Of our 2016 favorite project announcements, 15% were completed in 2017. Another 40% have have experienced a groundbreaking or are clearly under-construction. A couple projects appear to be moving slowly toward start dates like Jefferson Arms, 100 Kingshighway, 4101 Manchester and the northwest corner of Skinker and Delmar in the Loop. Other projects appear to be dead including the development of the former Praxair site in Lafayette Square and the MLS stadium in Downtown West. I tried to reach Better Family Life to speak about the Page Avenue project, but no returned correspondence...
Another year without the Chemical Building being secured and rehabbed is a bummer, but man was there a lot going on in 2017; plenty to keep a St. Louis booster happy and interested as higher uses for vacant land and rehabbing of our beautiful turn of the 20th Century architecture continues.
Taking a look back at the year's development announcements is a good way to keep your chin up that no matter the setbacks we face, things are still moving forward and there are a lot of new housing options popping up in the city. For a moment, suspend your righteous critiques of swarming law firms drafting up tax break deals for developers and complicit politicians handing out taxes that should go to our schools, libraries, infrastructure, etc to wealthy individuals and corporations.
Let's just have some fun at year's end and take stock in a changing city. I'll share some photos to further document my time in St. Louis for others to see how it is evolving and what people who care think about these projects.
This year, the favorites list is more focused on residential. If we're ever going to fight off the massive population losses in this city, we are going to have to provide more new housing options. While we all want our old homes to continue to be invested in, rehabbed and occupied, remember, not everyone is cut out to maintain a 100+ year home. That includes landlords and residents/tenants; it is tough with a constant amount of upkeep. You have to love it and be devoted to it, not everyone has the ability to be a good stewards of old homes.
So new housing, infill and rehabbing our brick beauties into new uses is always a positive, no matter your politics. Hotels are important, so is retail. Mixed use buildings are important in a city. It makes a place more walkable and diverse.
With that, here's my list of favorite project announcements from 2017:
- Adam's Grove, 50 affordable homes in Forest Park Southeast
- New homes in the Ville
- Vandeventer Estates
- Ittner School on Union
- 3-story mixed use building on Russell in Soulard
- Soulard Apts on former Victor Iron site
- Mop factory in Lafayette Square
- Dogtown mixed use project
- Intrada lofts at Holly Hills and Grand
- Marina in Riverview
- Morgan Ford mixed use project
- Civil Life expansion
- Hotel in CWE
- The Armory
- Railway Exchange
- Bull Moose Industry/Hotel Angad
- Southeast corner of Delmar and Skinker
- Fox Park investment
- Westin Hotel on FPP
- Delmar Divine
I'll do a blog on each development and share why they made the list and why I wanted to keep an eye on these through 2018.
I realize some of these projects were announced prior to 2017, but hey, they're new to me or they weren't on my radar until 2017.
Keep in mind, a few that made the list last year including Ballpark Village Phase 2, 100 Kingshighway Studio Gang skyscraper, Pelican building/new mixed use building on South Grand in Compton Heights and Foundry Phase 2 are really going to explode and will be high profile for St. Louisans, suburbanite commuters/visitors, tourists alike. And of course, people watching Cards games on T.V. will see the construction going on...this time not just generic bars/restaurants...but, residential! We need more people downtown and this will bring exactly that.
Notice a missing downtown high rise from the list? Can't put it on there yet, if it was being built on a surface parking lot, it'd be a no brainer. But the thought of tearing down one of the last old brick beauties in the entire area is just...Busch Stadium is surrounded by seas of surface parking lots in all directions.
What am I missing? What were some of your most anticipated projects to watch in 2018?