page Avenue.


FIFTEEN


The Foundry in Midtown has a proposal to bring office, high rise, retail and much more to a former industrial complex near SLU, Cortex and IKEA.


SIXTEEN


The former Praxair site in Lafayette Square has a proposal for 64 townhomes.


SEVENTEEN


A 126-unit mixed use apartment building has been proposed at Gravois and Russell at the entrance to the Soulard Neighborhood.


EIGHTEEN


SLU is building two new dorms on Laclede Avenue in the Midtown Neighborhood.


NINETEEN (edit, I swapped SLU/SSM Health med campus/hospital project with One Hundred Kingshighway skyscraper)


SLU medical has a proposal to develop or redevelop ~400 acres in the Tiffany, Botanical Heights and Gate District Neighborhoods. This could be a game changer for this part of town. World-renowned architecture firm Studio Gang released initial designs for a skyscraper on a current surface parking lot on Kingshighway overlooking Forest Park.


TWENTY


MLS expansion team, new 20,000 seat stadium in the Downtown West Neighborhood. This is going to take some time, I have lots of opinions on this one.


Wow.


I didn't even mention the Armory, Union Station upgrades, the Arch grounds, the STLCOP expansion, Barnes/Jewish Hospital, Loop Trolley, Shriner's Hospital conversion to apartments, Citizen Park in the CWE, Bull Moose Tube renovation of Missouri Theater, BMO Harris/Walgreens on the Hill, Cortex additions, the Boyle Metrolink station, $1.75B NGA campus move/upgrade from South to North City, the gorgeous Studio Gang 100 Kingshighway, DeBaliviere Place apartment buildings on surface parking lots, etc.


Also, I didn't mention the equally important rehabbing of homes and new construction of homes on empty lots that will bring in residents, property taxes and added value for neighborhoods. This is taking place all over: Old North St. Louis, the Hill, Fox Park, Tower Grove East, McKinley Heights, Botanical Heights, you name it.


St. Louis appears to be in a boom time. We've had highs and lows before, but there is plenty to be optimistic about these days. Now is the time to consider moving to St. Louis and being part of the excitement. Help us build a tax base that serves everyone, vote for leaders who can modernize government, fight cronyism and nepotism, support city businesses big and small, help elevate the have nots, welcome new people from other parts of the country and immigrants. More than anything we need citizens to ROOT DOWN in St. Louis.


Reverse the flight of people moving from St. Louis to the suburbs. Let's bring it on back home. Those people with St. Louis roots who left for the suburban dream? It might be time to come back and do some homesteading in the greatest city in the region.