95 Unit New Construction in Forest Park Southeast

Another development that caught our attention this year was a 95-unit residential building in Forest Park Southeast. I first read about this on NextSTL back in January, 2018.

Restoration St. Louis is planning a new 95-unit residential development on the 4200 block of Arco Ave, overlooking Manchester in The Grove. The project named Arbor on Arco will include market-rate apartments ranging from studios to three bedroom units. Parking for the building will be a half-sunken 77-space parking garage under the building accessible from the alley with an additional 24 spaces along the alley in the rear.
— Jason Deem - NextSTL

Now I’m not usually a fan of new construction that calls for demolition, but will make an exception here. The homes that were here were either abandoned or not at all cared for in a responsible manor.

The site clearance is already nearly completed, indicating movement on this project.

So why the exception for the demo? First the “sunken parking” and additional spaces accessible from the alley, not making unnecessary curb cuts on Arco is what we need more of with new urban projects. That is huge and much welcomed.

Secondly, the rendering is pretty cool and fairly unique for new development in my mind; a four-story brownstone-looking front facade with stairs to the front doors is just big city and cool to me.

 The Arbor on Arco

The Arbor on Arco

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The location is a street I’ve never traveled, so I had to go check it out. Frankly, I had to think, “have I ever been on Arco”? I don’t think so, but I like the name and can’t shake the He-Man thoughts from my youth that creep in.

But when I went to check it out, I recognized Arco as that street that shoots off northwest from Manchester right at that super cool “wedge” building you probably know from traveling this popular part of town.

 Wedge Building on Manchester

Wedge Building on Manchester

It’s not an expansive street only extending from Manchester to Kingshighway, but it’s got some great houses and apartment building and is still accessible from the main drag.

I had to go check it out to see for myself what this new development would look like in my mind. First, this part of Orko felt more like an alley between Manchester and Tower Grove Avenue. It currently has angled parking, which is likely in use by Manchester business patrons and employees.

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The views from the front of these new residences will be pretty urban, city scenes. I like the placement. Like I mentioned, the site has been cleared and ready for the new development.

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The buildings that are flanking the site are pretty rough, either boarded up or nearly zero care/upkeep given. In an ideal situation, these would be rehabbed by Restoration St. Louis to be nice bookends to the development.

This will be a fun one to keep an eye on in 2019, with the hope of higher land use, density and varied living options for a rapidly changing neighborhood.