Railway Exchange Building- The Next Chapter

Downtown construction activity, including hotel projects, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc.
Anyone have insight into this building?

I believe there are still some office occupants on the upper floors like Rise (formerly RHCDA) but I can't believe its too many. A smaller co-working space called Claim was going to open after T-Rex moved out, but its founder decided on the Millennium Center after concern about the future of the building. There were reports last year of turning the lower floors into a huge data center but I haven't heard anything about the building in some time.
Matt posted elsewhere that Rise is getting the boot from the building this week and that may be the final tenant to turn out the lights.

So what's in store? Dredger's idea was to have a tech company in offices above a data center on some of the lower floors (but not street level. which would be for retail) and on the higher floors have residential that could be marketed to tech workers and the concept of Live Above the Cloud. I like it. Any other thoughts for this crucial building?
Apparently the Sam Fox School of Architecture at Washington University and the Downtown Partnership will be teaming up to find a use for this. The expectation is that it will be mixed use.
Perhaps it ought to be a college of art and design. Because we don't have that.
^"Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art to design School of Design and Visual Art, because St. Louis doesn't have one." :lol: :lol:
goat314 wrote:
Apparently the Sam Fox School of Architecture at Washington University and the Downtown Partnership will be teaming up to find a use for this. The expectation is that it will be mixed use.


Here is Tim Bryant's article:
http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... 8c480.html

The effort is scheduled to conclude with a public presentation of plans Dec. 10....

A huge obstacle to redevelopment of the century-old building is its size: 31 acres of floor space on 21 floors. Conventional wisdom is that if anything can work there, it would be a mixture of offices, apartments and stores. A large central “light well” would allow daylight to enter apartments lacking a street view. Such a layout works at the Laurel Apartments in the former Dillard's store downtown.


It looks like the students will also be taking a look at the surrounding area.
goat314 wrote:
Apparently the Sam Fox School of Architecture at Washington University and the Downtown Partnership will be teaming up to find a use for this. The expectation is that it will be mixed use.


This is hilarious. Like people didn't already know it would have to be mixed use. This issue always has been and always will be, who is going to invest in this? This will be a $200 million dollar project.
^"Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art to design School of Design and Visual Art, because St. Louis doesn't have one." :lol: :lol:


Sam Fox has the fine arts covered, but it only minimally touches graphic, industrial, commercial design, design thinking & entrepreneurship. Wash U doesn't have a real design school outside the architecture programs, in my opinion.
Maybe these people from Detroit who are undertaking a mixed-use redevelopment of this '20's office building in Cincy (and also are doing the Union Ave. new construction project here) should take a look at the Railway Exchange or Jefferson Arms

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Village Green will redevelop the 300,000-square-foot, 1920s era, "Beaux Arts" building, with a planned opening in 2016. Plans for the building include luxury apartments, penthouses, a market, restaurant, offices and a new name for the building.
Did anyone attend the meeting last night during which possible plans for the Railway Exchange were presented? I so wanted to be there, not just to hear about ideas for the RRX, but also to get another look at that building and the 21st floor view!
threeonefour wrote:
Did anyone attend the meeting last night during which possible plans for the Railway Exchange were presented? I so wanted to be there, not just to hear about ideas for the RRX, but also to get another look at that building and the 21st floor view!


http://fox2now.com/2014/12/10/wash-u-students-offer-designs-to-transform-railroad-exchange-building/
How about offices for Edward Jones, Scottrade, Express Scripts, Monsanto, etc?
^ they want to be closer to their work force in west county...
this was at the end of the Post-Dispatch write-up of the student competition...

"Yackey said he knew little of the students’ plans before they were made public. He said he is putting together his own redevelopment plan, which could include apartments, some stores, a hotel, data centers and even parking.

“I’ve already worked on a design,” he said. “I’m not just sitting on my hands.”"

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 54a7c.html

hopefully a good project can begin w/in the next few years.
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/05/14/ ... -building/

Macy's is still leasing the space so we may not see retail plans till the lease it up. Wonder why they just did not stay open then.
^ operating costs probably didn't justify bean counters.... the ULI presentation is now online btw and some pretty interesting ideas are presented:

http://stlouis.uli.org/wp-content/uploa ... rpoint.pdf

About 200-250 apartments on upper floors, three different kinds of hotels on middle floors (boutique, 4 star, extended stay), retail on bottom floors. Top floor as luxe shared amenity space. They'd also core down the courtyard to more lower floors and open up the building in other ways. And smartly suggest shared risk with seperate condo ownership etc. for developers to share risk.

Some good stuff, and hopefully at lease some of this can proceed in the next few years.
^couple questions regarding ULI presentation.

A) Is there a precedent for putting 3 hotels in the same building. I can't think of one even within the same family (Hilton, and Hilton Garden for instance) but its not really something i'm too familiar with.

B) Why is residential always assumed to be above hotel. Seems like being the highest margin per squarefoot they would command the most premium real estate. This seems to be just assumed so i must be missing something.

C) Why does everyone insist on turning surface parking into a plaza instead of new construction. Inside the CBD it doesn't get much more prime for new construction than the suface lot at 6th and olive. To me the obvious choice is to build a building there instead of a plaza. It doesn't even have to be very tall. I'd be happy if it was equal in height to the garage next door, so 9 stories would do.
^ As far as your third point, I think that is the reality of minimal or literally no market demand for new square footage that can cover the cost of new construction. Even Arcade and a number of other rehabs required significant subsidies even when the structure is already in place.

The difference will have to be made up when someone wants to pay a premium for new class A office space above and beyond the going square foot rate and when BPV and or Drury takes a chance on new residential construction (or the city underwrites the bonds).

Plaza's are easy to build in the interim and easy to demo which some day I hope is the case for downtown sooner than later.
^ I think the parking lot would be a great location for the container store project like Cleveland's small box effort:

http://www.smallboxcle.com/

It is a terrific location (especially if RR/X gets redeveloped, but even w/o that) and the great thing about such a creative project is that it would provide small business retailers interested in downtown the ability to test the market with a cheap initial entry and then move on to more permanent brick and mortar space if needed. As the corner itself becomes hot, the lot could be developed and the container stores moved on to another location.

Edit.... the more I think about it as well, a successful mixed-use redevelopment of RR/X itself would be pretty transformative and very well could lead to complimentary infill of the parking lot. And aside from the Mercantile Library and some smaller buildings, there really wouldn't be anything left in the core CBD east of Tucker to redevelop.
Looks like the ULI TAP was aware of what a developer is planning for Pittsburgh's 1 million+ sq. ft. version of the Railway Exchange:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/de ... 1505200094

Macy's is downsizing from 7 floors to 4, and the developer will be putting in apartments in floors 7-13, It is in also working on a hotel for the 5th & 6th floors. This is pretty cool about the apartments,,,

Of the 311 apartments, 71 will be studios, 169 one-bedroom and 71 two-bedroom. Amenities include a “fitness roof” with two full-size tennis courts and a running track, a rooftop pool and deck area, and green roofs. There will be 246 parking spaces and 290 bike spaces in the basement.

Core also is planning to create two large atriums that will run from the fifth floor to the roof in a complex that totals 1 million square feet. Construction is expected to start in July and be finished in two years.
The new Florida-based owner of a huge downtown Cleveland beauty has some grand plans...

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index ... e_business

1.4 million sq. ft. hopes to be filled with:

"550 apartments, which will offer housekeeping and room service just like a hotel.
400,000 square feet of office space.
300 high-end hotel rooms under an as-yet-unnamed flag.
200,000 square feet of retail, banquet and conference space.
A lobby that is once again open to the public, as it was until Huntington Bank moved in 2012 to 200 Public Square (formerly the BP Tower).
A rooftop restaurant and club. The restaurant has been known as the Midday Club, then the Metropolitan, then Sammy's. Greenbaum said the roof offers "phenomenal views," adding, "We think we can turn it into something special.""

And in the "they sure don't make things like they used to" column, "The property cost $17 million to build nearly a century ago. At the time, it was the second-largest office building in the world. It would cost $2.2 billion to build today, Coyne said." I guess if I pull out a calculator I can enter 2.2 billion/1.4 million and compare the per square foot cost to what new construction costs in NYC or London these days, but I'm pretty confident the end result for what we churn out today wouldn't be nearly as nice.
I'd like to see a rooftop restaurant and club on top of the Railway Exchange building. This would be the view East.

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^ No doubt; I'll have to double-check but I believe some kind of communal rooftop and upper floors amenity center for the various tenants (hotel, residential, etc.) was among the recommendations from the ULI program. And let's not forget bringing back the rooftop beer garden atop the Union Trust!
gary kreie wrote:
I'd like to see a rooftop restaurant and club on top of the Railway Exchange building. This would be the view East.

Image


Whats the white building to the far right, with the set backs?
Millenium Center @ 515 Olive